I was recently in Scotland on vacation with my girlfriend Kimberly, and we were able to visit a few distilleries. We started off in Edinburgh where we visited a place called the Scotch Whisky Experience. They have a fun interactive tour that shows you how whisky is made. After the tour they bring out samples of whiskies from Speyside, the Highlands, the Lowlands and the Islands to show the difference in taste between these regions. Then they bring you to a room that holds the largest Scotch Whisky collection in the world. This collection was built by whisky connoisseur Claive Vidiz. It took over 35 years to build and holds 3384 bottles of Scotch Whisky. Needless to say, this puts my collection to shame. Then we finished the tour in the tasting room where they have the largest bottle of whisky on display. This bottle stands 4 feet 9 inches and holds 105.3 liters (about 150 bottles).
Our next stop was in the Scotch Whisky capital of the world, Dufftown. First stop Aberlour. We tried samples of the Aberlour a’bunadh, Aberlour 12 year and Aberlour 16 year. The 16 year in particular stands out for me. This was well rounded and has a nice complexity from both the ex-bourbon and sherry casks.
Next we stopped at The Glenlivet. We took the tour of their facility and sampled their 12 year, 15 French Oak and 18 year. Kim preferred this type of non peated whisky… as do many scotch whisky newbies.
Then we made our way to Glenfiddich, where Brett set up an incredible tour for us. We had a private tour of the Glenfiddich distillery and the barrel warehouse. In the warehouse the tour guide let us sample four different types of Glenfiddich. The first two were ex-bourbon casks (1st fill and 2nd fill) and the other two were ex-sherry butts (1st fill and 2nd fill). After sampling the different types they let us bottle our own whisky. I choose the 1st fill bourbon barrel while Kim bottled the 2nd fill sherry barrel. We then ended the tour with a private tasting of the Glenfiddich line. Glenfiddich 12 year, Rich Oak, Glenfiddich 15 year Solera, Glenfiddich 18 year, Glenfiddich 21 year, and Glenfiddich 30 year. This tour was amazing!
We then made our way down to Oban. This is a small distillery in the center of a small town. With only two stills, it’s hard to imagine that we are able to get this whisky in Illinois. We took the tour and sampled the 14 year.
Ben Nevis was our next stop. This distillery is located near Ft. William which is one of the most scenic parts of this country. After the tour Kim and I went on an adventure to the Steall Waterfall. In order to get there you have to hike up the side of a mountain a couple of miles until you get to a rope bridge. Once you cross the rope bridge you arrive at the waterfall. This is where I asked Kim to marry me… and she said yes!
Brad Clarke us Operations Manager at Binny’s in Elmwood Park. Email Brad at email@example.com.