053. Glen Elgin

Stills at Glen Elgin Distillery

069. Glen Moray

Casks at Glen Moray Distillery

012. Dufftown

Dufftown Distillery

026. Mortlach

Mortlach Distillery

074. Glendronach

Stills at Glendronach Distillery

017. Duncan Taylor

Duncan Taylor bottling hall

067. Ardmore

Stillhouse at Ardmore Distillery

098. Glenglassaugh

Mashtun at Glenglassaugh Distillery

004. Benromach

Benromach Distillery

001. Benriach

Benriach Distillery

111. Glenfarclas

Stills at Glenfarclas Distillery

013. Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich Distillery

055. Balvenie

In the kiln of Balvenie Distillery

089. Aultmore

Former steam engine of Aultmore Distillery

027. Benrinnes

Obsolete Saladin maltings at Benrinnes Distillery


The centre of the Autumn Spirit of Speyside Festival – The Whisky Shop in Duffftown

October 18th 2010:

While I am still on the train station in my hometown, I walk into Captain Sparrow, yes the one from “Pirates of the Carribean”. Well not the real one but an impressive copy.

The trip to Edinburgh went smoothly and after a walk across the Royal Mile, which was barking in sunshine, I went to Whiski. Had a few drams and dinner and went back to my hotel. A great hotel for a health freak. After I went up 3 floors with the lift, I had to climb down 2 again to get to my room. If you are a health freak drop me a line and I tell you which hotel to go to.

And yes, I scored my first miniature, Balblair 2000 vintage.


October 19th 2010:

A dreary day, the sun has gone and it is raining when I get up. Moving out to Elgin where I will stay for the next 2 days. Just get my last preparations worked out for the trip.


October 20th 2010:

Heading up to Sandend by bus. My first distillery visit is on. Visiting Glenglassaugh on a windy, but otherwise beautiful day. Great visit with Graham Eunson and Ronnie Routledge. There was no production at the distillery due to a problem with the boiler.


October 21st 2010:

In the morning paid a visit to the Benromach distillery. Nice visit, distillery was silent due to absence of the distillery manager. In the afternoon visited Benriach, sadly enough the staff didn’t have time for a tour. After that on the bus to Craigellachie for the next part of my trip.


October 22nd 2010:

Highlander Inn manager Duncan Elphick lend me his bicycle. Re-visiting Glenfarclas, for a very nice tour with Ian McWilliam. Got on with my bike tour after that, sadly enough, because of a wrong turn missed my planned visit to Tomintoul distillery.


October 23rd 2010:

A day at William Grant’s Dufftown plant. Even a visit from the Duke of Kent couldn’t get in the way. Had a nice tour through Glenfiddich with production manager Ewen Cameron. I have to say Glenfiddich does very well here, their regular tour is free, and you currently are getting a dram of the 12-, 15- and 18-year old. You would say, great value for money, but then the tour is even for free.

After a nice lunch with Ewen and master blender David Stewart, went on to do the Balvenie tour, with David Mair. If you want to see the difference between a “regular” tour at Glenfiddich and a “special” tour, you don’t have to go far. Just visit Balvenie.


October 24th 2010:

Jumping on the train. Well this means the Dufftown railway to Keith. I am today picking up the programm of the Autumn Spirit of Speyside festival. This means going to Keith by train and then go to Aultmore distillery. Certainly worthwhile. Too bad, this distillery isn’t open to the public. This by the way goes for most of the distilleries visited during the Speyside festival.


October 25th 2010:

Back in Elgin, with the festival bus. Visiting Glen Elgin and Glen Moray. I am happy to visit Glen Elgin, the tour is well organized just for the festival. After that to Glen Moray. 2 years ago when I was there they were on to be sold off by Glenmorangie plc. Now under their new owner things look bright again. There are even talking about enlarging the distillery with 2 more stills. As I already said 2 years ago, things can only get better.


October 26th 2010:

Holiday. Yes, a day to do nothing. Took a walk, and staying in Craigellachie, of course walked up to the distillery to make some pictures.


October 27th 2010:

Dufftown today. This means first visiting the Dufftown distillery and after that Mortlach distillery. Both were in getting ready to start production again. After that did some tasting sessions with Kate Wright of Glenfarclas and Mark Watt from Duncan Taylor. This all was finished with a visit to the Whisky Shop in Dufftown, to try and empty some bottles.


October 28th 2010:

Final visit within the Speyside Festival. This takes us to Benrinnes distillery. The staff member that takes us round seems to be impressed by the interest of his visitors and goes full out. A visit to the remains of their former saladin malting, in turn impresses the visitors very much. So this all ends up in a great visit.

In the afternoon leaving Craigellachie. This means going to Elgin first, and then travel to Huntly. Public transport is not always easy when travelling Scotland.


October 29th 2010:

Visiting Glendronach for a great tour, even the rain can’t stop that. The rain means however, that everyone at the distillery is hoping that there will not be another flooding. In the afternoon visiting Duncan Taylor, visiting their shop, bottling hall, and distillery? The building is there and the plans are in order, but they haven’t started yet with building the distillery. The plans are in place, for starting a distillery that produces as well malt as grain whisky.


October 30th 2010:

Ardmore is the last distillery of this tour and it is certainly worthwhile. The distillery is not open to the public, but they are working on this and hope to have a visitor centre in the near future. After Beam Global took over the distillery, they are working very hard to also work on this side of the business.

In the afternoon leaving for Edinburgh.


November 1st 2010:

Going to all the whisky shops to look for something interesting, not too much to find though. As the weather isn’t as brilliant as it was on my arrival in Scotland, I decide to be a perfect tourist. So I visited the Scotch Whisky Experience, at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre. The tour was unexpected, the barrel ride was even fun with the explanation of the distilling process. And of course, the collection of Claive Vidiz, already makes the tour worthwhile. I even took a bus tour through Edinburgh, well maybe that was a little bit too much of being a tourist.


November 2nd 2010:

Flying back home. Well home, I first will visit Amersfoort. Here I will visit the Saturday evening and Sunday session of the Pot Still Festival. Great event. And then, home.