This evening, I am posting images from a just completed four day whisky tour centred on Dunkeld in Perthshire.

The group arrived at Glasgow Prestwick. From there we visited our first distillery, Auchentoshan, near Glasgow.

This distillery was founded in 1823 and is now part of the Japanese, Suntory Group. The whisky produced here is classified as Lowland; it is unpeated and triple distilled. More information on this visit can be found on yesterday’s Blog posting.

The distillery guide was well informed and first class.

Auchentoshan produces three main categories of single malt with the Three Woods, a 43pct 10 year old possibly ranking as the best. When tested on the nose this whisky produces a delicious combination of fruit and sherry. A malty flavour with spices and orange.

The following two images are of the Mash Tun wherein the sugar is extracted from the barley using hot water. The Mash Tun is like a giant teapot.

A barrel for PR purposes.
Here is one of the copper stills used to distill alcohol.

Distillery guide offering samples of the product range.

After an overnight at Birnam, our first stop next day was Blair Atholl distillery in Pitlochry. This dates back to 1798 and is now owned by Diageo, a multinational drinks conglomerate.

Unfortunately, pictures of the distillery interior are not allowed.

The whisky produced here mainly goes into Bell’s blends and is difficult to find on sale as a single malt.

On the palate the malt is described as fruity, oaky and earthy with sugared raisins. Medium bodied.

Sampling the product at Blair Atholl.

After leaving Blair Atholl, we drove up the A9 to Dalwhinnie, the coldest inhabited place in Scotland. Fortunately, the weather was unusually dry and sunny which proved great for photos. We stopped en-route to take images of Blair Castle and surrounding scenery. The image below features Blair Castle with a snow covered Ben Vrackie in the background.

Snow covered landscape at Dalwhinnie

This is the tour group outside Dalwhinnie Distillery. No images allowed inside the distillery.

Dalwhinnie has had a chequired history. It was founded in 1897 but is now owned by Diageo. The product is lightly peated. On the palate the malt is described as soft, buttery, bittersweet and with a light body.

After Dalwhinnie, we turned south and toured the area around Aberfeldy taking in Croft Moraig Stone Circle (below), Taymouth Castle, the Crannog Centre and Glen Quaich.

On day 3 we drove south stopping first at Forteviot. This is now a small village but in AD845 was the power centre of a unified Scotland under Kenneth McAlpine.

After Forteviot, we called at Stirling Castle which offered great views across the local landscape as the weather remained benign.

By chance we came across a couple who had hired a piper to celebrate a proposal of marriage-nice touch!

Interior of the chapel at Stirling Castle. Note the tapestries which are weaved on site.

Exterior of the chapel
Aspect of the Great Hall

View from the Castle towards the Wallace Monument

Our final stop for the day was Tullibardine Distillery, founded in 1947 but on a site which has history of brewing dating back hundreds of years.

The distillery tour here was first class, helped by the fact that distillation occurs continuously enabling us to witness the process “live”.

The image below shows the distillery with a truck parked along side delivering malted barley.

Here is the tour group with the stills in the background.

Here is the spirit receiver with alcohol in full flow on left hand side.

Sampling the finished product

On the final day we started with a visit to nearby Ossian’s Hall on the River Braan. Scenery was stunning with the bright sunlight illuminating the seasonal leaves and foliage.

The image below captures the top of one of the tallest trees in Britain.

Viking tree huggers.
Ossian’s Hall with autumn colours

Next stop was Doune Castle where some scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed.

Our final distillery visit was to Glengoyne which, uniquely, straddles the Highland/Lowland border for whisky classification purposes. Again, no images allowed inside so we are restricted with a picture of the group together with local guide.

Glengoyne was founded in 1833 and remains under private ownership. The product is unpeated.

Main products are:

  • 10 year old at 40pct
  • 17 yr old at 43pct
  • 21 yr old at 43pct

The 17 year old is possibly the best. On the palate this produces flavours of oranges and lemons. Briny. Sherry, toffee, apricots, sugared almonds. A light whisky.

After Glengoyne we headed back to Prestwick airport to connect with return flight.

Be Sociable, Share!