Whiskybase
Badge

Whisky talk

Everything about whiskies

Whisky Trail 2018

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 17-05-2018 at 12:44 pm

On my way out the door, heading for the airport, outbound to Speyside for this years whisky trail.

Some interesting events pre-booked.

Looking forward to almost a week lurking around the region with some Highland visits on the way back.

An update about what experiences we find worthwhile or not will probably pop up here when I get home.


Cheers to all happy


Dyno
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 22-05-2018 at 13:26 pm

enjoy the trip!

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 04:20 am

Thought I could give a travelers report accompanied by some bits and bytes from my memory card.

Maybe an inspiration to others happy


Landed in Edinborough around 16:00 on Thursday, picked up a car and around 3 hours later arrived in Dufftown.

A bit late to go shopping for whisky at most places, but what do you know; a nice selection of G&M from £30 at the local CO-OP. Enough to get the party started wink


Friday, pre-booked the "Casks from the past" at Aberlour at 11:30.

Took us 15 minutes in the local (rather rickety) bus and a 5 minutes walk to get there.

Very nice tasting of 4 very limited bottlings.

Miltonduff 19YO, Glenburgie 17YO, Aberlour 11YO and Aberlour 21YO.

post_1

The 21YO was a very limited vendor sample used to showcase what goes into the Royal Salute 21.

I didn't agree on the statement that the "sum" of a blend is better than each of it's components.

Sad to think something as tasty as this (I will rate it 90++) ends up as dull as the Salute (which I have stretched to 75p)

The tasting was done blind. Quite an interesting twist to a distillery event.

Also nice that we got to keep the full set of glasses. (clever way to avoid the dish'ing?)

After another 15 minutes shake-up we spent a good 3 hours in the shop across our apartment.

Not whisky, but very Scottish indeed. My nephew wanted a kilt and insisted on buying me one too.

Nothing should be done by half measures, so we ended up in full garments both of us...

post_002

We got full approval from Flat Eric which had stayed behind to secure the fortress.

post_001

David the shop owner was all smiles.

The woman that runs the Seven Stills pub knew him, and said he probably would take the rest of the month off after our visit.


Saturday... nothing booked, just sight-seeing, drive around and see how much we could cover.

Started out at Glenfiddich.


post_2

Up the hill and had a look at Balvennie Castle, picked up some miniatures and souvernirs at the small shop there.

post_3

A short photo stop at Craigellachie. Production at full steam.

post_4

Was told the Cooperage was well worth a visit, but the gates were closed, only open Mon-Fri.

So we ventured further north, turning in at Glen Grant.

Browsing the shop and having a look around where access was allowed.

post_5

Bumped into a tour group outside the coffee shop and we looked so authentic that they asked to take some pictures with us.

Turned out they were Norwegians too, actually the initiators of one of the largest whisky festivals in Norway. And we were promissed free entry at the festival this autumn if we came dressed as we were happy


To be continued.........

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 04:51 am

Further on we touched ground at BenRiach. Not much happening as they were closed for the weekend.

post_6

Reaching Elgin we decided to seek out Glen Morey which is within the city.

They were open for business so I picked up some knick-knack and a 20cl bottle of the 2018 Speyside Festival Malt.

post_7

Had to have a foot in the door at Gordon & Macphail.

A good selection, but not especially favourable prices. So I walked out with an assortment of miniatures.

post_8

After an Italian lunch karloff called me, he had driven up from Sunderland to meet us.

So we headed back to Dufftown and picked him up before we went back up to the coast and spent the evening hours at the beach side in Lossiemouth.

As a driver I only got to nose karloff's bottle of 61,3% "As we get it - Islay", but I got my dram when we came "home".

post_9

On the way back we took a short 1 mile detour to have a look at the new Macallan amusement park. Not sure if it is all finished yet as the access road and large parts of the area was closed off.

post_10


More to follow..........

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 05:31 am

Sunday... leasurly taking the slow train to Keith.

The old railway that used to haul whisky from Dufftown up to the coast, now operated and kept running by a group of volounteer enthusiasts.

post_11

A scenic route up the Spey valley with a few distilleries in line of sight.

Balvennie is right across the tracks of Dufftown station.

post_12

Around the first bend is silent Parkmore.

The site is protected as it is considered of historic importance, but the warehouses are used to store Macallan.

post_13

And right next to the tracks just before Keith station is Strathmill.

post_15

However our main target was Strathila where I had booked a basic tour.

They have restructured their whole visitor "experience" and managed to make it so that nothing but the 4 times a day basic tour can be matched up with the train scedule.

post_14

Not knowing if karloff would make it I had only booked for three, the tour was full and they were strict with numbers. But he had done it some time earlier, so he passed the waiting time by lurking around Strathmill.

