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Browsing Posts published in August, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip taken August 2009 at Portree, capital of Skye, of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band performing under Drum Major Peter MacDonald. The performance was for a charity raising event (life boats).

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This evening I am posting a record of the final day of our five day Scotland Whisky Tour.

Overnight we had stayed at the 3 star rated Glenlochy Guest House near the centre of Fort William. This proved very clean and satisfactory and provided a hearty breakfast to set us up for the final day.

Our first stop was round the corner at Fort William railway station to see and photograph the famous Jacobite Steam Express aka ‘Harry Potter Train’ which was getting up a head of steam in preparation for the morning run up to Mallaig.

Next we motored down to scenic Glencoe for a brief visit to the Visitor Centre and some morning refreshments, photos and shopping.

Then we drove up the famous glen (with another photo stop en-route), across the desolate Rannoch Moor and on down to Loch Lomond ( ‘Bonnie Banks’ of) before reaching Auchentoshan at about 12.45pm.

After a wait of about 10 mins we joined the distillery tour which was escorted by a first class local guide who clearly had a mastery of both Auchentoshan and the whisky industry in general. We were taken through the various processes of malting, mashing, distillation and maturation before sampling a few drams in the bar. This was an excellent value experience and it was noted that single malts for sale in the distillery shop appeared to be cheaper than equivalent malts sold in other distilleries we had visited.

Here is the final stage where the whisky matures in oak barrels for 6, 10, 12 years and longer. A 50 year old is shortly to be bottled.

Our guide describing the distilling process.

Three stills for distilling. Auchentoshan distills its spirit three times as compared with two distillations more common in the Scotch whisky industry.

This visit concluded our tour so we drove on down to Prestwick Airport and fond farewells. We had covered a large part of Scotland and visited seven distilleries.

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Today proved quite exciting and interesting.After a good breakfast at the helpful Fearnoch B and B at Torrin, we went on down the long and narrow road to Elgol, one of the top scenic sites on Skye, encountering Highland Cattle and sheep on the way. At Elgol, a small village located at the seaside, we availed of photo opps and then returned along the road to Broadford stopping for photographs en-route. At Broadford we turned North West for the famous Talisker Distillery, located in the centre of Skye, where we arrived about 11.00am and registered for a distillery tour. The distillery tour at Talisker lasted about 30 mins and proved of good quality led by a very competent guide who provided a good insight into the malting,mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturity process. The end product is slightly peaty in flavour.After the tour we all made purchases from the Talisker shop.Next we drove on up to Portree, capital of Skye, for a seafood lunch at a harbourside seafood restaurant which proved a good experience. We arrived just in time to catch the final couple of minutes of a pipe band which was playing at the water fromt to raise funds for charity.After lunch we wandered into the town centre and again met up with the same, Isle of Skye, pipe band.This time we had plenty of opps for pics and videos (see image below).Our next stop target was Armadale in order to catch the ferry to Mallaig on the mainland. On the way we stopped at Isleornsay for refreshment and relaxation.At Isleornsay is a wonderful small hotel, pub and a few upscale shops all close the old fishing harbour: a pretty setting in context of the changing light conditions with rainbows. Good photo opps.Finally we made Armadale in good time for the 5.00pm ferry which departed on time.Upon arrival at Mallaig we drove down to Fort William stopping en-route for a short stop at the historic Glenfinnan site which is best known for its links with Bonnie Prince Charlie (1745) and the Jacobite Express or ‘Harry Potter’ steam train which passes over the Glenfinnan viaduct which was the world’s first concrete bridge.We arrived Fort William at 7.00 pm and checked into our Guest House lodgings then went off for a local pub meal which proved very satisfactory.Tomorrow we continue our whisky theme with a visit to Auchentoshan, near Glasgow which is a Lowland distillery which triple distills.
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