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The Balvenie at the Quaich Society

The deliciously diverse Balvenie range.

I have wanted to bring The Balvenie to St Andrews for a tasting for a very long time. Since UK brand ambassador Dr Andrew Forrester’s star turn for the Quaich Society last month, I have wanted to tell you about it for what feels like nearly as long. Deferred gratitification seem to be the watchwords for this family-owned Speyside favourite, and indeed in the shape of Malt Master David Stewart who recently celebrated 50 years with William Grant and Sons, the distillery understands better than most the virtues of patience and timing.

Andrew’s youthful energy complemented the mature selection of whiskies he had brought along. We opened with the 12yo Signature, a malt I had not come across before but whose sharp pear and clean oak aromas pleased me. The citrus and vanilla notes on the palate were also appreciated. It enabled Andrew to discuss the highly-specialised know-how which offsets the traditional ethos of The Balvenie: multiple cask maturation. The Signature is a vatting of first- and second-fill Bourbon and Sherry which makes for a ‘quaffing whisky’ if ever there was one.

Next on the palate was the paragon of Bourbon maturation, the 15yo Single Barrel. I love this whisky, and could appreciate the effects of gentle refill American oak on the Balvenie spirit. Sweet and floral with gummy fruits on the nose, pear was still very much in evidence with vanilla and light muscovado sugar. The palate was clean, lemony and delicate with some late dryish cereals and charcoal.

Andrew Forrester's Balvenie paraphernalia, with those copper 'dogs' behind the cask samples.

Reconnecting with the example set by the Signature, Andrew directed us towards the third glass filled with deep amber liquid. The Double Wood was described as an exemplary introduction to the wonderful world of whisky, and represents Stewart’s pioneering experiments in wood finishing. Each ‘batch’ of Double Wood hails from maybe 100 casks, with the Bourbon-matured 12-year-old spirit placed in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks for 4-5 months. ‘Gentle and easy-going’ summed up the resulting whisky perfectly.

Andrew’s surprise package of the night turned out to be the 14yo Caribbean Rum Cask expression, enjoying only its third outing at a tasting. True to form, the finishing process epitomises David Stewart’s attention to detail, with the rum cask mix comprising wood from three different origins. The sheer weight of the aroma was a delight, with gristy sugars and sweet lemon peel. Some smoke and heather emerged and that sweet pear puckered in the glass, too. The rum finish was notably discreet, until I took a gulp where golden rum, latte coffee notes and spice galore hit the tongue. Water pulled out pralines and an oozing deep sweetness on the nose. Delicious, although it wasn’t to everyone’s liking.

We finished with what has been a mainstay for premium, high-quality aged single malts for some time now: the 21yo Portwood. To Andrew, this was Nigella Lawson constructed from water, barley, yeast and oak. He waxed lyrical about its grace and elegance, and I would concur with his conclusion that this boasts sublime silkiness and a ballroom dancer’s poise.

Maximum enjoyment from the Quaich Society's first tasting of the year.

Outwith student whisky tastings, keep an eye open for how your next Balvenie is served. In certain fashionable bars, the spirit of chicanery and alcoholic liberation will be revived as the company intends to create a serve celebrating the illicit opportunism of distillery workers of the past. You will soon be able to have your Balvenie poured from a handmade copper ‘dog’, the kind of contraptions workers improvised to purloin extra whisky. Everyone seems to appreciate these stories of yesteryear – even retired excisemen – and the Quaich Society were no exception, lapping up tales of those with the skill and nerve to appropriate some stunning whisky when no one was looking. For many Quaich Society die-hards, these are their heroes, after all.

A huge thank you must go to Andrew and The Balvenie for venturing across to St Andrews and putting on such a professional, educational and massively enjoyable evening. We could not have asked for more from our opening tasting of the year.

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Glenfiddich Age of Discovery

I discovered Glenfiddich remarkably late, which probably doesn’t make me the sort of pioneer the marketing guys at William Grant & Sons have in mind with their latest campaign. Despite the uniquity of the exhaustively-awarded 12yo in bars and pubs, my energetic beginnings in the world of single malt embraced many obscure distilleries before output from the independently-owned, world-renowned Dufftown behemoth finally passed my lips. As I sought new flavours and stories, I overlooked (wrongly and naively) the distillery largely responsible for ploughing the single malt furrow, without which those whiskies I had been sampling may never have come to my attention. In my age of discovery, I had forgotten the original pioneer.