The basic tour was as expected... basic. And full of "first distillery visit" Americans.

The tasting was rather basic as well, but what can you expect for £7 ?

We got the 12YO single malt, a 12YO grain from Strathclyde, Chivas Extra and Chivas 18YO.

And of course when asked which we liked best, all the Americans voted for the 18YO.

So obviously, in the novice market an age statement trumps the taste buds. I would have loved to see the outcome if the same people had done this as a blind taste. The Strathisla 12YO is basic, but it's quite quaffable.


Stay tuned.........

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 06:13 am

After a just as leasurly return to Dufftown karloff had to start his journey back south.

Thanks to Claire and Vincent for letting us enjoy his company.

Reckoning the small samples from Strathila had worn off in the hours passed, we decided to go gate crashing and photo shooting around the "neighbourhood".

Just down the road was Mortlach.

post_16

A little further in the other direction we found Glenallachie.

post_17

Venturing further south we came upon Dailuaine.

Not making much difference finding them on a Sunday according to the sign.

post_18

Not much more accomodating at Dalmunach.

They had special tours during the festival though, and it's an impressive site.

post_19

Cardu looked very tidy and had a large visitor parking lot.

Too late for their opening hours, but there are no gates as the small community road goes through the distillery.

post_20

Even later on the way back, and not surprisingly just as closed; Glenfarclas.

post_21

Closing in on Dufftown we passed through Aberlour village again and had a stop at The Mash Tun.

post_22

They had a cabinet full of Glenfarclas Family Cask, every year from 1952 to 2002.

The 1952 was the most expencive sip I've ever seen on a bar menu, £1500 for 35ml.

Must have been a few idiots there during the festival, cause the bottle was less than half full.

Considered buying my nephew a "year of birth" dram, but he was 1 year too old.

The 1977 was £54 for a dram, which I could have caughed up as a novelty treat, but the 1976 was £438.

I'm not crazy, he ended up with a glass of Dailuaine 16YO F&F wink


Still more to come.........

  Edited on 23-05-2018 at 07:25 am
peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 07:15 am

Monday, checking out of the apartment and starting our way back home.

But we had a scheduled stop in Pitlochry.

Thought we had time for the long way round so we drove by Glenlivet.

post_23

No time for a tour, but we browsed the shop and the displays.

Very fancy looking visitor center, but a rather poor selection of whisky.


Passed Tomintoul on the way and ended up on the Highland Tourist route across Cairngorm national park. Quite some nature, but a long winding one lane road for mile upon mile.

Think it took us at least one hour more than if we had gone straight on the A95.

But we reached our destination with time to spare.

So we had a look at Edradour.

post_24

Lovely place.

And what a selection in the shop.

Signatory have their bottling plant next to the car park across the road, and they must have had every Signatory bottling from the past two years neatly lined up on the shelves.

Fairly good prices as well.


Time was up and we headed for Blair Athol for our last booking, the Allt Dour tasting.

post_25

A short guided tour around the distillery before the tasting.

Looking at the heard of 28 people taking off for the basic tour while we were waiting gave our tasting group of 5 an even more exclusive feeling.

A knowledgable, calm, collected and quite funny employee by the name of Ian guided us.

It's the first distillery I've been to that takes their mash water from the open stream running through the site, named Allt Dour.

Settled in the Allt Dour tasting room we were served very generous measures of:

Blair Athol 12YO F&F, Blair Athol Distillery Exclusive @ 48%, Singleton of Dufftown 15YO, Dailuaine 16YO F&F, Blair Athol 1986 32YO bourbon cask and 1993 25YO sherry cask.

Both single casks were drawn straight from the casks placed in the room.

And you know a cask is about to run empty when the whisky gets chewy happy

post_26

The sherry cask was considered the best they had ever produced.

Ian's most favourite of all time, and aclaimed by several whisky notabilities.

Measured to be 62% ABV, tasting like it was 48.

All in all, not just most bang but most quality and fun for the price I've ever had at a distillery.

Good selection in the shop. Most F&F bottlings and a large selection of more exclusives.

Ronny managed to walk away with the last bottle of Collectivum XXVIII, a malt blend from all 28 Diageo distilleries. It was their last bottle, sitting in a locked glass cabinet and reserved by the distillery master.

As Ian said; hope he won't be too mad, after all, money in the till is better than a promiss.


The last night was spent at Athol Palace, a hillside castle built as a healt resort in the late 1800's

post_27

And when in Rome... a three course dinner and an hour in their spa was a suitable follow up to a superior tasting.


Tuesday morning, 1,5 hour drive to the airport, drop of the rental, grab an Octomore 08.2 passing through the duty free and reach the gate as it opens for bording.

Perfect timing and sunshine all the way through happy

Slàinte Mhath
Administrator Administrator
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 09:26 am
Thanks for sharing your travel report, this was a very interesting and entertaining read!

