Balblair Rolls Out the Years

I like anniversaries. I like them still more when someone else arranges the party for you.

Just this very circumstance occurred last week as a result of browsing Twitter (follow me @WhiskyOdyssey for my summer whisky and distillery hunt). Balblair, it turned out, would be releasing two new vintages to supplement their excellent range on Tuesday July 10th and would anyone like to volunteer to taste them live on Twitter? Would anyone like a million pounds may as well have been the query.

My affair with Balblair began with their 1997 vintage way back in 2009 but has since blossomed into a long-term relationship via the Bloggers Press Trip of 2010, a week’s work experience there last summer, and a further visit to Edderton in November 2011 for the official Brand Home opening. The Twitter tasting would coincide exactly with my six days strolling about the distillery, smelling washbacks and lounging by the spirit safe a year ago. It turned out to be a glorious reacquaintance.

Balblair one year ago. One beautiful distillery on one beautiful day.

Lucas D sent a couple of sample bottles my way, one marked ‘A’ and the other ‘B’. The identities of the two liquids would be revealed during the tasting. Deeply excited, and keen to commence with the detective work (although slightly apprehensive that my knowledge of the Balblair spirit would prove less dependable than I had thought), I poured away.

Balblair 2002 (sample A) 46% £TBC

Colour – very pale gold. Lemon pith.

Nose – medium to full with an immediate confectioner’s aroma: vanilla rock candy. Next comes trademark green fruit with real waxy/leathery textures: all pulped green apple and hot lime. Very creamy with icing sugar and chewy banana sweets. Lively and engaging with a dash of mint, dusty malt bins and orange and coconut cake. Quintessential Balblair for me.

Adding water turned up the volume on the pear with extra sweet grassiness. Fresh and lively, with a spirit so boisterous it almost fizzes. Apple, orange and honeycomb. Hard toffee. Lovely balance and juicy weight. Sweet leather and buttery vanilla biscuit.

Palate – smooth but with a core of firmness. Lots of cerealy/biscuity malt on swallowing with sweet dryish oak and vanilla toffee.

With water the spicy character of Balblair really shines: coriander and cumin with lemon. Some rich ginger biscuit. Tongue-tingling and firm. A lovely performer.

Finish – the sweet citrus ramps up and fills the mouth. Excellent poise and development, although the light malt/American oak interchange is fairly conventional. Green apple slides in at the end, though.

With water it’s an explosion of lush juices: peach, pineapple. Lime zest, too, overcomes a threat from dryish cereal. Clean and sweet.


Balblair 1975 46% £TBC

Colour – full yellow gold with honey in the depths.

Nose – soft and deep at first with a richness that only just tiptoes over the line from rounded sweetness. Fat barley malt with a crystallised orange peel husk. The spirit and the oak are in a cool stand off, with papaya and physalis in the gap. Like walking into a room in which birthday candles have been snuffed out a few minutes before. Creamy with autumnal spice. Tight charring – ex-Bourbon for sure. Black liquorice and old magazines.

Adding water pulls out more of that ethereal mossy smoke which was birthday candles before. I have an Auchentoshan Three Wood pack which includes little pots of cask shavings and the aroma is of ex-Bourbon fragments at first, but with some of the raisiny sweetness of the PX shavings. Wax candles and vanilla. Essential oils of orange and lavendar. Becomes a little peppery but always dark and waxy.

Palate – rich, smoky oak, some jellied orange and pink grapefruit before earthy, dark barley and crushed dusky flowers appear.

With water oak is prominant with some of the dried fruit/incence character from the nose. However, the fruits interplay more freely with orange and baked apple. Soft smoke at the back this time, but extra waxiness.

Finish – clearly old, 25 years plus, this is all brooding darkness and mystery. Some moccha notes and sweet barbecue flavours. Very dense.

With water it remains extraordinarily deep, but tropical fruits come out together with vanilla pod and a cypress/cigar aromatic hint.

The Struie Hills: there were hints of these bleak, misty conditions with the 1975.

When tasting these, I was struck by the youthfulness but also coordination of ‘A’. While not as creamy as the 1997, its full juiciness with none of the sharpness of the 2000 made me think of something between 12 and 14 years of age. When Lucas revealed this was a 2002 whisky, I was stunned, but bowled over by such a fresh and fun whisky.

