December 2011 saw the final whisky tour of 2011 for MCLEANSCOTLAND.
A lucky couple from Johannesburg won the trip organised by Diageo/Brandhouse in South Africa.
As Liz (MCLEANSCOTLAND) said;
“Paul met the couple at Glasgow airport, then transferred to Edinburgh, where the couple stayed their first night in Scotland, an exclusive hotel – one not to forget!
He checked them in then dropped them to the city for some shopping. Next day 09.30 they set out to cross the River Forth on the road bridge, heading to Perth where I (Liz) joined them. WE all set out for the highlands, travelling through beautiful countryside to Tynedrum, stopping at the Green Welly Shop, not only for food, but sampling whisky in their fine whisky shop. By now we were in white conditions, heavy snow had fallen, we travelled on to Oban for the first distillery; Oban of course, where we had a private VIP tour and quite a few drams (not Paul, he was still driving), eventually dropping the couple off at their 4 star hotel overlooking Oban Bay to Mull.
Saturday – day 3, we all headed to Rannoch Moor and Glencoe, giving our guests a great view of Scotland in the snow. They were well and truly amazed! Through the glen to Fort William where we took a good lunch at the Crannog restaurant, snow, loch and seafood! Then driving through wonderful scenery to meet the ferry at Mallaig, to take us to Skye. Once there dropping our guests at Kinloch Lodge, home to the Clan Chief of MacDonald of Sleat, a very impressive wee private hotel, dinner awaited them here also. Paul and myself travelled on to Portree, the roads were a wee bit icy so we took care and time here. Back to meet our couple next day and an island trip lay ahead, the road became very tricky after reaching the “old man of Storr” so here we turned back to Portree for lunch and a few pub visits, even watching the game on tv. Returning to their hotel and wee two back to Portree, roads very bad tonight! One large lorry and 5 cars came off the road tonight.
Monday; first call of the day; Talisker distillery, for a grand tour and tasting of several drams. The Talisker 18 year old was the most popular dram here. Then a long drive to the mainland, stopping at Spean Bridge for lunch, another taster dram here and some whisky purchases. Whilst we all sampled drams in the car, poor Paul was driving, being driven mad by the wafting aromas of certain drams! We arrived at Dalwhinnie for some photos etc before heading down the road to Pitlochry, where they stayed the final night in the turret suite of an excellent hotel. Paul took me home from here, that was my last day on tour. Next morning Paul meet them and took them to Blair Atholl distillery, the final one of the trip. Then, sadly the drive to the airport and farewells!”
Paul; “we are always happy working with Diageo and many other whisky experts, this was our final tour of the year, I must say at times we were driving at 15mph! No the best conditions to tour, but fantastic scenery. We now have new friends in Jo’berg who have promised to return – for more whisky! They are also now members of our Angels Whisky Club. At superb ending to the touring year for us, looking forward to 2012 where we have tours booked in.