Aberlour Distillery

The tour of Aberlour was well arranged. Reservations were made the day before. There were five tastings put in front of us. These tastings are all very fine. All are welcome in my drinks cabinet!

16 year old Bourbon Cask 54.4% deep golden colour, vanilla nose, peppery on the lips, short finish

16 year old Sherry Cask Matured, dark amber colour, very nice flavour

10 year old 90% Bourbon Cask, 10% Sherry Cask, 43% alcohol, amber colour, apples, pears on the nose, sweet, smooth, easy to drink.

16 year old Bourbon Cask, 50% Sherry Cask, Final 6 months in a sherry cask, deep golden amber, apples, spiciness, nuttiness

A’bunadh – taste from the past. This whisky is based on an old bottle whose characteristics were duplicated by the master whisky makers of Abelour. It is aged in Spanish olorosa sherry buttes for 5-20 years. The average age is 12 years old. 60.3% alcohol, dark golden colour, chocolate,orange,cherry,spice.

Glen Grant Distillery

The Glen Grant distillery has lovely gardens and scheduled tour times. I walked around the garden and ate a scone at the coffee shop before we got down to business.  The tour was very well done. In the tasting room there were bottles on the table and we were invited to “Go ahead and pour yourself a dram.” I do believe that this is one of the very nicest sentences that the English language has to offer. An the angels sang! The whiskies sampled were:
Glen Grant – The Major’s Reserve non aged – golden colour a lovely light whisky
Glen Grant 10 yr old 80% bourbon cask, 20% sherry cask – tasty and nice
These two lovely expressions of the whisky making art are most welcome in my drinks cabinet

Macallan Distillery

This was a very pleasant tour. We had a small group and an excellent guide. The Macallan is a short walk away from the Highlander Hotel and pub. A very pleasant place to visit.

The two whiskies that I sampled were;
Macallan Fine Oak 12 yr old – light and smooth
Macallan Sherry Oak 12 yr old – light and sweet
Welcome additions to my drinks cabinet.

Dalwhinnie Distillery

On to the Dalwhinnie distillery on the road to Inverness. From where the bus drops you off to the distillery itself is a 45 minute walk. I received a free tour, tasted three whiskies, and was given a free dram glass. This is is because I had my passport that was started at Glenkinchie distillery. The three whiskies tasted were:
Dalwhinnie 15 year old: sweet and fruity with a nice finish
Dalwhinnie Distiller’s Edition: more pronounced taste, smooth finish
Dalwhinnie Cask Strength 59 % Alcohol: similar taste with a bite at the back of the throat at the finish
All three of these whiskies are very worthwhile and would be welcome in my drinks cabinet.
This was a very busy distillery in terms of visitors. On the walk back to the bus stop I was able to find a restaurant and have a nice lunch. The bus took me to Aviemore where I stayed at a hostel. It was a bit of a walk but the room cost 27 pounds a night, so I was pleased.

Glenlivet Distillery

The Glenlivet distillery is quite a ways out of Dufftown. Fortunately I recruited a driver who was killing time before he had to head to Inverness to catch a flight. We toured the distillery – no charge for the basic tour – and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. The still room has a glass wall looking out over the highlands. A spectacular view. The one dram that we tried was:
Glenlivet 21 yr old – very flavourful and smooth. This bottle is most welcome to come and join my drinks cabinet.

Glenfiddich Distillery

Glenfiddich is the largest single malt distillery in the world. There are 27 copper stills, an excellent tour and tasting program and a great shop. The distillery is located right in Dufftown and it a short walk to Mrs Barclay’s B&B where I stayed. The four whiskies I tasted were:

Glenfiddich 12 yr old – light and pleasant
Glenfiddich 15 yr old – more flavourful
Glenfiddich 18 yr old – baked apple, toffee, cinnamon
Glenfiddich 21 yr old – very smooth and flavourful

All of these whiskies are most welcome in my drinks cabinet. Dufftown is a great place. They have whisky festivals and there are several pubs and restaurants to help with whisky exploration.A short bus ride away is the Highlander Inn and the Craigellachie Hotel. I found the Highlander to be a great spot to expand my knowledge of whisky.