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The Best Distillery Train Excursions 2021 (Part–2)

From the previous three examples you already know why alcohol and trains are an everlasting peaceful combination. This article is all about other train excursions like that.

This article is similar to the previous one but with one major change – in addition to spirits & liquors excursions in the previous article we’ll also be reading about train excursions that provide wine, moonshine and scotch whiskies as the highlighted alcoholic beverage here. Intriguing? Keep following.

Napa Valley Wine Train

A luxurious vintage train experience which started service from 16th September 1989. Although the railroad was built in the year 1864 which portrays the grand history of Napa Valley. The 36-mile round trip from Downtown Napa to St. Helena, California is a mark of railroading tradition in continuance. Earlier these vintage trains were used for transporting visitors to a spa resort in Calistoga but now these trains connect people from all over the world for an exciting wine excursion.

The guests board the train at the McKinstry Station, some of the places they pass through are old industrial section of Napa, agricultural preserve of Napa Valley, some expensive and famous farm real estate in the country. There are also glimpses of spectacular scenery of this beautiful wine country along with charming towns of Oak Knoll, Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford.

The spectacular thing about Napa Valley Wine Train is that during its journey, the train passes by almost 100 wineries and grape producing vineyards. The NPWT team takes pride in the quality of their food made with fresh local produce, humanely raised meats and line-caught fish. This train also has a kitchen car and guests are permitted to watch the ongoing kitchen action. There are a lot of tours offered and the duration of all the tours lie between 1.5 to 6 hours.

The various packages available :

Gourmet Express: Train fare, a multiple course gourmet meal, and on-board coffee, tea, and pitcher water service.

Vista Dome: Train fare, a multiple course gourmet meal, Vista Dome upgrade, (1) glass of sparkling wine, and on-board coffee, tea, and pitcher water service.

Winery Tours: Train fare, a multiple course gourmet meal, welcome glass of bubbles (served only on Legacy, Collective, Estate and Famiglia tours),  on-board coffee, tea, and pitcher water service,  and one or more tours and tastings at the specified winery or wineries.

Special Events: Train fare, a multiple course gourmet meal, on-board coffee, tea, and pitcher water service and event programs and features as specified in the event package details.

The Legacy tour has 3 tasting included in the package as compared to others. Guests are allowed to bring their own wine since NPWT recognizes that many people at times need special wines for special occasions. But there is a corkage fee of $20.00 per 750ml bottle and $30 for a magnum-sized bottle. If you bring one bottle of wine on board and buy a bottle on board, the corkage fee will be waived for the bottle brought on. The prices for the packages range from $149 to $272 based on the luxury and type of tour. To book a ticket visit their official website.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Located in the Bryson city (North Carolina), Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you on a memorable ride through 53 miles of tracks, two tunnels and 25 bridges. Natural, aesthetic beauty portaying the remote and beautiful corners of North Carolina said to be some of the most beautiful landscapes of America. There are so many things about this railroad excursion that are intriguing. The fact that there are more than 125 varieties of trees in Western North Carolina is a major plus for nature lovers. As guests are on board on their way through the mountains, they can look out for hemlock, yellow buckeye, umbrella magnolia, oak, birch, sugar maple, mountain ash, Fraser fir, and short needle pine. There are many more such amazing things one can enjoy whilst being extremely close to the breathtaking nature surrounding the journey trail.

Now you must be wondering, what kind of beverage is the star here? Wine & moonshine.

For those who don’t know what moonshine is – Moonshine is a type of high-proof liquor that is only permitted to be produced in registered distilleries as of now. The name ‘Moonshine’ depicts the tradition of producing alcohol during nighttime to avoid detection.

Starting with wine, the tour that we are looking out for is – Uncorked in the ‘events’ section on their official website. This event is offered on the Nantahala Gorge Excursion.

  • Guests will enjoy a full service All-Adult First-Class ride with a private attendant, plush and well-appointed dining seating.
  • Wine samples offered with a narrator to share the knowledge and history of the wines selected.
  • Passengers on this specialty car will enjoy an exclusive sampling of cheeses and a surf and turf meal prepared fresh.
  • All passengers will receive a GSMR souvenir stemless wine glass, four samples of selected wine, and a dessert that’s perfect according to the season.
  • Ticket for this amazing experience is $139 per person (Adult 21+)

The next tour for tasting hand crafted, triple-distilled, craft moonshine – ‘Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience’ in the ‘ride with us’ section on their official website. This event is offered on the Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience’

  • The tour starts in a renovated First-Class train fleet car with interior featuring copper lined walls reflecting the history of moonshining in North Carolina. Followed by gist of the proud tradition of the Appalachians establishment.
  • Once the quest for knowledge is passed, you get to enjoy delicious sample tastings of flavors like Apple Pie, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry moonshine. If you wish to taste more there will plenty of Moonshine infused cocktails like Copper Cola or Moonshiner’s Mimosa available for purchase.
  •  Passengers will also enjoy a full service All-Adult First-Class ride with an attendant and the popular Cajun seasoned Pulled Pork BBQ with Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce cooked in special spices and slow roasted to perfection.
  • As for the pricing, there are two options available for the same excursion : Diesel powered – $109.00 ($114.00 October) & Steam powered – $119.00 ($126.00 October)              

To book tickets visit their official website, select a date and book online or you can call on their reservation number.

Belmond Royal Scotsman

A classic luxurious whisky journey through Scotland by Belmond Royal Scotsman. This excursion is filled with all sorts of luxury like a private cabin, spa, candlelit dinners, 40 guests per trip etc. Explaining the journey will be enough for you to get an idea of this exciting Scotch malt whisky tour.

Four nights aboard the Royal Scotsman luxury train :

Day 1 – Edinburgh – Arrival at the Balmoral Hotel, meet your whisky ambassador and enjoy a welcome dram. Then the Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverly Station and travels over the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge. Followed by Kingdom of Fife and a delicious afternoon tea. The train continues east along the coast with beautiful scenarios passing through various famous places before reaching Keith – in the heart of Speyside whiskey town. The night is ended by an informal dinner and traditional Scottish entertainment by local musicians.

Day 2 – Kyle of Lochalsh – Departing from Keith straight for the Macallan Distillery. A private tour gives you an insight about the process, production, people and passion behind the revered Scotch. Followed by lunch through one of the most scenic railway routes in UK. The line passes through Loch Luichart and Torridon Mountains. On arrival in the pretty village of Plockton, a formal dinner is served followed by coffee and liqueurs in the Observation Car.

Day 3 – Carrbridge – Before lunch guests are informed to join their whisky ambassador for a specialist single cask tasting in the Observation Car. Followed by lunch and visit to the historic Tomatin distillery finished by tasting of three Tomatin single malts. The night is ended with an informal dinner followed by peace offered by the music of local musicians.

Day 4 – Rothiemurchus – After breakfast, travel by coach to Rothiemurchus estate and choose from a no. of country pursuits like – fishing, clay-pigeon shooting and an estate tour. Followed by a leisurely lunch and visit to the Tullibardine Distillery. Due to the private VIP tour, the guests are allowed to nosing straight from the cask, visit to the bonded warehouse and tutored tasting of 3 Tullibardine Highland single malts. The night is ended by a formal dinner enroute to Dundee and some lively Scottish country dancing on the station platform!

Day 5 – Edinburgh – After the breakfast is served, disembark in Edinburgh Waverly Station where the guests are invited to spend the morning at Society’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

The price for this tour starts from £7,000 ( $9644) per passenger. This also includes a one-year membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. To book tickets visit their official website.

Click here to view Part 1

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