Cheers Mates! How have all of you been? I hope you’ve all been well. What drams have you been experiencing since the last time?
I thought I would give you a change of pace and tell you about my first distillery tour. I want to thank my best friend from my college days Dr Sanji (Twitter @sanji2witter) who has a thriving medical practice in Kent, United Kingdom (The Charing Practice), for arranging my first distillery tour. On a side note, Dr Sanji’s surgery is the first of its kind in the London area that has a therapeutic garden for its patients.
I came down with my family to England to see my good friend and his family. Sanji knowing my affinity for the water of life arranged a tour of Scotland for the family and me. Of course, this meant a distillery tour or two! This was an opportunity for us to get in the know about the process of whisky making.
After traversing the lovely countryside of Scotland, and experiencing multiple seasons in one drive, we arrived at the Glenfiddich Distillery. For me, it was like hallowed grounds being there. I got out of the car thinking, ‘This is where the miracles take place!’
The distillery had a visitors’ center to accommodate pilgrims like myself. We were ushered into a theatre of sorts and we viewed a screening of the Glenfiddich story. It was nice to see the history of the distillery, as well as whisky, in this visual format.
We then moved onto the distillery. It was so exciting to see the processes in place. I’d read about the science behind whisky making but to see it was a different experience all together! The tour was so fascinating that even my wife and kids enjoyed the tour.
We got to see the giant washbacks, and the stills. The stills were quite a marvel to behold. We were taken to the rickhouse where the barrels of whisky are aged. We were also allowed to nose different barrels of various ages to see the difference aging can make with a whisky.
We were finally brought into the tasting room. Here we were provided with 3 different expressions of Glenfiddich- 12, 15 and 18 years. It was nice to try out these different expressions. Of course, my kids couldn’t take part in this part of the tour!
All in all, it was a great time for all of us. A bit of a science lesson. A bit of a history lesson. A bit of a social studies and cultural lesson. For all of us. The tour made me look forward to our next tour… which was next door- The Balvenie Distillery.
I highly suggest all of you to take a distillery tour. You don’t have to go to Scotland to experience one. There are distilleries all over the world that are making amazing whiskies and the processes are very similar. It is not only a great learning experience, but also an opportunity to try some amazing whiskies!
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With this I will close this post of the dMann’s Whisky Notebook. I raise a glass of Glenfiddich this time to all of you and say ‘Slànte!’ and I wish all of you all the best ‘til next time. I would like this to continue to develop into something that will allow you to get ‘in the know’ regarding whisky. I hope to come up with some sort of cool tagline that I can close with. But until then, I would like to remind everyone that, those who are in the know, enjoy their whisky responsibly.