Well, we woke up to a bit of sunshine today, and for the highlands it turned out to have bits of sun throughout the day… Big bonus!!! After a hearty breakfast, we all headed out for a play day in the Speyside valley… And what a day it was!!!
Our first stop was at the Speyside Cooperage… This is where they make new and refurbished oak barrels for the whisky distillers to age their product… Of course, we’re told that 60-70% of the flavour of the whisky is because of the barrel… Funny, there were no distillers present to argue! Boy do these coopers (barrel makers) work hard… They are on piece work and will finish 15-20 or more barrels per day depending on how fast they produce… It’s quite a remarkable process! Hand hewn and sealed with reeds!
It was 11:30, and time for our first distillery tour of the day…. I was driving, so my taster went to Dan… Don’t worry, at the end of the day he treated me to a dram of 24 yr old Glenfarclas! Oh, oh, I just gave away our first tour!!!
We saw where the malt barley is delivered, where it is milled, where they create the mash, where they “tun” ( add yeast to the sugary water and perform the first conversion to alcohol) and then the distillation room… Interestingly, we were allowed to take pictures anywhere on this tour… Unlike Glenlivet yesterday…
The above pic shows the dunage warehouses where they store the casks for 10-25+ years… After sampling their 10 year old (Suzanne’s first full dram!) we voted this to be a delightful whisky!
We spent a little time looking at some very historic Picish stone runes and just enjoying the Spey valley…
On to Cragganmore, where we went into the visitors centre and bought a small token of their wares…. Then back to the B and B to park the car and walk over to Glenfiddich…
Unfortunately we were too late for the tour ( or maybe not… I think I have learned enough from the last distilleries to have a dyi experiment!!!). Well, there was nothing else to do but to walk into Dufftown and go to the bar and sample some lovely amber nectar!! This small hotel bar that we walked into had 250 different types of whisky… Needless to say, we had a bit of choice! Both Ian and I sampled the choice delights while Dan and Suzanne stuck to beer and wine accordingly!
Onto to dinner, where Dan and I had the Speyside platter… A wonderful choice of smoked salmon, herring, pate, smoked venison and salads… Delightful!
Just a quick update on Lisa and Alan… Lisa has made it home today safe and sound, and will be sleeping in her own bed tonight for the first time in 6 weeks!!! And Alan is on day 2 of his journey back, completing a successful day after getting lost once ( note, Camino signage is pretty good, but it is all positioned for viewing from the other direction… This will be much harder to try to backtrack!). Dan and I send lots of love to you both!
Well, chilling in our lounge tonight is pretty nice! Looking forward to tomorrow where we drive on to Elgin, with a quick stop at the Speyside Queen… Macallan!!! Yeah!!! I’m not driving tomorrow!!!
Goodnight to all! Speak to you again tomorrow!