-Slainte
“There is no such thing as bad whisky. Some whiskies just happen to be better than others.” (W. Faulkner)
Dyno
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 13:47 pm

great report and great photos! 


looks like you both had a great time! and now also a full scottish costume happy

karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 15:36 pm

Can't believe you swerved Tormore Distillery for Glenlivet Peat . You missed a treat,  a beautiful looking distillery. Probably my favourite. 

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 21:44 pm
karloff wrote:

Can't believe you swerved Tormore Distillery for Glenlivet Peat . You missed a treat,  a beautiful looking distillery. Probably my favourite. 


I know... it's right on the side of the road, we passed it on our way up on Thursday, and you mentioned it's beauty as well.

But we went south out of Dufftown, and getting down to Glenlivet it felt kind of wrong to turn north again not knowing how long it would take to get us down to Pitlochry.

I could blame the map reader... but he was of great assistance at other times wink

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 23-05-2018 at 23:48 pm

A good time had by all

Nice one pb you suit a kilt


karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 21-08-2018 at 23:29 pm

Driving up to Mull early Saturday morning me and a mate, got a tour booked at Tobermory for around 3. Booked a hotel on the island so a good night out on the town. Oban distillery the next day then a long drive to Aberfeldy. Monday Glenturret and Tullibardine, might fit another one in I don't know. Tuesday heading home, might pop into Glenkinchie on the way. Tobermory and Oban are for definite, the rest MIGHT change. It has been known to happen. 

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 22-08-2018 at 03:18 am
karloff wrote:

Driving up to Mull early Saturday morning me and a mate, got a tour booked at Tobermory for around 3. Booked a hotel on the island so a good night out on the town. Oban distillery the next day then a long drive to Aberfeldy. Monday Glenturret and Tullibardine, might fit another one in I don't know. Tuesday heading home, might pop into Glenkinchie on the way. Tobermory and Oban are for definite, the rest MIGHT change. It has been known to happen. 


Enjoy the trip! Wherever you wind up going happy


Planing an additional trip myself, maybe second weekend of September.

Mackmyra on the east coast of Sweden.

About an 8 hour drive, so we'll leave on Friday, do the distillery on Saturday.

And stop here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkQIs1zz94o for a photo shoot on the way back home on Sunday.

Slàinte Mhath
Administrator Administrator
Posted on 22-08-2018 at 06:49 am

Planing an additional trip myself, maybe second weekend of September.

Mackmyra on the east coast of Sweden.


Good choice, I've been there in February. If you are interested, you could even buy your own cask and have a 'fill your on cask experience' at Mackmyra. Not sure if I'd dare to cross the Norwegian border with an entire cask, though wink

-Slainte
“There is no such thing as bad whisky. Some whiskies just happen to be better than others.” (W. Faulkner)
karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 22-08-2018 at 10:04 am
karloff wrote:

Driving up to Mull early Saturday morning me and a mate, got a tour booked at Tobermory for around 3. Booked a hotel on the island so a good night out on the town. Oban distillery the next day then a long drive to Aberfeldy. Monday Glenturret and Tullibardine, might fit another one in I don't know. Tuesday heading home, might pop into Glenkinchie on the way. Tobermory and Oban are for definite, the rest MIGHT change. It has been known to happen. 


Enjoy the trip! Wherever you wind up going happy


Planing an additional trip myself, maybe second weekend of September.

Mackmyra on the east coast of Sweden.

About an 8 hour drive, so we'll leave on Friday, do the distillery on Saturday.

And stop here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkQIs1zz94o for a photo shoot on the way back home on Sunday.


Thanks P the same goes to you mate. Love Mackmyra whisky for what I've tried so far. Watching that video link it looks like a Pickers paradise. Don't know if you have seen American Pickers with Mick and Frank? Love that show. Consider myself as a bit of a picker, more of a whisky picker  happy 

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 22-08-2018 at 19:21 pm
If you are interested, you could even buy your own cask and have a 'fill your on cask experience' at Mackmyra. Not sure if I'd dare to cross the Norwegian border with an entire cask, though wink
-Slainte

I've seen those casks, small 20-25 liter.

We'll get two, stack them up-right end to end, and replace them for a table stand. A total match to the light oak interrior in the camper van happy

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 09:42 am

After going to Scotland last year somehow by sheer fate I have managed to get a week there from Saturday, as booked so late the only quality was in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK for price.

Anyway staying near Kinross for a week, hopefully get over to Loch Lomond and take in Glengoyne on the way and visit Tullibardine and perhaps one more. Looking forward to visiting Edinburgh the only drawback the weather forecast is not great but had 12 days of on/off rain last year and still had a great time. happy

blackjacob
Member Senior Senior Member
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 13:08 pm

After going to Scotland last year somehow by sheer fate I have managed to get a week there from Saturday, as booked so late the only quality was in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK for price.

