For doing the Whiskey trail I would suggest that you look to stay around Keith, Elgin direction as this area is the heart of the trail. The A96 will be your main road - not dual carraigeway although it does have some crawlers lanes!! No dual carriageway after Inverurie, just so you can adjust your travelling time. There are lots of nice accomodations on the whiskey trail web sites. This is a lovely area, hope you enjoy being up our way.