This morning we commenced by availing of a Connoisseur Tour at Glenfiddich Distillery which lasted over 2 hours. This was very well delivered, taking us through the history of this famous and privately owned enterprise and the principal malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation processes culminating in a sample of 4 malt whiskies. A quality experience. Glenfiddich suffered significant damage to the structure of its buildings-and bonded warehouses in particular-during the recent harsh winter due to the weight of snow on roofs.

Mash Tun at Glendfiddich

A video illustration of the veracity of the fermentation process in a washback.

Stills at Glenfiddich

Tasting at Glenfiddich

After the distillery tour we had a light lunch at Glenfiddich and then drove round the corner to photograph Balvenie Castle, an impressive edifice. The castle has experienced an unusually peaceful life notwithstanding its strategic importance above the waters of the Fiddich. This castle has passed from the Black Comyns, to the Stewarts Earls of Atholl and then the Duff family whereafter it was abandoned in the early 18th century. Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here in September 1562.

We next drove to nearby Macallan Distillery where we were provided with a ‘standard’ tour. The tour lived up to the image of this famous, premium, brand. The visitor experience is excellent aided by a new interpretation exhibition which aids understanding of the Macallan whisky making process with emphasis on the role played by the Spanish and American oak casks in the maturation process. Unfortunately, photography is severely restricted in this distillery.

After the Macallan tour we drove down to the large house which now features as the Macallan logo and took pics of this building, Easter Elchies House, which overlooks the River Spey and Craigellachie.

This is Craigellachie which sites in the heart of the Speyside whisky industry

Our final distillery call was Glen Grant which is owned by Campari of Italy. We were provided with the standard distillery tour which was of good quality. The stills (see image below) feature unique condensers invented by a member of the founding Grant family.

Glen Grant produced a whisky which is light and very popular in Italy, often featuring as an aperitif. The malts here are matured for shorter periods than in most other distilleries and hence tend to be cheaper in price.

Tasting at Glenfiddich

Inspecting the washbacks at Glen Grant

Stills at Glen Grant

After Glen Grant we visited the famous whisky bar at the Craigellachie Hotel which is home to some 700 different malts.

Finally, we drove back to Grantown and a meal at the Craggan Mill restaurant which is famous for whisky themed meals.

This image is An Cala, our lodgings during our Speyside tour.

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