There's keeping up with the Joneses, and then there's keeping up with the Johnnies (Walker, the Scotch, and Schuler, the pisco master distiller). For many of the most well-known booze brands the world over, it's not just about what's in the bottle, it's the jaw dropping impression you can make on visitors when they step inside your private castle or sprawling hacienda. Here are six you should try to score an invite to, from Scotland to South America.
Johnnie Walker parent company Diageo calls the majestic Drummuir Castle in Speyside, Scotland home. Built in 1847, the castle showcases a Scottish Victorian aesthetic, with a stunning 60-foot central lantern tower for good measure. They host assorted private events, workshops, and getaways at Drummuir, and it's no surprise that the real action is in the main lounge, where the bar is stocked with a staggering assortment of Diageo's finest and most exclusive whiskies. You will drink absurdly well here, rest assured.
You didn't think that Diageo rival Pernod Ricard and their Chivas Regal portfolio of whiskies would sit idly by, sans castle, did you? The Linn House is located nearby to their Strathisla distillery, also in the Speyside region, offering an ideal location to enjoy a luxurious evening, load up on breakfast the next morning, and then begin distillery touring. It might not have the sheer size and might of Drummuir, but we think you'll be plenty safe and sound in there.
The Glenmorangie House is an elegant 4-star manor tucked away in the Highlands of Scotland, easily accessible to the Glenmorangie distillery, of course. Dating to the 17th century, the property manages to combine supreme luxury with the quaint, welcoming feel of a casual stay at the countryside home of a close friend. A very rich close friend, that is. Slip on one of the pairs of Wellies they have waiting for guests, and take a stroll down to their private beach, or to the historic Cadboll Stone, a massive, intricately carved Pictish stone.
By far the dominant force in what's considered "ultra-premium" tequila, you just know that Patrón is going to have a property befitting their status. Their hacienda is located in the hills of Jalisco, an hour outside of Guadalajara, and it houses their distillery, barrel warehouses, offices, a small portion of their vast agave fields. A newly built private on-site hotel, La Casona, hosts special guests and friends of the brand, with their most expensive and exclusive tequilas flowing freely from the heavens, into your waiting glasses.
Pisco Porton Hacienda
We meet our second Johnny at Pisco Porton's Hacienda in Ica, Peru. He's master distiller for the brand, and the hacienda is home to the oldest working distillery in the Americas. In the midst of one of the driest deserts on the planet, you'll find a welcome reprieve within your plush private villa. Ride around the huge estate property on horseback, keeping your eye out for an ornery llama or two, then jump into the resort-worthy pool to cool off. To drink, embrace pisco in all forms—Pisco Sour, Pisco Punch, Chilcano, oh my!—in one of the myriad well-stocked bars on the property.
Head back across the Atlantic to Ireland's Slane Castle, located 30 minutes outside of Dublin, where production at the new Slane Distillery begins this summer after a $50 million project is completed. The castle itself has been the home of the Conyngham family since it was reconstructed in the 1780s. Slane is a bonafide, fortified castle, sitting on a 1,500-acre estate that U2 deemed worthy enough as the site to perform and film its "U2 Go Home" concert. They've also hosted an annual Slane Concert since 1981, with up to 110,000 attendees.