Solo Adventures on Scotland’s Whisky Trail E-book

Here are some excerpts of the e-book along with the Table of Contents. Students, let us know if you are interested in more.


One Canadian, One Scotch, One Beer!
A first person account of travelling solo on Scotland’s Whisky Trail

Author Bill Franks at the Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown Scotland


Put yourself in the picture as you bask in the warmth of the Glenfiddich stills anticipating the tasting room and the enjoyment of some very fine whiskies!

Table of Contents 
1. Introduction

2. About the Author

3. The Beginning

4. Flying Information

5. Glasgow Airport Hotel

6. Bus Information

7. Train Information

8. Car Rental

9. Travelling Light

10. Accommodations

11. Travelling Solo

12. Scottish Friends

13. Whisky Making is an Art Form

14. Falkirk Distillery

15. Glengoyne Distillery (Number One!)

16. Other Attractions

17. Cellphones in Scotland

18. Auchentoshan Distillery (Number Two!)

19. Distillery Information

• Hostels

• Tutored Tastings of Scotch

• Glenkinchie Distillery (Number Three!)

• Tullibardine Distillery (Number Four!)

• Glenturret Distillery (Number Five!)

• Aberfeldy Distillery (Number Six!)

• Blair Athol Distillery (Number Seven!)
Table of Contents Continued
• Edradour Distillery (Number Eight!)

• The Beginning of the Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge

• Dalwhinnie Distillery (Number Nine)

• The Whisky Trail

• Glenfiddich Distillery (Number 10!)

• Dufftown: Whisky Capital of the World

• Highlander Hotel in Craigillachie

• Glenlivet Distillery (Number Eleven!)

• Macallan Distillery (Number Twelve!)

• Glen Grant Distillery (Number Thirteen!)

• Aberlour Distillery (Number Fourteen!)

• Strathisla Distillery (Number Fifteen!)

• Balvenie Distillery (Number Sixteen!)

• Cragganmore Distillery (Number Seventeen)

• Cardhu Distillery (Number Eighteen!)

• Glenfarclas Distillery (Number Nineteen!)

• Benromach Distillery (Number Twenty!)

• Glenmorangie Distillery (Number Twenty One!)

• History Galore at Culloden!

• Aberdeen

• Aberdeen Whisky Bar – The Grill

• Back to Glasgow

• Conclusion

• Appendix 1 What I Packed

• Appendix 2 What I Wore on the Airplane

From Aug 26 to Sept 19, 2012, one very happy Canadian had the time of his life touring Scotland’s Whisky Trail where whisky making is an art form. Twenty one distilleries were visited and 96 different whiskies were enjoyed. As you read this first person account you will witness the metamorphosis of a Canadian whisky tourist into the Chancellor, Chairman and Grand Poobah of the Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge!

United by the Love of Whisky!
About the Author:
Chairman Bill has two key characteristics that help to shape his storytelling abilities. These characteristics are curiosity and enthusiasm.
There are many people who want to learn more about whisky. Bill’s curiosity took him to Scotland in order to visit twenty one distilleries and learn as much as he could about whisky.
Chairman Bill’s enthusiasm provides the drive behind all that he is able to accomplish. His passion for whisky combines with his respect for the artistry of whisky making. I have had the privilege of attending whisky tutorials hosted by Chairman Bill. His enthusiasm is contagious and it’s a great way to learn about this wonderful drink.

Chairman Bill walks the talk and helps us all to be “United by the Love of Whisky!”

Fred Mast

Thanks a Latte

World Caffeination Headquarters

Travelling Solo

Travelling solo is not for everyone. It has its advantages and its disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is that you set your own agenda and not have to compromise on how to spend your time. There are times when I felt very alone. This was balanced with how welcoming the people of Scotland were to me. It is a very friendly place. For an excellent resource on travelling check out

 Whisky Making is an Art Form

This deep appreciation of the Scottish culture helped to frame my approach to the many works of art that I was to visit. I am referring to masterpieces commonly known as single malt whiskies! Perhaps this sounds a bit over the top, but stop and think of the time and effort and skill that goes into creating single malt whisky.

Falkirk Distillery

I was recently reading the book “Whisky Classified” subtitle choosing single malts by flavour. The author is David Wishart. This is where a raising of the glass or a bow of silent respect is required. In this book the distillery of Falkirk is listed. I went right by Falkirk when I was in Scotland. It certainly would have been on my list of places to see.

Further reading informed me that the distillery is a new one that started operations in 2011 and will not have any whisky ready to sell until 2015 at the earliest! I find this to be deeply humbling. We take good whisky for granted all too often without acknowledging the artistry and dedicated hard work behind every dram.

