This evening, I am posting a record of today’s Speyside whisky themed tour.

After departing our lodgings at An Cala, Grantown on Spey, we drove north for about 45 mins through Highland Grouse Moor and farming scenery to the country town of Forres to the east of Inverness.

At Forres we enjoyed a private tour of the distillery of Benromach, a small distillery owned by whisky specialist, Gordon and MacPhail. This distillery dates from 1898 and subsequently changed hands many times and was even mothballed for a few years until re-opened by Prince Charles in 1998. In the warehouse we viewed a cask signed by the Prince.

This proved a fascinating tour led by a guide with long experience in the whisky industry and a passion for the product. We were taken through the entire malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation process. Benromach produces relatively young malt whisky although some older expressions are also available. One notable feature is an organic single malt produced with organically grown barley and matured in new wood oak casks, i.e in casks which have not previously been used to hold Bourbon or Sherry.

After a tasting and some purchases at the Distillery shop we drove west toward Inverness passing, en-route, the famous Culloden Battlefield, site of last battle on British soil in 1746.

Here is the guide at Benromach explaining the importance of oak barrels in the maturation process.

Stills at washbacks at Benromach. This shot illustrates the compactness of this small distillery.

Tour in process.
Maturing whisky cask signed by Prince Charles.

Visitor Centre at Benromach.

Benromach Organic Whisky which is matured in fresh oak casks.

After Inverness, self styled ‘Capital of the Highlands’ we drove down past Drumnadrochit to Castle Urquhart on the banks of Loch Ness. The castle (see image below) is of interest in its own right but the location is popular due to the superb vistas and photo opps of Loch Ness which the site offers. We had a light lunch here and then moved on through Fort William, Glencoe, Rannoch Moor and Stirling arriving at Edinburgh about 7.30pm and fond farewells after conclusion of the three day tour.

Be Sociable, Share!