The ‘B’ sample growled with age and the unflinching darkness and softness of the oak put me in mind of something older than 30 years. Ultimately, I hedged my bets and thought it might be an early ’80s bottling to replace the 1978 with which it shared some of the brooding intensity and delicate, mysterious richness. To hear 1975 didn’t surprise me, nor did the news that the release was comprised of six ex-Bourbon hogsheads. The charred notes and gentle smoke, together with dustings of dried fruit, suggested prime old hoggies. In the end, though, the spirit was a touch too aloof and lacked the articulacy of the outstanding ’78. Whilst an exciting, thought-provoking malt, I couldn’t resist the exuberance of the 2002, and I doubt I will be able to when it finally arrives on the shelves of spirits stores throughout the land.

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A Mighty Bonny Balblair

If I can put a positive spin on the well-documented delay and the yearning of those connected with Balblair for a facility in which to welcome visitors, it is that a couple of decades were necessary to allow cask no. 2990 to realise its full potential before making it exclusively available to Balblair pilgrims.

In November, I was one such pilgrim to the dinky, delightful distillery on the Wick-Inverness railway line and I discovered said ex-Bourbon hogshead in the new brand home, pride of place. After the blockage in the valve had been cleared, the not so orderly queue of whisky bloggers and journalists could set about disgorging its contents with gay abandon. I defy anyone to hand-fill their own bottle of 19yo single cask Highland whisky with a scowl on their face.

Bottle number 10 bore my signature and joined the phalanx of other dumpy bottles on the bench beside the cask – like puppies plucked from their mother and placed close by. My pedigree pup arrived on my doorstep having received its kennel cough injections (a duty stamp) just before Christmas and I finally got around to opening it as a toast for completing semester 1 of year 2 at university. Here are my (extensive) tasting notes for this gorgeous specimen.

The Balblair distillery-exclusive.

Balblair 1992 DISTILLERY-EXCLUSIVE SINGLE CASK, 60.9% abv., #2990

Colour – Clean, fresh gold.

Nose – Firm, sharp and gristy with nose above the glass. Thin pale oak lends a daffodil-like floral edge. Cumin, turmeric and a touch of runny peach. Closer to, I get butteriness, seeds and perfume all at the same time. Lemon and lime marmalade. An intriguing note of creme anglaise. The power starts to build: pure pear drops and apple peel. Tropical fruit bon-bons: pineapple and papaya. The lemon and malt are rapier-like. There is quite a masculine scent, like aftershave. With a bit of air and time, there is a flash of coastal aromas then hay and ripe pear, with rich and swet biscuit.

      Water ratchets up the sweetness that little bit more: jellied apple and pear with lime drizzle cake. Biscuity again. The body of the whisky is so Balblair: firm and crisp simultaneously. Almond and yoghurt-coated pinenut. It becomes exceedingly creamy. A hint of banana also confirms its heritage. Intensely fresh with a repeat of that aftershave note. With more time it becomes a true delight: pineapple, toffee tablet and liquorice.

Palate – Full with more of the buttery, toffeed oak. Then there is an astonishing surge of citrussy sweet fruits: apple, passion fruit, pineapple and then more ex-Bourbon cask notes of biscuit and vanilla.

      Water places the sweet malt to the fore, with the fruits surging round and over. Impressions of the mash tun: chunky and aromatic. Vanilla and ‘golden’ cask flavours and these come to direct the occasion. Plenty of guts.

Finish – Fixing, with a building spongecake maltiness and spoonfuls of mascarpone and vanilla cream. Tropical fruits again. Sugar crystals melt on the tongue. Very late spice adds superb balance: the turmeric from the nose.

Water accents the spongecake quality further although there is added complex richness. Lemon mousse, shortbread biscuit maltiness. More of the cask, as on the reduced palate, with creamy sweetness and flecks of toasted spice.

So…?      I adore the breadth of this malt, which if anything has a larger scope than the impeccable 1990 I had at the distillery. This holds the fruit and firm spiciness in balance with the rich creaminess of the oak magnificently. That being said, I had the impression when nosing and tasting it that water might unleash the promising tension of the unreduced spirit. I anticipated still softer fruits and an added richness. It didn’t quite happen. The nose came on a fraction but the Balblair body would not yield and the oak, as good a job as it has done, nudged its way into the picture more than I would have wanted. On the other hand, it is in no way the oak massacre that ensues when water is added to my 1995 Aberlour single cask. When savouring this whisky, it succeeds in exciting me, making me revel in the power of a personable malt. I see again that strking distillery and I allow the spirit to lead me into its obscure, fragrant corners.

