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Thursday, December 8, 2011

On The Road: Elgin to Peterhead

After our good breakfast we headed out for another day of exploring.   

As I mentioned when I told you about the island of Skye, Dave and Maureen arranged for us to visit two distilleries.  First was Talisker with its peaty whisky.  Now in the famous ‘Speyside’ region Dave took us to the Strathisla distillery, oldest distillery in the Highlands. 


Strathisla is a “two birds with one stone” tour.  Not only does it produce the single malt Strathisla, this whisky is the base of the famous Chivas Regal blended whisky.  So both are explained and sampled.  As I understand it, the Speyside whiskys are lighter and more complex than the peaty Western Highland whiskys. 

The tour was very interesting.  The last part of the tour took us to this building where they have the “Royal Salute” vault where they mature special edition whiskys, such as “Royal Salute 50 Year Old: Blended from whiskies aged for at least 50 years. Limited edition released in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, priced at $30,000.”  

Wow.

The black on the side of the building is common to distilleries.  It is a fungus that lives on the ethanol produced by the distilling process and by the cask evaporation (2% a year) known as the “angel’s share”. 

This bench in the visitor’s center was made from one of the giant vats in the distillery when it was replaced.  Isn’t the wood beautiful?  

They were really strict about NO pictures, so I only have these few.  However… there is a great video of the tour at: 


and some nice photos on the Scotland tour site at:  


From there we headed back towards the sea.  Almost every village has a protected harbor.

With seas like this… there no doubt as to why they were built!

Every one of them was a great photo op.  I could spend all day in one harbor getting great shots… and we visited many!

Outside of the villages, there were lovely beaches to walk along.  With the wind and brisk temperature, we mostly had them to ourselves…

…which gave us the opportunity to notice the small beautiful things often missed.  

We made our way that evening to our lodgings for the night… a lighthouse!  I’ll tell you about that in my next post.  It was so much fun!

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