The Glenfiddich distillery.

Glenfiddich have extended their remit in recent times to champion, on the back of their world-leading sales figures, the pioneering spirit. Courtesy of long-running schemes like their Artist in Residence programme and global gatherings such as the One Day You Will Summit of last year, the distillery has sought to provoke discussion around human creativity and endeavour. With the Summit, the mission statement focused on raising awareness internationally for how food and drink are produced, how they interact with their consumers, and how we can build for the future. In a similar spirit, but one which nods to how they went about their business in the past, the Age of Discovery expression was released.

At 19-years-of-age, this whisky presents a wise face to the world. While the spirit was maturing, the Kyoto Protocol took shape, issues of climate change and environmental sustainability entered the mainstream and, of course, the single malt category exploded again. Attitudes to how we eat and drink have evolved, as has a consciousness regarding where our food comes from and how it reaches us. This Glenfiddich supplies a case in point: I think about the Scottish barley grown in the North East, the distillery itself with those 28 squat copper pot stills, the cooperages of Kentucky and Tennessee from which those hogsheads hail, and the final ingredient from wine caves of Portugal: Madeira casks. As you can see, Glenfiddich have done remarkably well in teasing out an ideological nexus for this expression, incorporating a very contemporary conscientiousness for provenance, ethics and craftsmanship. But the proof is in the consumption, after all.

Glenfiddich 19yo Age of Discovery 40% £89.95

Colour - light toffee with shades of bruised apple.

Nose - fairly solid and chunky oak at first and rather dark. Creamy vanilla and blackcurrant jam. Hard honeycomb with some biscuit crumb maltiness. Weighty, heathery floral notes emerge together with poached pear. Underneath is simmering honey. Pale oak with a spicy depth. After a time some aged rum character develops.

With water the delivery is slightly denser with treacle sponge. Demerara sugar in abundance and rich pear. After dinner chocolates emerge and soon there is the accompanying coffee, lending a rich and dry aromatic quality. With more time there are dunnage hints and a vibrant jellied fruitness with rough, dark malt for balance.

Palate - Spicy oak swings in first before a lemon-accented maltiness enters. Slight hint of marzipan to offset this freshness.

With water the oak is tamed and heather honey, leafy and malty notes can move about more freely. Raspberry. Orange peel replaces the lemon from the undiluted palate. Creamy tablet lends a lovely texture.

Finish – light coffee notes from the oak. Lemon peel. Perfumed at the end.

With water chocolate milk, a little more lemon, sticky toffee pudding. Quite long with a rich, firm maltiness on the end.

So…? I enjoyed and felt a touch frustrated with this malt in equal measure. While some of the rich cereals and deep fruit notes satisfied me, the overall delivery lacked warmth and friendliness. Rather like the old explorer, whose pioneering days are behind them, crouched in an armchair recounting tales from former frontiers, the zeal and immediacy of such endeavours felt distinctly second-hand. I’m not even certain a higher ABV would have helped. A curious whisky, therefore, the like of which I have not had before. I would not discourage you from following in my footsteps, but be careful not to assume to much of this idiosyncratic dram.

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A Master Blender Bonanza: Part 2

Fruitcake, Frivolity, and Figs

A fraction over a week ago I was to be found skipping through the streets of Edinburgh with Chris Hoban, ducking into coffee shops and chocolateries, trying to recover a sense of our own humanity. Events which took place a larger fraction over a week ago explain why.

John Ramsay marshalling the Q&A.

With our whisky ration cards long since frittered away in various corners of the Scotch Whisky Experience, a halt was called to the Master Blender Meet-and-Greet. I just had enough time to return Chris’ measure of Johnnie Walker Platinum (full and voluptuous with no small amount of smoke and plenty of coconut-laden grains) to him before we were herded up yet more stairs.

I had long since began to suspect my legs, uncertain as to whether they were working with me or against me, but the room into which we plodded revived my spirits. A vaulted ceiling allowed plenty of the last of the Edinburgh light in, and a striking stained glass window at the far end reminded all guests of the route by which those whiskies we had tasted already that evening had arrived beneath the noses of the master blenders, before they passed them along to us. The blenders themselves were sat along the high table to face the room. Only Richard Paterson, however, got to his feet. The show must go on.