The extreme indigenousness of this whisky means that it works in reverse to most other malts. Rather than coming across it and being duly inspired to visit Edderton, Ross-shire, this 1992 expression constitutes your reward for having made the journey. The glorious quality of this whisky, however, means that you will be certain to return.

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‘Balblair (vc)’ – Excellent

My malt whisky literature shelf normally expands by at least one volume at this time of year. One would have thought that, between Dave Broom’s peerless World Atlas of Whisky, two editions of the Malt Whisky Companion and a number of other hardbacks salvaged from second-hand bookshops, together with my subscription to Whisky Magazine and the raft of blogs I endeavour to keep up with, any more published works on the subject would be plain extravagance. When it comes to Invar Ronde’s Malt Whisky Yearbook, however, the title of Dedicated Whisky Geek starts to look a little fragile without the latest edition.

As a compendium of every significant development at each of Scotland’s – and indeed most of the world’s – malt whisky distilling sites, it is unparalleled. If there has been a new washback installed, a still neck replaced, or a new bottling released, it will tell you. I flicked to page 90 and Balblair’s entry, mindful of their single-man, automated production regime introduced this summer and the imminent release of a new core range vintage. What I saw in the green sidebar, however, cheered my distillery-touring heart. ‘Status: active (vc)’.

‘At last!’ laughed John MacDonald, Balblair Distillery manager, when I described this moment to him last week. ‘How long have I been going about a visitor centre?’

The unassuming entrance to the new Brand Home.

Earlier, when he had welcomed a cohort of bloggers and drinks journalists, by that point sated by bacon rolls, to the distillery, he had been more circumspect. ‘It’s quite a significant day [for Balblair] and one that I have been looking forward to for a number of years now.’ Balblair, at last, has a dedicated facility to welcome those eager to discover this distinctive Highland malt, and it is my belief, having spent some time at the Brand Home house-warming, that Serge Valentin’s fears were groundless. He praises Balblair as ‘a wonderful little distillery’ with the semi caveat ’where no ugly visitor centre was built (please don’t!)’ in a profile piece written in 2007. It is now 2011, it is still a wonderful little distillery, and you would have no idea that a visitor centre even existed!

The 'snug', single cask and shop.

As I talked about in a post earlier in the year, the investment and the time had been promised to convert the former floor maltings into a space to accommodate, educate and entertain visitors. The finished product is discreet, smart, and entirely in keeping with the functional, unusual nature of the distillery to which it is attached. Divided into two rooms, you will find the shop, toilets, the bottle-your-own single cask and some indecently comfortable chairs immediately through the little red door, and the larger area for tastings and displays in the floor maltings proper.

Andy Hannah, Balblair brand manager, talked about Balblair’s new front room as the ultimate destination for those with ‘a genuine interest’. He said: ‘we’re not about bussing in hundreds and hundreds of people – that will never happen’. An intimate mode of making whisky has been transferred to their approach for educating people about the brand. ‘The physical experience of Balblair is really really key.’ I crowed with joy – inwardly – to hear that. A visitor centre or brand home is not about trading in marked-up tartan, baseball caps or fudge. Rather, it represents both the genesis of a brand identity which must - like the whisky - result from the equipment, personnel and location, and its apotheosis when individuals insist on making the journey to discover where and how those flavours and philosophies originated.

The bottle-your-own from 1992.

Visitors will indeed be richly rewarded. Though not yet confirmed, the tour structure is expected to follow that of Old Pulteney with a standard tour, a further package with the option to taste additional expressions and a deluxe, in-depth manager’s tour when John MacDonald can be yours for the afternoon. John’s knowledge and passion are quite extraordinary, as his weeks of late-night painting sessions leading up to the Brand Home launch testify. Having taken you round the plant, the whiskies he will put in front of you are of the highest calibre, too, and it was on that subject that we were all principally invited.

