Whisky

Talisker Distillery, Carbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland

This was our second visit to Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye, May 2017.  Unfortunately or fortunately in my husband eyes, was the fact that had I lost my photos of five years ago, and I wanted to revisit to take more for my ‘Whisky Distilleries Category’.  So he was quite happy to stop on our road trip of the Island, so I could retake photos, but this time there were quite a few visitors, many more than before.  Whisky is now making quite a comeback and you would be amazed at the amount of different languages that you hear……its good for Scotland, especially for the islands, as it means work, in fact there are three brand new distilleries that I heard about, that have been built recently.  We did visit one which I will post about later, but back to our visit of Talisker.

A little history for you …….Talisker’s founders, brothers Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill were classic Clearance landlords. Having bought the rent of Talisker House on Skye and extensive lands in 1825, they set about forcibly shifting the resident population from their farms, either to new settlements at Carbost and Portnalong on the shores of Loch Harport and Portnalong, or off the island entirely.  In 1830, they opened their Talisker distillery in Carbost using the cleared populace as its workforce. Their venture into whisky-making was not a success and by 1848 the bank was in control. For the next three decades Talisker stumbled through a series of other owners who found it hard to keep afloat a distillery which is remote even by 21st century standards.  In 1880, Talisker’s fortunes changed when Roderick Kemp and Alexander Allen bought the distillery and proceeded to expand the site and construct a distillery pier – until then all the casks had to be floated out to waiting ships.  Eventually after many years a grouping of major blender morphed into Diageo.  In 1960, the distillery burned down and was silent until 1962 while it was being rebuilt, in to what you see now.  

May 2017

 

Glengoyne Distillery, Dumgoyne, Scotland

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Glengoyne Distillery is a picture postcard whisky distillery, which we visited in 2016.   It was a shame that the sky had clouded over on our arrival, but that didn’t take anything away from tasting this whisky, which is unpeated, due to the fact the water is unpeated and the malt used is similarly devoid of peat.  Which I actually liked, husband likes them peaty, but he still bought a bottle for his collection.

The Glengoyne distillery sits at the foot of Dumgoyne Hill near Loch Lomond. The distillery burn, as it is known, tumbles down the Dumgoyne Hill providing water for the 1.1 million litre capacity whisky distillery. In the past, the woodlands and undulations which covered the surrounding area gave superb shelter for the illegitimate distillations that were brought about by heavy spirit taxation. During the early 19th century, it is rumoured, there were as many as eighteen illicit Stills in the area. The whisky that came from these Stills was taken to the local blacksmith, who filled earthenware pots with the rough, wild spirit and employed local girls to walk the 14 miles to Glasgow with the whisky concealed beneath their hooped skirts. The dense woodland once provided shelter for Rob Roy MacGregor who secreted himself in a little hollow when pursued by the English army.

In 1833, the local farmer, George Connell was granted the license to legally produce whisky in the area. He founded the Burnfoot Distillery, which became Glenguin Distillery in 1861, then, in 1906, became Glengoyne. The previous owners Lang Brothers were acquired by Robertson and Baxter. The distillery was renovated and a further still was installed. In 1984, Lang Brothers received a Royal Warrant, having supplied whisky to the Queen Mother. In April of 2003, Ian MacLeod acquired Lang’s blended products and the Glengoyne distillery from the Edrington Group for £7.2 million.

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Tullibardine Distillery, Blackford, Scotland

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Following on from Deanston Distillery, May 2016, we visited Tullibardine Distillery.  This was a new Whisky for me, not so to my husband, but it was interesting to find one that I had not heard of before. The distillery stands at the western end of the village of Blackford, which itself stands in the shadow of the Ochil Hills and on the north side of the main A9 about half way between Stirling and Perth.

Tullibardine whisky distillery was founded in 1949 on the site of an old brewery, one which was said to have brewed ale for King James IV’s coronation back in 1488! The brewery itself dated back to the 12th century so it’s fair to say that the site has had an incredibly long brewing and distilling history.

Named for Tullibardine Moor, the distillery draws its water from the Danny Burn and lies to the south-west of Blackford. The area is renowned for the purity of its water, indeed Highland Spring is bottled locally. Queen Helen, the wife of King Magnus of Alba, drowned in a ford after falling from her horse not far from the town and Blackford was named accordingly.

Following purchase by Invergordon in 1971, Tullibardine’s stills capacity was increased from two to four. Two decades later, Invergordon was acquired by Whyte and Mackay and a year later the whisky distillery was shut down. In December of 2003, the distillery was put back into production following the June acquisition of Tullibardine for the sum of £1.1 million. A year later a Café and Shop were opened at the Tullibardine distillery, which today has a capacity of 2.5 million litres per annum.

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Deanston Distillery, Deanston, Nr Stirling, Scotland

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 We are in Scotland at the moment, so its bit, hit and miss if I can post, but at the moment, I can.  As we are more than likely going to add to the ‘Whiskey Distillery Tour’  I’m adding some more that we visited last year, 2016.   Deanston Distillery is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery located on the banks of the River Teith, eight miles from the historic town of Stirling, at the gateway to the dramatic Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.  Having been a cotton mill for 180 years, Deanston was transformed into a distillery in the 1960.   Part of the Ken Loach drama “The Angels’ Share” was filmed at the distillery, hence the wonderful signed poster, which unfortunately was not for sale.  

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Bowmore Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland

Carrying on with our whisky tour, we made our way to the south eastern shore of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay, in May 2016, to the Bowmore Distillery.  Bowmore is the oldest distillery in Scotland, and established in 1779.  There is a very nice tasting area, with wonderful views over Loch Indaal, which you can gaze at, while tasting your whisky.  

May 2016

Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland

 

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Bruichladdich Distillery, on the Isle of Islay, in May 2016, the weather was getting progressively darker and a chilliness in the air, so a wee tasting of this whisky was something to look forward to.  In all these distilleries, you can’t take photos of where they make the whisky, all hush, hush stuff……I know its terrible, but they do look all the same to me.  But least I was starting to taste the difference in the whisky, peaty ones and not peaty….well just.

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Built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers, Bruichladdich Distillery sits opposite the western shore of Loch Indaal on Islay. The distillery produces three distinct single malts: Bruichladdich (unpeated), Port Charlotte (heavily peated) and Octomore (super heavily peated), along with The Botanist Gin.

Tobermory Distillery, Isle of Mull, Scotland

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When visiting the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, one visit is a must…..the Tobermory Whisky Distillery….see husbands purposeful walk or even a stride, yes more of a stride.  He gets the same kicks from visiting a distillery, as I do an ancient building, so its a little price I have to pay for all the driving he does for me….. I try not to let on that I enjoy visiting them nearly as much as he does.  I must admit all these distilleries are located in the most wonderful places, I suppose thats why I like to visit them and a taster or two.  Tobermory is a lovely place to visit, and in 2013 the sun was shining for us, I will do a post later, but for now this is another post for my ‘Whisky Distillery Category’

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