In our glasses panted the juicy, dark and rich beauty that is The Dalmore King Alexander III. As chance would have it, this was the whisky I ordered following my first tour of the Experience, poured by Mr Hoban if memory serves. Paterson wanted to unlock the full spectrum of this immensely complicated whisky, which had seen the inside of six different specimens of cask before its tasteful glass bottle with silver embossing, via strong black coffee, fruitcake and dark chocolate. In a performance that blended at least six potent characterstics of its own to match the whisky, ranging from the ebullient to the outrageous, Paterson encouraged us to approach a single malt like never before. We were discouraged from following his lead, however, and hurling the first measure onto the carpet.

The Dalmore food matching tasting, minus the coffee.

‘Mm mm mmmm… Mm mm mmmm… Mmm Mmm MMMMMMMMMM. And swallow,’ he urged, holding the spirit on his palate for a tingling age. Then chocolate followed fruitcake which followed coffee in rapid fire ingestion. I wasn’t convinced. I don’t view the addition of food to a dram as ‘messing around’ but I have yet to come upon the right combination. Though at many turns in his lecture Paterson had the room gasping in disbelief, my scepticism for the food matching exercise could not be dispelled.

Tutored tasting over, Master of Ceremonies for the final portion of what had been a joyous, insightful evening so far, John Ramsay, took the microphone to the audience. The first question probed the panel with regards to their favoured drinks, a fairly uncontroversial line of inquiry one would have thought, until Paterson rebuffed Caroline Martin for pinning her colours to the Johnnie Walker mast. The Whyte and MacKay man paid tribute to David Stewart, and the Balvenie 21yo Port Wood in particular as a whisky of stupendous interest and beauty.

A lady on our table wanted to know next how the master blenders could keep track of the multitude of flavours they encountered on an hourly, never mind daily, basis. Could they offer any tips, she asked, for improving our own olfactory skills? Gordon Motion fielded the debate, asking the questioner how many windows she had in her flat. After a brief flurry of arithmetic an answer was provided. ‘Now how did you go about counting those windows?’ Motion asked. The lady replied that she could see them in her mind’s eye. ‘I do the same thing,’ said Gordon, ‘I have a set of images for certain flavours. For example, peaches will always remind me of a holiday in France when I was young and we were given a bowl of peaches by the roadside.’

As anyone who has read my collaborationwith Keith Wood on Whisky Emporium a little over a year ago will know, this is precisely what fascinates me most about personal encounters with whisky. My hand shot up when the ‘last question’ call came. What, I wanted to know, was the most powerful moment the panel could remember in which they were transported back to an earlier sensory memory when tasting whisky?

Richard Paterson regaling the room.

Chris Morris answered first, stating that the strongest impressions he can receive from nosing Bourbon is of the rickhouses at Woodford Reserve. ‘That’s warehouses for the rest of us,’ interposed Ramsay. David Stewart’s fifty-plus years around the spirit could flag up no particular instance, although he spoke with quiet pleasure of his apprenticeship with single malt Scotch whisky. Angela D’Orazio’s testimony came directly from the heart as she described peat-cutting on Islay. In addition to the peats, Angela noticed the little wild flowers that grew on the bog, and when she had a sip of Islay whisky later, echoes of those floral characters surged back to her.

Caroline Martin focused on ‘lightbulb moments’ in connection with the distilleries she works for. The instant someone told her that Clynelish was a waxy spirit, manipulating it and understanding it became a far easier task. A childhood growing up in Coleraine, near to the Bushmills distillery, abided with Billy Leighton. When going to school or playing with friends, ever-present was ’this smell’. Entering the industry later on, certain Irish whiskeys could successfully evoke that formative atmosphere. Gordon Motion, whose point about the peaches had inspired my question in the first place, related to us a nosing session in which a particular spirit yielded with irresistible potency the garden centre at B&Q. ’Fencing panels was all I could think of,’ he said, ‘but I couldn’t say that, it sounded stupid.’ But a fellow taster noted ‘tarry wood’ in the same sample, and Gordon was galvanised to supply his tasting note. ‘Just write down what you smell,’ he urged us.