In conjunction with the Brand Home, Inver House have released the successor to the 2000 vintage. However, there is a more significant departure in the 2001 vintage bottle than the additional year on the label would perhaps suggest. In a move Andy Hannah described as ‘bold’, and in keeping with their radical decision to launch a core range of vintage expressions in 2007, the entry level Balblair joins its older brothers in being natural colour, non-chillfiltered and 46% abv. ‘We think it’s the right time,’ said Mr Hannah, ‘really re-affirming our boutique brand credentials.’ Some small but telling packaging alterations have also been made.

The trendy, atmospheric 'tasting pod'.

We bloggers and journos, sat in the glass, wood and leather luxury of the ‘tasting pod’ as I call it, were fortunate enough to evaluate an undiluted sample, and experience what John described as ‘a taste odyssey’. On the nose my first response was ‘guinea pig hutch’, developing light creaminess, pale oak, buttery toffee and heather honey. The palate exploded with barley sugar, lime and mango. As an introduction to the new spirit, the multimedia system was powered up and we absorbed the ‘sights and sounds’ of 2001 projected onto the pod’s glass panels, making for a very striking and engaging effect. As we went from Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, starring a very junior-looking Daniel Radcliffe, to the election of George ‘Dubbya’ Bush, a little bit of Destiny’s Child teased our ears. This was indeed a ‘Bootylicious’ Balblair. I’m not sure about the extent to which it gave off the impression of the War on Terror, but that’s probably a good thing.

With the 2001 launch discussed and enjoyed, the Balblair representatives of John, Andy, Karen Walker, Derek Sinclair, Malcolm Leask and Lucas Dynowiak could decompress, a job well done, and savour the superb three course lunch. I must give a personal mention to Mike and the team from Good Highland Food who put a trio of delicious plates in front of us. A cold smoked trout and hot smoked salmon terrine preceeded an eye-poppingly superb fillet of Caithness beef, rounded off with a Balblair-infused chocolate torte which was very probably sinful.

It was nothing short of a joy to be back at Balblair in the first instance, but also to see the confident new direction the brand is taking both with their juice, and with their accessibility to the public. There is more than one distillery on the Dornoch Firth worth visiting, don’t you know. I urge you to make the trip – Balblair will make it worth your while.

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A Visitor Centre Timed to Perfection

Welcome to Balblair. Come in...

Welcome to Balblair. Come in...

There have never been more people positively inclined to pop into a Scotch whisky distillery. Interestingly and encouragingly, these people are perfectly normal and in many instances find themselves on distillery doorsteps throughout Scotland courtesy of straightforward mercurial curiosity as opposed to the single-minded manic obsession of the likes of Alfred Barnard and yours truly. Today, stillrooms and bonded warehouses constitute a viable attraction for holiday-makers in Scotland with just as much sight-seeing merit as medieval castles or the mountain scenery.

Balblair distillery, Ross-shire, is the latest Scotch whisky site exploring the possibility of taking in not just malt and yeast but tourists, too. During my week in Edderton recently, manager John MacDonald talked me through his hopes for the former maltings and the developed concepts suggest that Balblair is set to please whisky anoraks and newbies alike. The shop and cask display are standard commercial and aesthetic features, and the single cask bottle-your-own facility is certain to be popular.

The interior of the Balblair ex-floor maltings as they are now.

The interior of the Balblair ex-floor maltings as they are now.

However, if there was one facet of the visitor experience most of the centres I dropped in on last year were enthusiastically experimenting with it was multi-media. Be it the really rather good brand films of Glenfiddich and Highland Park which whetted the visitor’s appetite ahead of the tour, or the virtual grouse ‘flight simulator’ at Glenturret which comprised the irreverent conclusion of it, marketing had prescribed lots of moving pictures to hypnotise the paying public. The plan is for Balblair’s AV garnish to be a little more subtle: a glass-panelled oblong between the central pillars will accommodate tastings and corporate meetings while chronologically-relevant images which contextualise the Balblair vintages are projected onto the walls.

With space at a premium, the completed visitor centre is sure to be a snug and intimate venue in which to browse and buy. Of course, the tourist will discover a theme emerging as they are guided through the petite, contained distillery. It is fairly ironic that although Balblair was not constructed in an era which had the needs of prospective visitors in mind, it is a perfect site in which to demonstrate the manufacture of whisky and simultaneously impress the intrinsic personality of single malts.

