Join Charles Grabitzky and Matthew Ferguson of the Saratoga Whiskey Club on a journey to Islay where we explore all of its famous whisky distilleries. We will be joined by Rachel MacNeill, a local Islay expert, for distillery tours, tastings and other special Islay experiences.
The trip will consist of 3 nights in Glasgow and 5 nights in the town of Bowmore on Islay.
Distilleries to be visited include Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Caol Ila & Kilchoman.
We will also visit Tennents Brewery and other sights in Glasgow. Optional tour of the Auchentoshen Distillery outside of Glasgow.

Trip Information


  • Lagavulin Distillery Tour and Warehouse Experience
  • Ardbeg Distillery Deconstructing the Dram with a Tasting in Warehouse 3
  • Laphroaig Distillery Water to Whisky Experience including a picnic lunch
  • Bunnahabhain Distillery Tour and Warehouse 9 Experience
  • Bruichladdich Distillery Tour and Warehouse Experience
  • Bowmore Distillery Craftmans Tour
  • Kilchoman Distillery Premium Tour and Tasting
  • Caol Ila Distillery Tour
  • Visit the carved stone High Cross at Kildalton
  • Walk along Machir Beach
  • Tour of Tennents Brewery in Glasgow
  • Other fun treats throughout
PRICE: $2395.00 per person / double occupancy  – Deposit of $395 required to reserve a space on the trip.  Limited spots available.  PLEASE NOTE, THIS TRIP IS FILLING UP QUICKLY.


  • 3 overnights in Glasgow and 5 overnights in Bowmore
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Tour Leaders – Matt from 9 Maple & Charles from Travel Directions
  • Local Islay Guide and Expert Rachel MacNeill
  • Breakfasts (8), Lunch (1)
  • Visits to 8 distilleries with special tours and tastings
  • Visit to Tennents Brewery
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including all admissions
  • All taxes

Not Included:

  • Drinks with meals unless mentioned in itinerary
  • Airfare to Scotland
  • Tips to driver and guide
  • Trip insurance – highly recommended

Recommended for:

If you enjoy being around people, learning about Islay and its distilleries, this Saratoga Whiskey Club tour is for you.

This special tour will bring you all of the distilleries on Islay and include other special experiences as well.  The best of what Islay has to offer.  

Your Trip Leaders

Trip leaders are Matt Ferguson, a whiskey connoisseur from 9 Maple Avenue, and Charles Grabitzky from Travel Directions, who leads small groups around the world.


9 Maple Avenue is an intimate jazz bar set in Saratoga Springs, NY.  It has the largest selection of whiskies between Manhattan and Montreal.  It holds monthly Angel’s Share whiskey tastings.  Matt Ferguson has worked for 9 Maple Avenue for more than a decade and is a connoisseur of whiskey from around the world.


Charles Grabitzky has been providing guided tours with Travel Directions throughout the world over the past twenty years. Travel Directions is located in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Trip Details

Itinerary Summary
Saturday, September 16 Day 1, Arrive in Glasgow for one night, tour of the Tennents Brewery, whisky tasting in the evening
Sunday, September 17 Day 2, Glasgow to Islay — we leave Glasgow after breakfast for the ferry ride to Islay where we stay in Bowmore for 5 nights
Monday, September 18 Day 3, Islay — Lagavuling Distillery Tour and Warehouse Experience, Visit carved stone High Cross at Kildalton, Lunch at Old Kiln Cafe in Ardbeg, Ardbeg Distillery Deconstructing the Dram with Tasting in Warehouse 3
Tuesday, September 19 Day 4, Islay — Caol Ila Distillery Tour, Laphroaig Distillery Water to Whisky Experience (picnic lunch included)
Wednesday, September 20 Day 5, Islay – Bunnahabhain Distillery Tour and Warehouse 9 Experience, Lunch at Kilchoman Distillery Cafe, Kilchoman Distillery Premium Tour & Tasting, Walk along Machir Beach
Thursday, September 21 Day 6, Islay – Visit the Islay Woolen Mill, Bruichladdich Distillery Tour and Warehouse Experience, Lunch at Bridgend Hotel, Bowmore Distillery Craftmans Tour
Friday, September 22 Day 7, Islay — Fly or ferry back to Glasgow for two nights
Saturday, September 23 Day 8, Islay – City historical visits in Glasgow, optional Auchentoshan Distillery day trip
Sunday, September 24 Day 9, Depart Scotland after breakfast

The hotels for this whisky tour were picked for their excellence in both quality and location.

Hotel Blue Indigo:  

Hotel Indigo Glasgow is at the heart of the neighbourhood situated in Glasgow City Centre.  A unique boutique hotel that offers luxurious comfort with a bubbly vibrant atmosphere.

Bowmore Hotel:  

The Bowmore Hotel is a family run hotel with eleven bedrooms, all ensuite, some newly transformed with bespoke furnishings and luxury wet rooms, and is open all year round. The Hotel cooking makes excellent use of Islay’s local produce including beef, lamb and seafood all of which is served in the beautifully appointed dining room.

Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.  The capital is Bowmore where the group will stay.  Islay is the fifth-largest Scottish island and is home to 8 distilleries.  Total population of the island is over 3,000 inhabitants.

“It’s where the whiskey meets the sea,” – Wayne Brown

Contact Us for More Information and Itinerary Details

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