Clynelish Distillery Logo

Clynelish Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Gold Standard Green Tourism award, Multiple-award-winning whisky producer, Awarded at the International Wines and Spirits Competition
Phone Number
  • +44 1408 623000
  • Clynelish KW9 6LR, United Kingdom

Clynelish distillery exterior with green lawn and signage.

History of Clynelish Distillery


The Clynelish Distillery, known for its single malt Scotch whisky, was founded in 1819 by the Marquess of Stafford, who was later known as the Duke of Sutherland.

This establishment was part of his efforts to provide a market for barley grown by his tenants. 

The original distillery was built on the Duke’s farmland and had a symbiotic relationship with the local community; the coal from nearby mines powered the distillery’s stills, while the spent grains from whisky production fed local livestock, whose manure, in turn, enriched the soil for growing barley.

Clynelish’s whisky was sold as “The Finest Highland Malt Whisky” around the beginning of the 20th century, reflecting its high quality and the esteem in which it was held. 

In 1969, the new Clynelish distillery began production across the road from the original site, which closed in 1968 to make way for this more modern facility.

The original site was then reborn as Brora Distillery, which produced a peated malt until the early 1980s.

Today, Clynelish continues to produce its renowned whisky, characterized by sweet floral fragrances and a verdant flavor profile with notes of tropical fruit and honey.

The distillery offers a range of whiskies, including the Clynelish 14 Year Old and the Clynelish 12 Year Old Special Releases. 

The barley used in Clynelish’s whisky is still malted in the Northern Highlands, and the water is sourced from the Clynemilton Burn, ensuring the continuity of its regional character and heritage.

Clynelish Whiskey

Awards Won by Clynelish Distillery

  • Recognized as a multiple-award-winning whisky producer
  • Recipient of the Gold Standard Green Tourism award for sustainable and modern visitor facilities
  • Honored with awards from the Malt Maniacs
  • Listed in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • Winner at the World Whiskies Awards
  • Recipient of accolades from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • Awarded at the International Wines and Spirits Competition

Clynelish Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Clynelish Distillery offers a rich experience for visitors interested in exploring the world of Scotch whisky. Here’s a summary of the tour experience and related information available at Clynelish Distillery:

Tour Experience at Clynelish Distillery

Clynelish Flavour Journey Tour: This tour takes visitors through the distillery’s story and the whisky-making process. It includes a full-sensory tour with a guided whisky tasting session, featuring drams, a highball, and sweet surprises, all with views of the coastal Sutherland landscape.

Clynelish Express Tasting: A shorter experience lasting 45 minutes, this tasting includes three scotch whiskies and provides insights into the heritage and secrets behind Clynelish whisky.

Clynelish Process Tour & Premium Tasting: Aimed at whisky enthusiasts, this tour offers a detailed look at the creation of Clynelish’s highland spirit and includes a sampling of four whiskies.

Additional Information

Festive Shopping Weekend: Scheduled for the 2nd-3rd December 2023, the distillery hosts a special event with winter cocktails, festive treats, and discounts on selected purchases.

The Whisky Gift Card: Available for purchase at the distillery, this card can be used to shop for top whiskies and merchandise at various visitor experiences in Scotland.

Visit Clynelish

  • Location: Clynelish Distillery is located in Brora, Sutherland, UK.
  • Contact Information: Phone – 01408 623000, Email –
  • Opening Hours: From April to October, the distillery is open from 10:00 to 17:00, and from November to March, from 10:00 to 16:00. The bar has similar opening hours but calls last orders at 4:30 pm.
  • Accessibility: Clynelish Distillery has worked with Euan’s Guide to provide clear disabled access information and is open to discussing specific requirements with visitors upon booking.
  • Sustainability: The distillery has been awarded gold certification from Green Tourism for its sustainable practices, including EV charging points and bicycle racks.
  • Getting There: Visitors can plan their route using Traveline Scotland’s website for up-to-date transport options.

Advanced booking for tours and experiences is highly recommended to avoid disappointment. The distillery also advises checking their Google listing for up-to-date information before visiting, especially during winter when weather conditions may cause unexpected closures.

Flask & Barrel Review of Clynelish Distillery

I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to distillery tours, and let me tell you, Clynelish is up there with the best of them. I’d easily give it a 4.7 out of 5. The place has a charm that’s as rich as the whisky it brews.

