Anyway, as you recall "Single Malt Scotch Whisky" means it is a whisky made entirely from malted barley, produced at a single distillery and meets all the requirements to be called "Scotch" - produced entirely within Scotland, and aged for a minimum of three years in casks of less than 185 US gallons, bottled at a maximum of 190 US proof.
The distillery reminds one of a wine house in Napa, sleek courtyard, nice logos.
And of course like Napa, there are tours available and so our busload was split up and taken through in groups of about 15. I picked our guide as an "older" gentleman who I figured knew his stuff. After researching and fleshing out my knowledge on the subject as a result of preparing a presentation for our tour group, I figured I knew something about the subject, but wanted to see the "real thing".
I did learn something, but our guide seemed more interested in maintaining schedule more than helping people to understand the process. More than once he sort of implied that we were too dumb to understand, especially some of the ladies in the group. Not Good.
Glenlivet does not make their own malted barley, but instead contracts it out and it is delivered to the distillery, and must meet specific requirements as to sugar content, yield potential and so forth. That was something different from the normal process. The malted barley that is delivered has not been dried by peat, so no smokeyness in their product. After that, it is pretty much the regular process. Grind it, add warm water, drain it, add yeast to the resulting water, let it ferment, the distill it twice, put it in casks and there you are. we saw the huge pot stills, barely visible (on the left) here because they prevent pictures in the distillery proper.
they use used American Oak and make a 12, 18, 20 and up product and some single cask offerings. After our "tour" we were of course ushered into a tasting room to sample the product.
I did get the fact that in creating a bottling (say 12 year old - their youngest) that they do "blend" different "fills" in order to create a consistent product. He was a bit reluctant to admit that but I was glad to confirm my facts.
Ushered into the gift shop...
and then we had lunch in their cafeteria, and i had a cheese and pickle (an oddity in itself) sandwich
with a bowl of the seemingly common potato and leek soup, which is always good no matter where you go..
after leaving the distillery we traveled through wonderful country as we left the highlands for the lowlands..
we visted Balmoral Castle the home of Royalty in Scotland..
on the way to our current location in Dundee.. another "Chose one from each category" meal at our hotel, and i chose a "Roasted Guinea Fowl" (those things that run around in barnyards) and it was pretty good...this is getting long and the hour late, so maybe more on that tomorrow.
speaking of tomorrow, we'll be heading back to Edinburgh via St. Andrews, visitng the Old Course. Mecca to golfers..
so off to bed with a wee dram to help the sleep take effect.
Oh yeah we were indeed