The Japanese blenders had been silent for the majority of the questioning, but Koshimizu-san accepted the microphone. He described his experiences in Japanese, and his translator assisted afterwards. The result was a statement of gentle, thoughtful brilliance. In his day-to-day encounters with whisky, every so often a sample will radiate the aroma of figs. Koshimizu-san has not eaten a fig in the last fifty years, not since one particular day at his grandmother’s house where she always had an abundance of the fruit. Nevertheless, that single flavour – when discovered – reconstructs that house, that person and that moment. ‘It is as if time has vanished,’ said the translator.

John Ramsay concluded the evening and told us of how his days in the maltings when he first started with Edrington assisted him as master blender as, for one distillery, the re-occurrence of that green malt aroma signalled that the spirit was on track. Several rounds of applause later, we all had to sadly make tracks of our own. The master blenders had been supremely generous with their time, but the 9am start and hundreds of whiskies looked to have taken their toll by the end. Outside, while raffle winners collected their bottles, a line for the lift formed involving some of the whisky world’s most significant and talented noses and palates who were all deservedly heading to their hotel rooms. For Chris, Chris and I, however, we were off to Bramble Bar, but that will have to wait for another post.

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A Master Blender Bonanza: Part 1

I don’t go in for hero worship. Irrespective of how many Tours de France they have won, how many people they have performed in front of or how many Michelin stars they hold, they are still human beings beneath all the Lyrca, cymbals and cauliflower foam. However, at a recent event held within the Scotch Whisky Experience (SWE), Edinburgh, I must confess that I could finally empathise a little with Beatle Mania, or whatever it is all those teenage girls succomb to whenever anyone mentions Justin Bieber.

The master blenders and ISC panel.

Together with Chrises Hoban and ‘The Tiger’ White from Edinburgh Whisky Blog, I milled about in the refurbished SWE shop together with many other bright-eyed, excited members of the public for the fun, games and knowledge to begin. For the first time in 17 years, the International Spirit Challenge has devolved from London to Edinburgh. This, to me, seems only right for various coincidences of geography and whisky-producing heritage. As a further innovation, the panel agreed to meet with whisky fans for one night only, talking ticket-holders through one of their bottlings before a whisky and food matching presentation with Whyte & MacKay’s Richard Paterson (or R-Patz as C. Hoban insisted on calling him), to conclude with a Q&A. Courtesy of Mr Hoban, I learnt of the event just in time. Another arrangement for which I am deeply grateful comes courtesy of Mr Hoban as well, and that was permission to crash on his sofa afterwards.

Industry legend John Ramsay kicked off the evening, introducing the decorated individuals to the waiting throng. As they stepped out of the wings onto the new mezzanine floor, my easily-suggestible mind confected a Juliet-on-the-balcony comparison, but I was also struck by how – in this, a peerless collaboration by the Scotch whisky industry – the people responsible for so many of the smartly-packaged whiskies surrounding us on the shelves should also be in full view. Ramsay’s successor at Edrington, Gordon Motion, was introduced first, followed by Caroline Martin of Diageo, Billy Leighton of Irish Distillers, the great David Stewart who will complete 50 years of service for William Grant and Sons in September, R-Patz, Seichii Koshimizu of Suntory, Tadashi Sakuma from Nikka, Mackmyra’s Angela D’Orazio, and Chris Morris from Woodford Reserve. With head spinning, we were ushered upstairs where the chatting and dramming commenced.

Chris Morris, all the way from Woodford Reserve, Kentucky.

I have described previously the awe inspired by stepping into the Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection, but skipping between soaring cabinets of seriously old, seriously rare Scotch whisky – both blended and malt – there was added significance as I contemplated meeting the individuals resposnible for continuing the legacy of those brands which were so well-represented all around me. However, my first port of call was outside of Scotland. Since the beginning of the year my fascination for all things Bourbon has mooched into the kind of territory once upon a time open only to the likes of Lagavulin and The Glenlivet. With a recent pub in my local town boasting Buffalo Trace Antique Collection releases – the William Larue Weller expression I had tried a couple of days before – I wanted to learn from one of the masters.

With a big smile and a cheery How-do-you-do? Mr Morris poured me a measure of Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select. Though hardly an uncommon Bourbon, even in my less than cosmopolitan drinking circles, to sip and listen to an exposition from the man who makes it trumped all previous tumblers of this rich, spicy and floral whiskey. At 43.2% the spirit spoke eloquently of glorious American oak and six to eight baking Kentucky summers. In fact, that was the analogy Chris used when trying to differentiate Bourbon from Scotch in the maturation stakes: in the rackhouses, the intense heat forces the spirit into and out of the oak, and exacts an Angel’s Share of 7% per annum. Though Woodford goes into barrels at 55%, it comes out again at 63%. Chris revealed that he had even found a cask whose long tenure unnoticed had seen alcohol by volume reach 90%. It was, of course, ‘undrinkable’.