First off, the setting is just stunning. Nestled in the heart of Sutherland with views that could steal your breath away, Clynelish has this way of making you feel like you’re stepping into a whisky lover’s dream.

The coastal vibe adds a layer of mystique to the experience, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

The tours are top-notch. I went for the Clynelish Flavour Journey Tour, and it was a blast. The guide took us on a deep dive into the distillery’s history and the nitty-gritty of their whisky-making process.

It’s one thing to sip on a dram, but it’s another to do so while you’re getting schooled on what makes each drop so special. And those tasting sessions? They’re the real deal. The highball and sweet surprises were a nice touch, too.

I also popped by for the Clynelish Express Tasting on a whim, and even though it was shorter, it didn’t skimp on quality. Three whiskies, forty-five minutes, and a bunch of cool stories made it a highlight of my visit.

Now, I’ve got to talk about the Process Tour & Premium Tasting. For a whisky collector like me, it’s like being a kid in a candy store. Sampling four distinct whiskies and getting the inside scoop on how they’re crafted was the kind of stuff my whisky-loving heart lives for.

The distillery also knows how to throw a good event. I was there for the Festive Shopping Weekend last year, and between the cozy winter cocktails and the discounts (scored myself a sweet deal on a couple of bottles), it was festive as all get-out.

And hey, if you’re thinking of gifts, the Whisky Gift Card is a no-brainer. I’ve already made a mental note to grab a few for my mates this Christmas.

The folks at Clynelish have their hearts in the right place with their accessibility and sustainability efforts. It’s reassuring to see a place not just talk the talk but walk the walk with things like EV charging and bike racks.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the only thing keeping this from a full 5 is the unpredictability of winter hours—got to keep an eye on the weather, which can be a bit of a downer. But that’s Scottish weather for you, unpredictable as the lottery.

All in all, Clynelish Distillery is a must-visit. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting your feet wet in the world of whisky, this place has something for everyone. Trust me, it’s worth the trip.

What To Do Nearby Clynelish Distillery

  • Brora Beach: Sink your toes into the golden sands of Brora Beach. It’s a haven for relaxation, beach games, and the occasional dip in the sea if you’re feeling brave!
  • Brora Heritage Centre: Step back in time and explore the rich history of the area at the Brora Heritage Centre. A must-visit for history buffs!
  • Star Stables: Saddle up for a scenic ride with Star Stables. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, gallop along the breathtaking trails.
  • Brora Golf Course: Tee off at the Brora Golf Course, where golfers can enjoy a round with a view. The sea breeze adds a challenging twist to your game.
  • The Witches Kist: Hunt for treasures and local crafts at The Witches Kist. You’ll find an array of unique items to take a piece of Scotland home with you.
  • Pandora’s Emporium: Pandora’s Emporium is a treasure trove for antique lovers and collectors. It’s perfect for finding that special keepsake or gift.
  • Dunrobin Castle and Gardens: Marvel at the fairytale-like Dunrobin Castle, just a short drive away. Wander through its opulent rooms and stunning gardens.
  • Big Burn Walk: Embrace the great outdoors with the Big Burn Walk, offering tranquil trails and the chance to spot local wildlife.
  • Golspie Golf Club: Challenge yourself at another course, Golspie Golf Club, where golf enthusiasts can enjoy another picturesque 18 holes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Clynelish Distillery?

Sid’s Spice: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441408621467. Their address is SId’s Spice takeaway, Station Square, Brora KW9 6QJ, United Kingdom. 

La Mirage Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441431821615. Their address is La Mirage, 7-9 Dunrobin St, Helmsdale KW8 6JA, United Kingdom. 

Thyme and Plaice: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441431821598. Their address is 10 Dunrobin St, Helmsdale KW8 6JA, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Clynelish Distillery?

Royal Marine Hotel, Brora: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441408621252. Their address is Isle of Islay PA44 7PB, United Kingdom. 

Sutherland Inn: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441408621209. Their address is Fountain Cottage, Fountain Square, Brora KW9 6NX, United Kingdom. 

Golspie Inn: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441408633234. Their address is Old Bank Rd, Golspie KW10 6RS, United Kingdom.