Angels Fly North – Scotch Whisky News

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Angels fly north.

Liz and Paul of MCLEANSCOTLAND & ANGELS WHUISKY CLUB went north for their latest outing.

From Broughty Ferry (near Dundee) they drove through Aberdeen to Huntly and on to Dufftown, where a meeting had been scheduled with Mike, owner of the Dufftown Whisky Shop. It may be that the pair (Liz and Paul) will become involved in the Autumn whisky festival there, and meeting up with Mike to chat things over – watch this space for details later. From here through Elgin, Inverness and the road to Sutherland, passing Benromach, Dalmore, Invergordon and Glenmorangie distilleries before reaching Caithness, where they stopped overnight at a hotel who had kindly offered them hospitality. Next morning a guided tour of Old Pulteney distillery by Malcom; The Old Pulteney distillery is one of the most northerly distilleries on the Scottish mainland. It is a windswept location, where the landscape of the Highlands meets the North Sea, the waves crash against the granite walls of the harbour. Built in 1826, the Pulteney Distillery is rich in history and atmosphere. The extreme location and unique stills have resulted in a distinctive flavour – the Genuine Maritime Malt. Liz had a really good taste, bought the shirt, some whisky and generally had a good time, while Paul was still the driver and got the drivers share; a sniff! A great tour and meeting some of the staff, a nice day became even nicer, thanks to Malcom and everyone there.

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Liz in the warehouse

From here north again to John O’Groats, a perfect day, clear blue skies, enabled them to see lots of Orkney, sitting there just over the waves, they could almost smell Highland Park and Scapa – och next time. Some local sightseeing with a bottle of Kavalan;  An elegant, floral, fruity and seductive dram. With hints of honey, tropical fruits – mango, pear drops from school days, vanilla, coconuts and maybe a hint of chocolate. Liz enjoyed a large dram, as soon as the driving was over for the day – Paul caught up!

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The highlight of the trip so far; staying at Ackergill Tower, a castle dating back to the 15h century, beautiful rooms and atmosphere, a grand dinner, wines and whisky enjoyed with the owners and 30 odd guests, a fine evening.

Day 3 saw the angels heading through the heavy mists passing Clynelish/Brora on to Glenmorangie, where another private tour took place. The tallest stills in the business, “what big neck’s they do have granny!”  Signet is Paul’s favourite dram here, a blend of  old whisky – distilled over thirty years ago when malting still occurred on site – and spirit matured in a selection of the world’s finest casks, this undoubtedly is a rich whisky – the exact secret of its production are known only to the creators, but can tell you that Signet’s sweetness and spiciness is caused by unique roasted ‘chocolate’ barley malt and the ‘designer casks’ made bespoke for Glenmorangie from American white oak. Non chill-filtered. Coffee Chocolate Citrus with a treacle plum pudding, sherry and orange peel.  How to describe this gem;   oooooooooooooooooooh!

Och they needed to leave, a few miles away awaited Glen Ord, the nearest distillery to Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. The young and beautiful Anne took the private tour, she has been there 9 years, she only looks 21 herself! The Singleton of Glen Ord is mainly for selected Asian markets only and only available at the Visitor Centre and Whisky Shop. However, MCLEANSCOTLAND can take you there – and everywhere else!  Glen Ord distillery was founded in 1838, making it one of the oldest in Scotland and continues to malt its own barley and to use the long fermentation and slow distillation methods followed there for generations. So much going on here, new stills, wash backs, new buildings, Diageo are pumping money in here to enlarge to output, so much activity!  It will be excellent when finished, hopefully by the end of the summer.

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Sadly, they departed for Forres and their next hotel, a fine country manor, with a really good whisky bar, Paul was pleased! Day 4 – first port of call; to chat with Iain at Glen Moray distillery. A few items of business before the usual event – the purchasing! Although many thanks go to Iain for the bottle – donated to the tour in two weeks with the malt Whisky Association of Finland, back touring again with Liz and Paul.  And so home … almost 4 hours later back at Broughty Ferry, the unloading took longer than planned, so much whisky, gifts, clothes, not to mention personal luggage. Result; “a great trip, just a pity we didnee have time for the other distilleries, Dalmore, Clynelish, Balblair, Benromach, not to mention a plethora in Speyside and Aberdeenshire, another trip needed!” Paul.

Liz and Paul own www.mcleanscotland.com and www.angelswhiskyclub.com  Based in Perth and Broughty Ferry, designing bespoke whisky tours.

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