Anyway staying near Kinross for a week, hopefully get over to Loch Lomond and take in Glengoyne on the way and visit Tullibardine and perhaps one more. Looking forward to visiting Edinburgh the only drawback the weather forecast is not great but had 12 days of on/off rain last year and still had a great time. happy


If your in Kinross you could mabye have a look in past Daftmill. Its not too far away.  They dont do tours but ive heard they let folks in for a visit from time to time.

Matthew Runcie
peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 15:46 pm

After going to Scotland last year somehow by sheer fate I have managed to get a week there from Saturday, as booked so late the only quality was in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK for price.

Anyway staying near Kinross for a week, hopefully get over to Loch Lomond and take in Glengoyne on the way and visit Tullibardine and perhaps one more. Looking forward to visiting Edinburgh the only drawback the weather forecast is not great but had 12 days of on/off rain last year and still had a great time. happy


Have you managed to be granted access to Loch Lomond?

They don't do official tours, which is a pitty, as it would be interesting to see their Coffey stills and column grain stills. And I have friends that has got polite rejections on requests.

Been at the gate, and it's not worth spending more than 2 calories to go out of your way to see it.

From outside the 4 meter high fence it's just a giant eyesore. I've seen better looking waste disposal incinerator plants. The 1970's idea of functional industry architecture like Caol Ila is a beauty in comparison.

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 16:07 pm

Considering adding Box to the trip.

3 hour drive north along the coast from Mackmyra.

An old beautiful looking rural factory building.

Used to produce card board, hence the name of the distillery.

Wintertime it looks like Santa's workshop happy

I've only tried the Dálvve Batch-2, and it's OK for a young distillery core range.

And while SWA is fighting transperancy the Swedes have a rather different pedantic approach.

Just look at this: http://boxwhisky.se/en/box-px/

Only thing left to ask is... who's switching the lights on in the morning wink

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 16:16 pm

After going to Scotland last year somehow by sheer fate I have managed to get a week there from Saturday, as booked so late the only quality was in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK for price.

Anyway staying near Kinross for a week, hopefully get over to Loch Lomond and take in Glengoyne on the way and visit Tullibardine and perhaps one more. Looking forward to visiting Edinburgh the only drawback the weather forecast is not great but had 12 days of on/off rain last year and still had a great time. happy


If your in Kinross you could mabye have a look in past Daftmill. Its not too far away.  They dont do tours but ive heard they let folks in for a visit from time to time.


Yes, that is on my agenda if possible, thanks for the heads up happy

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 16:18 pm

After going to Scotland last year somehow by sheer fate I have managed to get a week there from Saturday, as booked so late the only quality was in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK for price.

Anyway staying near Kinross for a week, hopefully get over to Loch Lomond and take in Glengoyne on the way and visit Tullibardine and perhaps one more. Looking forward to visiting Edinburgh the only drawback the weather forecast is not great but had 12 days of on/off rain last year and still had a great time. happy


Have you managed to be granted access to Loch Lomond?

They don't do official tours, which is a pitty, as it would be interesting to see their Coffey stills and column grain stills. And I have friends that has got polite rejections on requests.

Been at the gate, and it's not worth spending more than 2 calories to go out of your way to see it.

From outside the 4 meter high fence it's just a giant eyesore. I've seen better looking waste disposal incinerator plants. The 1970's idea of functional industry architecture like Caol Ila is a beauty in comparison.


Well the a picnic by the lock itself would be great, if the weather holds out, sounds like a pass for the distillery but thanks for the heads up PB

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 17:27 pm
Well the a picnic by the lock itself would be great, if the weather holds out, sounds like a pass for the distillery but thanks for the heads up PB

True, the area itself is beautiful. In good weather I would not break up from a nice beach side picnic to just see the distillery. But perhaps you're like me, got to have been there, seen it, ticked it off the list. Unless you find some satisfaction in that and are already depressed by piss pouring rain, the sight may tip you over to full suicidal wink

karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 23-08-2018 at 18:14 pm

I still have a classic malts passport from 2010. It's a hard back version and I am determined to fill it, stamped and signed. This old version doesn't include Blair Athol but they kindly stamped it and signed it on a blank page. Still need to visit Clynelish, Glen Elgin, Glen Ord, Knockando and Royal Lochnagar. Unfortunately Glen Elgin and Knockando are not open to visitors so to complete the book I will have to bang on the door and ask them kindly or beg or threaten. 

  Edited on 23-08-2018 at 18:42 pm
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
You need to join this group before you can add a reply

Whiskybase

Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  




Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2018


Forgot your password?

Login