A 2011 report by 4-consulting showed that 1.3 million people wandered into Scotland’s whisky distilleries last year and for all that 49 of those visits were conducted by a sweaty teen on a bike that is still a significant number. Diageo has reported nearly 20% more traffic coming through the doors of their twelve visitor centres in the last two years and has renovated the Discovering Distilleries website in addition to beefing up the inventory of tour specifications. A steady 6,000 souls a year sample the delightful hospitality at Glen Garioch which prompted a £40,000 refurbishment of their visitor centre earlier this year. Distillers increasingly recognise the exponential returns possible by allying their liquid with bespoke, high-end visitor facitilites in which the experience of purchasing whiskies can be rendered more educational, entertaining and personal, and they are making the necessary investments. Little wonder, is it, when the SWA drops a figure that dwarfs the initial outlay: in 2010 Scotch whisky visitor centres pulled in £30.4 million.

Inver House have picked an extremely healthy moment for the industry in which to roll out the red carpet at Balblair. Across Scotland there are plenty of tourists to go round themselves and the 52 other visitor centres, and such is the nature of single malt whisky that they boast the unique history and distinctive flavours to lure them in on their own merit, too.

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My Balblair Playground

BalblairI would be very surprised if there weren’t further instalments of my five days spent a-roaming about the congeries of Balblair distillery, and undoubtedly my time there will inform all subsequent musings and interpretations on the Scotch whisky industry. However, let this post suffice to lend a flavour of my experiences ‘working’ in a real live distillery while I attempt to compartmentalise the numerous profound insights I was generously granted by the remarkable group of people who make Balblair single malt. They certainly made the experience for me.

242. 242 days had passed since I had last shimmied into a distillery. 242 days since I had inhaled the aromas of wort and wash. 242 days since I had gazed with the tenderest love upon a copper pot still. Two thirds of a year since I had been granted the opportunity to indulge my passion for malt whisky. Funnily enough, 242 days prior to the 4th of July, Balblair had featured also. Following a seven-hour and magnificently stressful train ride up to Tain during which I had spotted Dalwhinnie, Teaninich, Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries I could embark upon my first day as more than just a tourist or even privileged blogger at Balblair.

The distillery is entirely hidden from view until you have emerged beyond the cluster of houses half-way along the village of Edderton. Then, beneath the Struie hills and their skins of heather over rock, the pagoda vent and scarlet smokestack are visible. They are, from this perspective, equal in height to the Clach Biorach Pictish stone. I freewheeled into the distillery grounds; men clambered on warehouse rooves while others loitered outside the manager’s office. In here I found Graeme, who helped me find John, who was staring gloomily into the mill.

What followed was five days of informal education. I could shadow who I wanted, go where I pleased and spent most of the time in the tea room eating ginger biscuits and chatting. During the first few days the aromas were overpowering and I guzzled them up with greed. From entering the distillery complex, you detect a spicy-sweet whiff of whisky-filled Bourbon wood. I would then park up beside the millroom in a compact courtyard around which the zesty, squeaky scents of fermentation wafted. Having changed into trousers and polo shirt beside the embryonic visitor centre, I would duck between the cool, dusty malt bins to the mash tun and its heavy, warm and sweet fragrance which mingled with the countless other flavours contributed by a Plumb Center worth of pipes and a water treatment tank which could conjure up a workable approximation of what a riding school arena smells like.

Sat on the well-wron stillman's chair, it felt as though I were communing with two golden Buddhas.

Sat on the well-wron stillman's chair, it felt as though I were communing with two golden Buddhas.

The still house was a miracle of flavour-weaving. Between the wash and spirit stills the aroma was strongest: banana cheesecake, flambeed banana and vanilla. By the spirit still, all was appley and intense, until the spirit run began and then a creamier cereal note entered the picture. I spent the bulk of my time checking hydrometers, yanking open valves and turning wheels under the watchful eye of either Martin or Mike. I sampled, I dipped, I pumped and I charged. The distillery’s rhythm was an enchanting and fairly rapid one: wash left the tun room after 48 or 60 hours, passed into the wash still, left it over the course of three hours as either low wines or pot ale (which had a gorgeously heavy bakewell cake fragrance) and moved to the spirit still where there would be a 10-minute foreshot run, a two-hour spirit run and three hours of feints.

