Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land!

23rd May 2014

Aberlour Distillery Tasting Session

Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti

Bruichladdich Distillery

Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti

Lagavulin Distillery

Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti

Macallan Distillery

Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti

Speyside Cooperage

Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti


Photo of Have A Drink In Scot(ch)land! by Priti

Mark Twain once famously said-
“Too much of anything is bad,
but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.”
This quote has inspired me to write about exploring the famed distilleries of Scotland.

“Oh, the summer time is coming, And the trees are blooming, And the wild mountain thyme, grows around the blooming heather.Will you go, lassie, will you go?” I can’t think of a more beautiful place to visit and explore in summer than Scotland

During our restaurant years in Singapore( 2007-2011) we were lucky to get introduced to a gem of a Scotsman- Andrew (Skene) who  introduced us to Single Malts and helped put together the ‘Scotch Corner’ in our restaurant( called ‘the Clay Oven & Scotch Corner’)
Thus began our love for the dram- from pairing whiskies with kebabs and curries to hosting whisky tasting festivals & musical concerts ( notably with the Scottish band- ‘Red Hot Chilli Piper’)
Our love affair with Whisky is sealed for life!

Scotland is the world’s foremost producer of whisky, in fact there are more distilleries in Scotland than in the rest of the world combined! The history and Scots passion and love for whisky has triumphed.  The distilleries are classified into 4 major regions namely:
1) Lowlands & Campbeltown
2) Islay
3) Speyside
4) Highlands

Hopefully on reading this piece, you’ll be inspired to book your air tickets to visit the famed distilleries of Scotland. For the not so lucky, I’m hoping  you can stop drinking the highly marketed Black Label or Glenfiddich and be adventurous enough to try single malts from  smaller and highly reputed distilleries

It is the only distillery left in Scotland in which all whisky production processes are manually carried out- including bottling, The whisky is considered to be the most traditional malt in Scotland. Tours are priced from £6.50 per person
Photo of Springbank, Peterhead, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Holds a special place in the world of whisky. Whiskies from the Islay region are characterized by a typical smoky, “Peaty” finish. Every summer, Islay hosts a weeklong whisky festival, which includes ceilidhs(traditional Scottish storytelling evenings), Celtic music concerts, distillery tours, golf competition, cooking-with-whisky evenings and a sponsored charity “barrel push” across Islay. The festivities culminate in a carnival on Port Ellen Green.
Photo of Islay, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Has a stunning setting beside a west Skye sea loch. Visitors can taste their whiskies in a vaulted barrel room, surrounded by handsome oak containers holding whisky which will sit for decades before it’s enjoyed Tasting notes ” Highly complex & unconventional whisky. Peppery flavour adds to its warming spiciness, it explodes on the palate”
Photo of Talisker Distillery, Carbost, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Considered to be one of the most innovative of Islay distilleries constantly playing with casks, producing some of Islays’s most complex and peaty whiskies
Photo of Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay, United Kingdom by Priti
Situated on the picturesque Lagavulin bay, its unique pear shaped stills make it worth a visit Tasting notes- ” smoky, peaty & highly sophisticated”
Photo of Lagavulin, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Spreading out from the River Spey it is one of the principal whisky producing regions of Scotland and one of the most prettiest places. With the maximum number of distilleries located in this part of Scotland- it’s best to hire a car for the day and make your way through the distilleries, do ensure that you entrust at teetotaler as the designated driver though!
Photo of Speyside Distillers Co Ltd, Duchess Road, Rutherglen, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to open a dedicated visitor center in 1973. Glenfarclas, the `Glen of the Green Grassland’, is situated at the foot of the majestic Ben Rinnes, produces . Glenfarclas Single Malts are highly regarded, full bodied, smooth, full of flavour, and superb as an after-dinner malt.
Photo of Glenfarclas Distillery, Ballindalloch, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
This highly reputed and well regarded distillery is a must visit in Speyside. Try their ‘Spirit Of The Malt Tour’ priced at £30 per person( 2-3 hours duration), which includes a visit to Josie’s Well, a distillery tour, a tutored nosing of 7 different expressions of The Glenlivet and a dram drawn straight from one of their aged casks in their traditional dunnage warehouse
Photo of Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch, United Kingdom by Priti
One of the most recognized distilleries. Its whiskies are sought after by whisky collectors & aficionados around the world. In the last 4 decades, it has acquired the best reputation for quality malt whisky. Macallan distillery recently launched the ‘Six pillars tour’ limited to groups of no more than 10 people to ensure a luxurious, personal experience. A friendly guide will explain the creation of Macallan’s rich spirit in a working still house. Visitors can learn of how their unparalleled investment in the finest casks contributes to the natural colours, aromas and flavours that set The Macallan apart. Visitors then experience a nosing and tasting of four ‘The Macallan whiskies’ The tour last 2 hours and is priced at £15/ person.
Photo of The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Located in the heart of Speyside, this distillery offers relaxed and informal tours of the distillery, it is followed up with a tasting of 6 whiskies from Aberlour. Priced at £15/ person, the tour lasts 2 hours.
Photo of Aberlour Distillery, Aberlour, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
In the heart of Scotland’s rolling hills lies Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in the UK where you can experience the ancient art of coopering. Since 1947, the family owned Speyside Cooperage has produced the finest casks from the best American Oak. Today the cooperage continues to work and produce the age-old product, still using traditional methods and tools. Although shipped across the world, many of the casks remain in Scotland, providing a vital ingredient in Scotland’s whisky making process
Photo of Speyside Cooperage, Aberlour, United Kingdom by Priti
Crafting the taste of Glenmorangie is entrusted to the care of 16 people known as the “Sixteen Men of Tain”–some have names that are fitting to the jobs in the alcohol business, such as warehouseman Jocky Stout. Visitors can learn about the entire distillation process, as well as the selection of the barrels, which come from oak trees in the Ozarks. The barrels are then loaned to the Heaven Hill Bourbon distillery until reclaimed by Glenmorangie. The on-site inn, Glenmorangie House, is also worth a stop. From the outside, it looks like a typical Highlands mansion, but inside the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. Entry-£ 5 per person Tasting notes: ” Smooth malt with a gentle salty note, complemented by fruits and spices”
Photo of Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti
Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland; and clear, crisp spring water and peat are abundant. On the 45-minute tour, you can see the people at work making sure everything in the distillery goes to plan – whisky production is a precise process where small changes of problems can affect the taste of a whole batch. The tour with 3 tastings of their 15 year old, Distiller’s edition and single cask is priced at £12.99 per person
Photo of Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie, Scotland, United Kingdom by Priti