Today, was the final day of our short tour which was centred on Speyside.

After breakfast at the superb An Cala Guest House (5 stars) at Grantown on Spey, we drove up to Aberlour via the ‘scenic route’. This was slow but the scenery was fantastic. We tracked the River Spey seeing lots of wildlife, Highland Cows, a salmon fisherman waist deep in the river and even a couple of Llamas. After a number of photo stops (good visibilty and no rain) we just arrived at Aberlour Distillery in time to join the 10.30am distillery and tasting tour which lasted two and a haf hours. This was an excellent tour with a good guide who took us through the whole process from malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation to maturation. At the end we were able to sample 5 single malts and even some raw spirit. My guests took the opportunity to fill their own bottle with single malt (GBP60.00). It was pointed out that most of the trees and shrubs growing close to the distillery, whilst healthy, had an alcohol induced fungus growing on the bark which rendered it black in colour. I have not noticed this phenomenon at any other of the many distilleries I have visited. The image below shows the malted barley being delivered to the distillery.

After a quick lunch in the town of Aberlour we travelled down to Dalwhinnie, just making the 3.00pm tour in time. This distillery is part of the portfolio of drinks giant Diageo and occupies the coldest inhabited site in Britain. We joined the regular tour which was fine, albeit not as detailed as that at Aberlour, and were provided with a dram at conclusion of the tour.

Next on to Dunkeld in Perthshire for afternoon tea and finally to Edinburgh Airport in good time for my guests to catch their flight to London.

Overall, a good tour in course of which we visited seven whisky distilleries of all types and sizes.

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