The mashbill for Woodford Reserve is 72% corn, 18% rye from Dakota and 10% malt. Mr Morris revealed that a new expression would be on the market in the US soon, and will eventually make its way to Europe. He has taken batches of fully-matured Woodford, reduced the spirit back down to 55% and put the whiskey back into Chardonnay casks for 6 months to a year. The result is infinitely darker than the standard expression and reviews so far are highly complimentary.

Richard Paterson in suitably rarefied surroundings with the new Cigar Malt from The Dalmore.

I headed over to the Edrington stand where the quietly spoken but forthright Gordon Motion introduced me to the Famous Grouse Wade Decanter. Constructed to celebrate the pre-eminence of Grouse in the UK market for the last 30 years, I found it to be a very gingery, biscuity spirit, with clean cereals and a hit of earthy smoke. I rather liked it, but appreciated the conversation I overheard between Gordon and Charles Maclean regarding his new film star status still more.

I managed to catch The Nose as the last of his consignment of the latest The Dalmore Cigar Malt disappeared. He had just put in an order for a replacement when the MC tapped him on the shoulder – the next stage of the evening had to begin promptly. He just had enough time to tell me that my date of birth and body mass index could provide vital clues as to how a blend personalised for me might taste (and to pose for a photograph) before strutting off upstairs.

The tutored tasting and blenders’ question and answer session would take place next, but that is for another post.

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The Balvenie

      Bitter disappointment does not come close to describing my feelings having phoned up The Balvenie Distillery from my room in the Huntly Hotel to be told that their tours for the forthcoming week – and indeed most of the next month – were fully booked. Having been assured by a fellow tourist at Macallan that it was a most singular single malt experience (and at £25 for a three hour tour, I should think it would be) I saw what a gaping hole its loss left in the fabric of my Odyssey. At the time, I cycled round the buildings, reflecting on the plumes of steam, metropoli of warehouses and wraiths of blue-brown smoke coughing out of the pagoda vent. It was set to achieve four stars for the production process alone – providing as they do a chance to view the coopers at work in addition to the floor maltings. I also happen to be very fond of the drams they make. Next time… 

*      *      *      *      *

The eclectic Balvenie site, as viewed from the Spirit of Speyside carriage on the Keith-Dufftown Railway.

The eclectic Balvenie site, as viewed from the Spirit of Speyside carriage on the Keith-Dufftown Railway.

Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire, AB55 4DH, 01340 820373. William Grant & Sons. www.thebalvenie.com

TOURS PROVIDED:

‘The Tour’: £25. A three hour experience at the home of ‘the handcrafted malt’. A coffee and a summary of the distillery’s history begins the tour in the Distillery Office before a thorough investigation of the plant occurs. Maltings, mashing, fermenting, distillation and coopering are all included, as is a trip to the warehouse. I’m not promising anything, but the chap I met outside The Macallan boasted of having sampled malts straight from the cask – two, in fact, and both from his birth year: in the 1960s. There is a tutored tasting of The Balvenie range, ascending from new make to the highly prized 30yo back in the visitor centre. BOOK EARLY, I CANNOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH.

DISTILLERY-EXCLUSIVE BOTTLINGS:      Whilst on the tour there is the opportunity to bottle your own 20cl measure of single cask Balvenie from a choice of three casks. The visitor may nose each of the samples from the three and make their selection – or alternatively they can bottle one of each! At present this trio are all from 1996: a first-fill Bourbon, refill Bourbon, and a first-fill Sherry. £20 each. Also, once back at the visitor centre the shop will be opened for you and then there are two exclusives to choose from: Rose, £100, and Tun 1401, £150. The shop is only accessible to those who participate on the tour.

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Glenfiddich

No photo can communicate the scale of this site. It is preposterously huge. However, walking around the well-tended grounds with the hills all around, it is quite charming.

No photo can communicate the scale of this site. It is preposterously huge. However, walking around the well-tended grounds with the hills all around, it is quite charming.

Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire, AB55 4DH, 01340 820373. William Grant & Sons. www.glenfiddich.com

APPEARANCE AND LOCATION:      ****      As distilleries go, they don’t come much bigger than Glenfiddich. Its like looking out on a city of warehousing when observing in the Craigellachie direction. However, the buildings of the main plant are utterly beautiful with perfectly-pointed stonework, pristine paint and those charming squat pagoda heads. The visitor centre and the restaurant are housed within the buildings originally built by William Grant and his stone mason in 1886. The surroundings hills are certainly large, too, but gentle. Sitting on a picnic bench outside the brand centre on the Sunday as I waited for 12 o’clock and opening time, the smell of the malt bins, the wort and the mash blown about and blended by the Dufftown breezes was too perfect for words.

TOURS PROVIDED:

‘Standard Tour’: FREE. See ‘My Tour’ below.

‘Connoisseur Tour’: £20. More in-depth, lasting 2 and a half hours. There are four Glenfiddichs to nose as well as the new make. You get taken to Warehouse 8 to investigate the famous Solera Vat.

DISTILLERY-EXCLUSIVE BOTTLINGS:      A bottle-your-own facility in the distillery shop. At present [02/02/11] it is 15yo and a vatting from various different cask types in the one barrel, £70.

My Tour – 25/04/2010

THE RUNNING COMMENTARY:      ***

THE PROCESS AND EQUIPMENT:      **

Notes:      Despite its size, the owners wish to keep the distillery as traditional as possible. Very few computers are used and all of the 20 or so washbacks are wooden. A really interesting quirk is in the stillhouse. There are three different-shaped stills: a wash still and two alternative spirit stills, an accident of circumstance which dates back to when William Grant first built the distillery. With very little money he could not buy all of his stills the same shape. The warehouse tour is utterly marvellous and as we shuffled in the rain began, pattering on the slate roof and heightening the romantic atmosphere so much I forgot I had to walk back to my B&B in it.

GENEROSITY:      ** (Three drams, the 12YO, 15YO and the 18YO.)

VALUE FOR MONEY:      **

SCORE:      9/10 *s

A lot of fuss has been made about this dram. I would like to come back and do the Connoisseur tour because in my head I get the sense that Glenfiddich ages very well. Living proof here.

A lot of fuss has been made about this dram. I would like to come back and do the Connoisseur tour because in my head I get the sense that Glenfiddich ages very well. Living proof here.

COMMENT:      I arrived at 11.30am on the Sunday, too early. I read the paper on a picnic table outside the brand centre and was enchanted by how the smell fluctuated between stored malt, sweet wort and fruity mash, all blown about on the breeze around the town and its gentle surrounding mountains. As 12 noon approached, the floodgates of tourists opened. For the introductory (and very professional) film in the ‘Theatre’ there were more than 30 people. For the tour we were split into three parties (two standard, one for the Connnoisseur tour) and all of us were taken round at once. That should intimate the scale of the place. If that doesn’t, how about their using 90 tonnes of malt a day, their 24 washbacks and the 140 million litres of spirit maturing on-site. Fergus is our guide and he is unflappable. The whole experience is tremendously professional, with an emphasis on the traditional: wooden washbacks and long fermentation time. Computerisation is kept to a minimum, too. Into Warehouse #1 and what an adorable place. At one end is a video about coopering, accompanied by an excellent explanation and at the other are casks to nose: find the Sherry cask. I thought I’d be good at this but I got it wrong! They confused me by the age of the cask I picked: a 36-year-old Bourbon. The other two were an 18-year-old of the same wood and a 20-year-old Sherry. I must have had an off day. Rain pattered on the roof, making for a very atmospheric experience. The three drams at the end were a huge bonus, all served in Glencairn glasses. The shop is a must-see, with lots of Balvenie, too. My favourite was the cafe, where I had soup, a sandwich and a scone – all delish. In the same part (the malt store for the old distillery building), there is a bar with many Glenfiddichs to try. I would recommend this as a first tour, and then spend the extra money visiting Aberlour. With only 6 miles between them, it sounds like the perfect day to me.

I like to see a bit of pure wild water flowing to a distillery. The reason I discovered this view was because water started falling from the sky and I ducked under a piece of masonry beneath the shop.

I like to see a bit of pure wild water flowing to a distillery. The reason I discovered this view was because water started falling from the sky and I ducked under a piece of masonry beneath the shop.

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