1. Glengoyne Distillery


I will never forget the first distillery that I toured: Glengoyne. Doesn’t that name resonate with all that is good and Scottish? It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and everyone smiling. The tour did not take too long and I was held after class as it were since I had signed up for some additional tastings.

Glengoyne is a Highland distillery even though it looks to be in the lowlands on the map. No peat is used in the making of Glengoyne whiskies.
Tasting Notes:
10 year old Glengoyne: light colour, pleasant sweet flavour

17 year old Glengoyne: slightly darker colour, vanilla smell, very sweet flavour

21 year old Glengoyne: amber colour, very, very tasty. It purred down my throat

15 year old cask strength: very tasty, sweet flavour with a bite at the back of the throat. The bite is attributed to the higher alcohol content of the cask strength.
These are all very fine whiskies. I would be proud to have them in my drinks cabinet.
Doug joined me for the tastings since he had been through the distillery before. We had a good visit with the guide who was very informative about the overall Scottish Whisky Industry. Out of approximately 97 main distilleries, a dwindling number (12 in 2012) are still owned by Scotsmen.
There was a lovely gift shop on the premises and I was able to enter a draw for a 4000 pound bottle of single malt scotch. I was thinking of the great party that I would have if I won it! Thanks to my tasting notes I was able to advise a friend who was touring Scotland with a choir to buy a bottle of 21 year old Glengoyne whisky for her whisky loving fiance. Since this was her only distillery stop with the choir, I thought that she should make the best of it. I believe that 21 year old Glengoyne is very difficult to find in North America, and the lucky fellow who received it kindly allowed me to enjoy a dram with him here in Canada. While that lovely nectar danced on my tongue, I closed my eyes and remembered Glengoyne, my first distillery!

2. Auchentoshan Distillery


I caught a train to Auchentoshan pronounced OGH-en-TOSH-an Distillery and Visitor Centre. I was all packed up and wearing my rain gear when I exited the train. I tramped around the little village trying to find someone who knew where the distillery was. Finally, just before I crossed a big bridge, I asked a construction worker for directions. He sent me down a busy highway, but as I went around the bend, there it was. The guidebook “Discovering Scotland’s Distilleries ” by Gavin D. Smith and Graeme Wallace was my most precious possession on the whisky trail. It gives good directions on how to arrive at Auchentoshan by car. Train arrivals are not mentioned. Auchentoshan is a lowland distillery and practices triple distilling. The triple distilling is said to give the whisky a smoother taste. The malt used to make this whisky is unpeated. They have a very well organized distillery tour with a nicely appointed tasting room and a large store. I was able to enjoy tasting two single malt whiskies there.
Tasting notes:
12 year old Auchentoshan: light in colour, light floral nose, fruity flavour

Three Wood Auchtoshan: light in colour, floral and vanilla nose, fruity and vanilla flavour
These were both excellent whiskies that I would be proud to own and serve.

Distillery Information

A fellow traveller kindly dropped me off at the train station which enabled me to return to Glasgow and on to Edinburgh that afternoon. If you look at the locations of distilleries in Scotland there are some that look to be quite close to the cities. This is true enough, but they tend to open for tours at 10:00 at the earliest and may have different hours on the weekend. When travelling by bus and train the logistics make it difficult to see more than one distillery a day until you reach Dufftown, also known (deservedly so) as the whisky capital.

The Beginning of The Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge

It was at Edradour that the inspiration for this College came to me. An earnest young Swiss man who was travelling with his father asked me what my story was since I was travelling on my own. I told him that I was studying for my master’s degree in whisky appreciation from the Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge. This field trip to Scotland was an important part of my whisky education. When the tour came to a close in the tasting room I confessed that the Canadian College existed only in my imagination. The Swiss fellow thanked me for my honesty, told me that I was most entertaining and bought me a dram of 26 year old Edradour which is one of the best drams I have had the privilege to enjoy. The tasting room is not open to the public, but those who come through on the tour can linger as long as they wish and buy whisky by the dram. It was magical indeed. I know that the angels were singing. As you may recall I arrived at 09:30 at Edradour. By the time I zipped down the hill by bicycle it was 2:00 pm and I had done my best to properly explore what the Edradour distillery had to offer.
Tasting Notes:
10 year old Edradour: a nice light floral dram

Sauternes Cask matured: light, sweet, bites at the finish

18 year old Oloroso Sherry Cask Matured Bottle:

light and sweet with a smoother finish

#49 of 599 59% alcohol: vanilla sweet,slight bite at finish

26 year old, matured in oak for 20 years, then 6 years in a sherry cask: lovely sweet, purrs down your throat!
All of these fine whiskies would be most welcome in my drinks cabinet.

Students of the Canadian College of Whisky Knowledge are eligible to receive the remainder of this ebook if they wish. Just let us know.

United by the Love of Whisky!

Chairman Bill

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