A Trip to Speyside…

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A Weekend Away

So, I fancied a weekend away, and after I had seen people “raving on” about the Spirit of Speyside I thought I would see what the fuss was all about…I would attend a few events.

Friday 3rd May

A cold but dry start from my house, yet just as I entered Morayshire the weather changed to hail, then as I was about to drop into Duffotwn it started to snow… Well we all know Scotland usually has four seasons in one day, this was starting it off in style!!

First stop was Glen Moray for a hearty breakfast and a dram (plus a tour.) The older gentleman beside me and his companion shared my dram between themselves as I was driving, and they accepted it with gratitude. After purchasing a bottle of whisky I left as the group were heading for their tour…

I then took myself for a little drive to Glenfarclas. This was a whistle-stop drive as I really wanted to get myself the festival bottling…which I managed to do, while I was there I bumped into my whisky brothers, hard to miss as they pulled up next to me in the car park. Yes it was Jon, Tom, Adrian and Steve so I popped into the visitor centre with them and then joined them in Aberlour for a bite of  lunch and a catch up, albeit very briefly. It’s nice to meet good friends… and I think they loved the Bruichladdich Black Art truffles!!

Later that afternoon I went to BenRiach Distillery for the warehouse tasting with Rachel Barrie. What a lovely warm welcome!! It was nice to see Stewart Buchanan too. This tasting was held in Warehouse 13, and while the wind / hail / sleet rattled the roof and attempted to distract us, we sampled whisky!! I’m say sampled…I was driving so they came home with me.

The next day I was up with the larks again… today was Balvenie!! Whoop whoop!

Saturday 4th May

I was met by Charles at Balvenie. A coffee and introductions done (there was me, a man from London, another from Japan, a man, then a father and two sons all from the USA) we went on our tour…

There was nothing on the malting floor, but this allowed us to see the scale of the area. The kiln etc. had a slight warmth in the stones from their much much earlier use.

Then we continued our tour through to Warehouse 24, where I was asked if I’d used a dipping dog before…apparently I looked quite capable. I do think that’s a good thing!

We then had a tasting before heading to one of the private homes to enjoy a three course lunch before it was time to say our farewells and head our separate ways. I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to visit the cooperage this time. I know we had a meal, but I had been looking forward to the cooperage.

Afterwards I went for a walk at Craigellachie bridge and went and found Glenrothes distillery, this has to be done.  And that was that. A quiet and early evening and up early to drive home on the Sunday.

To those that took the time to chat… thank you


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