Sunday, August 25, 2019

Scottish adventure 4. More Speyside whiskies

The Glen Grant distillery and its gardens are just behind our hotel in Rothes
so we made it our first stop of the day
introduced ourselves at the tasting room
and were shown to a table on the terrace
next to the distillery
by Lynne Strathdee
who brought us the Glen Grant 10 and 16 year old malts to taste. The 16 year old is only available at the factory. £65 per bottle. Note the "doggie bottle" of 16 year old for the driver! The whiskys are gentle and complex, we found notes of honey and butter, toffee and spice and they are so seductive. Age definitely helps a single malt to show its true character.  Lynne tastes them neat and then adds just a drop of water. 
After the tasting, we walked
along the burn
and through the forest
to the gardens
The biggest Gunnera manicata or giant rhubarb we've ever seen
a hint of autumn
This little hut is a shelter with a special attribute
not just the antler candelabra
but a whisky safe. Great if you know someone with a key
We stopped for a bite at the coffee shop
Two sandwiches, a coffee and a raspberry drink - £10.80. Best not to convert to Rand! The Fentimans Sparkling Raspberry is superb, just like fresh raspberries and low in sugar. We wish we could get these in SA. 
Then on to the new, very modern Macallan distillery in Craigellachie.  From a distance it looks like three barrows on the hill then as you get closer you spot the glint of windows below.  It is an amazing building, we were in awe at the beautiful architecture, the views from it and the way it embraces the surrounding country.  However some of the locals do not like it at all, one even called it Tellytubby land. And, no, she has not visited it. Yet                                        
The only people you see are visitors and guides. The distillery is completely automated
Huge displays of Macallan whiskies through the ages
in glass cases
and some very special bottles, like this 6 litre Macallan “M” Lalique decanter. Seventeen craftsmen spent over 50 hours to create just one bottle of this whisky and only two out of a stock of four were ever made available to the public, which probably has something to do with the Macallan “M” being the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction, netting £477,405 at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2014. Christened Constantine, the giant decanter, sold to an anonymous bidder, is the only one of the four to feature the engraved autographs of the three principal creators: Lalique’s Silvio Denz, Fabien Baron and Bob Dalgarno
Elegant modern architecture
Giant copper potstills surrounded by stainless steel mash tuns
Mark Rooney, the F&B manager guided us through a tasting
(driver John was only allowed to sniff)
We have to confess that The McCallum is one of Lynnes favourite whiskys. The tasting she did was 
Join one of our friendly and knowledgeable guides to learn about the foundation stones that underpin the character of The Macallan. After discovering how our unparalleled investment in the finest casks contributes to the natural colours, aromas and flavours that set The Macallan apart, you will experience a nosing and tasting of some carefully selected Macallan whiskies and our wonderfully rich new make spirit.

Cost: £15.00 per person"

It was an exploration of how the whisky reacted to being matured in different wood casks. An 18 year old in a sherry oak cast from Jerez in Spain that once held Oloroso sherry, A 12 year old double matured in an American oak cask and in a European oak cask and another Triple matured in a classic Euopean and American sherry oak cask and in an ex- Bourbon Amercan oak cask. They were very different and all had character and depth.  The 
Then out again to the Scottish highlands
to meet a large, shaggy Scot

This is a short précis of what we’ve done. More detailed stories will follow in regular issues of MENU

1 comment:

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