It is one thing, as I found myself marvelling to Martin and Mike, as well as Alan, John, Graeme, John and Norman, to race through a distillery over the course of an hour during a tour and glimpse a mere snapshot of each process in the whisky-making recipe. It is another to bide and watch the work of man, copper and wood and the transformation of the malt. They aren’t lying to you on your distillery tours; there are no secret switches and vessels. I simply discovered that however much you read about it and understand it in theory, only in the act of supervising whisky-creation can its reality be apprehended.

Admittedly, my time at Balblair extracted a little of the romance of making whisky. Tricky malt, a minor leak on the spirit still and the imminent advent of automation revealed a process preoccupied with yield and output. However, the cavity created in my innocent idealism was filled by infinitely precious experience. The production team know their plant, what works, what doesn’t, how to adapt and manage a wilful amalgamation of equipment on a frying summer day or a paralyzing winter night. Distilleries work, like dogs at times, but that is what they are designed to do. Without question craft and affection come into it, too, but it is a constant negotiation with a location, history and personality perfectly inclined to go its own way. Mike grimaced at the prospect of returning to work at the end of next month with the distillery having lain silent for four weeks. To him, it only makes sense when the buildings are suffused with heat and aroma: with industry. Only then is it Balblair, doing as Balblair does. That’s a whole new kind of magic.

My sincerest thanks go to Lorna Craig for setting up my week’s work experience and John MacDonald for making room and time for me. As for Alan, John Ross, Martin, Mike, Norman and Graeme: I’m still pondering how exactly I can begin to repay you all for not just putting up with me but making me feel like part of the team. When I read newspapers in future I hope to make you all proud.

The Scotch Cyclist 'working'.

The Scotch Cyclist 'working'.

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The Odyssey Projects

Hope, anticipation, expertise, confidence. How quickly these disintegrated into mystification, disappointment and despondency. In January, I had a career to kick-start and three months’ playing Pied Piper in a Scotch whisky distillery could do just that. Sadly – and mystifyingly – my numerous applications to the biggest companies generated only one response, which was to say that they had no vacancies at this time. The rest may as well have vanished into an administrative abyss. Couldn’t someone recognise the initiative and consequent potential of a young man who had planned and pedalled his way around the Scotch whisky industry? For many months I was sceptical, until Inver House Distillers made a second unexpected and charming approach.

The Balblair distillery, Ross-shire. It will look better in July.

The Balblair distillery, Ross-shire. It will look better in July.

The abiding impression of the whisky world for me is that it exists thanks to countless resilient, interconnecting and genuine personal relationships. When Inver House invited me along with other bloggers to tour their leading single malt brands, I recognised this commendable way of conducting business through time spent with Cathy James in addition to Malcolm, John and Gordon, the distillery managers. Inver House and their exemplary personnel recognised the profound, obsessive enthusiasm of we amateur journalists and I like to think that this is why, following an unsuccessful response to a vacancy at Balblair in March, they offered me a week’s work experience instead.

Having John MacDonald phone up and regale me with tales of his appearance on the latest series of MasterChef, of Hollywood having moved in to Edderton to shoot a whisky-related film, and would I like to come up and potter about the place for a few days, astonished and delighted me. I rarely jump about the house whooping and cackling, but it seems the prospect of five days in one of the cutest and most picturesque distilleries I have come across – and not to mention one which produces a very delicious dram, too – has that effect on me. I agreed straight away.

I shall be shadowing the folk on the production side of things and getting my hand in with regards to the tourism operation. Balblair offer two tours daily, led by either Julie Ross or John himself. I hope to play my part in conveying the romance of the place – and shifting a few more units – during the week. As John assured me, ‘there’s always plenty to do.’

So, my encounters with whisky continue to evolve and move forward but what of last year? How am I making use of my experiences and memories? An on-going project of mine is the writing-up of my 2010 Odyssey into a continuous, comprehensive form. Progress is steady, but the process is highly rewarding. The twelve months of maturation my memories have undergone have done them a power of good – I could not have known how profoundly each of my journey’s moments had afixed themselves to the fabric of my mind. It is very special to sit down to write and to find myself gasping instead at what, with a little effort, I recollect. I shall let you know how all of this is getting along over the next few months.

Much to keep me busy and engaged, therefore, and plenty more to make its way onto the Scotch Odyssey Blog.

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