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Tullochard Guesthouse, Alness

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Teaninich Distillery, Alness

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Invergordon Distillery, Invergordon

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Brora Distillery, Brora

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Glen Moray Distillery, Elgin

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Craighurst Guesthouse, Keith

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Strathisla Distillery, Keith

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Glencadam Distillery, Brechin

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Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry

July 12th 2008:

Early morning. I am leaving for Schiphol airport, flight delayed. So when I arrived in Edinburgh my train was gone and I had to wait for about 3 hours for the next train to arrive. So in the end I arrived at 21.30 in Alness. Got a warm welcome at the B&B where I will stay for about a week.

 

July 13th 2008:

My original plans to visit Glen Ord didnít work, due to public transport. When I arrived at the station, the train that was mentioned on the schedule on internet did not go. The next option is at about 15:30 hours. By the time that I arrive in Muir of Ord then, the distillery will close. So just have a rest, look around in Alness and make a picture visit to the Teaninich Distillery.

 

July 14th 2008:

Finally, I am getting started. Visiting Invergordon, this is a nice little town. You will find a shipyard with a lot of activity, and a distillery. Yes, a distillery, from the size you would think it is a refinery or a chemical plant but it is a distillery. This is the home of the Invergordon grain distillery. This distillery is not open for visitors, but sometimes someone gets lucky and is allowed in. I was allowed to visit the distillery and got a great tour from production manager Duncan Munro and spirit operations manager Ian Mackay. When you are used to visit malt distilleries, this is a complete shock, but it was a tremendous experience.

 

July 15th 2008:

Off to Glenmorangie for a nice tour. The distillery looks like a building site, as they are very busy to enlarge the distillery. I planned to visit Balblair but it seemed that they were not able to arrange a tour. So I went back to Alness and visited Dalmore where I already made a photo shoot. The distillery is silent currently and is now slowly getting back into production, I will have to see how far they are when I go up their, for the tour on Thursday.

 

July 16th 2008:

A busy day first travelled to Tomatin distillery. Distillery manager Douglas Campbell, shows me the distillery, which since my last visit, decreased in size. I gather they are the only one around that are not enlarging their distillery. Then on the way back to Alness, first stopped in Inverness. A quick visit, to The Whisky Shop in Inverness. They had the new Auchentoshan miniatures, my first miniatures during this trip. From Inverness in travelled to Muir of Ord, where I made up for not getting there on Sunday. Impressive to see the buildings of the Malting Plant. I surely would love to visit a Malting Plant.

 

July 17th 2008:

Another day, again very busy. I first go to the Dalmore Distillery to get the tour. Another nice tour and senior guide, Morag Swanson, shows me round while the distillery is again getting up to speed. After that quickly to the train station, for a trip to Brora. I am visiting Clynelish, a very nice distillery, but living in the shadow of Brora. Still impressive to see the stills, although the pigeons show them that much respect.

 

July 18th 2008:

I am leaving Alness in the morning and travel to Speyside. I am staying in Keith, but to get to Duncan Taylor in time I decide to travel directly to Huntly. I arrive with my suitcase at the store, but no problem everything is fine. Afterwards get back to Keith and find my guest house. No problem though, as they are situated next to the Strathisla distillery. A very nice place to stay. They have a theme for their 4 rooms, being Whisky Room, Castle Room, Coastal Room and Royal Room. I donít know what got into them to put me in the Whisky Room.

 

July 19th 2008:

Heading back, well partly, I am going to Elgin. Although originally not planned, I decided to go to Glen Moray and see how they were doing. Although they are to be sold off, it was business as usual and even with as little staff as there was available, they had everything under control. Afterwards a little visit to Elgin city centre and of course, the Gordon & MacPhail shop.

 

July 20th 2008:

In the morning first headed out for a walk through Keith, having a look at Bonded Warehouses No. 1 from Chivas Brothers on the edge of town. After a lot of walking, decided to pay a visit to Strathisla. The distillery was in its silent season, but the distillery tours were on as usual. Also went around the corner to have a look at Glen Keith Distillery.

 

July 21st 2008:

On my way to Old Meldrum to visit the Glen Garioch distillery. Another nice visit with a very enthusiastic Kenny Grant. It was really great to spend some time there. Afterwards a visit to Inverurie and back for my last night in Keith.

 

July 22nd 2008:

Leaving Keith with pain in my heart, had a good time with the Dutch proprietors of the guesthouse. I am heading for Brechin. From Aberdeen on I decide to leave the train, and take a bus. A good decision, a very friendly bus driver tells me to get of his bus in Stonehaven, to almost immediately have a connection to Brechin. This busdriver lives in Brechin and before I get into town I know exactly where I am heading and what the shortest way to Glencadam is. Glencadam Distillery is my next stop and again a very enthusiastic tour with Douglas Fitchett. He goes through a range of samples with me and knows to impress me, with the operations that are getting on at Glencadam.

 

July 23rd 2008:

Another day, another trip. I am going to Fettercairn, a beautiful little village with a distillery. It looks like time stood still. A visit to a distillery that is in its silent season, look nice enough though. Sadly enough, they are a little out of range from the better known distilleries, which means that they donít get the number of visitors that they deserve. Afterwards, get back to Brechin, and have a look through the town and try to find some remains of the North Port Ė Brechin Distillery. You would wish time had stood still here.

 

July 24th 2008:

Leaving Brechin for Edinburgh. Go through all the whisky shops, have a look around in Edinburgh and have some nice drams in the WHISKI BAR on the Royal Mile.

 

July 25th 2008:

Getting out of Edinburgh for this last day. I am visiting Edradour Distillery and hope to get a look at the Signatory Vintage bottling hall, that is set up on the parking of the distillery. Both look impressive, the distillery is very busy with visitors and looks in great shape. They are getting ready to build some new warehouses.

 

July 26th 2008:

An early start. I am leaving for Edinburgh Airport and am getting home. Looking back at a great trip for which I want to thank everyone that help me make it this nice.