December 08, 2004

The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre

That nap was absolutely wonderful. After spending the morning in the crisp, mountain air wandering around the Castle, I was quite nackered. I slept peacefully and deeply. I've gotten to the point on the vacation when you've finally relaxed after several days of not working, except this time, I don't have to leaave yet. This is my longest and most fun vacation since I was 14 years old and spent the summer in France.

One of the activities I looked forward to when we were planning our trip was visiting The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre. Here, for a small fee you are taken by a guide on tour of the history of Scotch Whisky. This was worth every pound. Our guide was an adorable 25 year old, Spanish woman from Seville who spoke with Scottish English with a thick Spanish accent. The tour started with a taste of single malt Scotch called Teachers. Then we were led to a room where we watched a movie on the history of Scotch as told to an American tourist by a Scottish bartender. After one sip, he was magically transported in time to when his great grandfather worked in a Scotch destillery. The movie shows the several stages of production from germinating the malt to aging in the casks. Then we were led to a second room where we saw a movie on the different geographical regions where Scotch is produced.

Did you know that there are 90 distillerys for single malt whisky butt only 7 that produce the grain whisky they use to make blended whisky? Then we watched a holographic image of figure from the past who was the first to blend whisky. He explained the importance of blending whisky and of gathering years of experience developing a nose for it. Blenders are the one who make sure a particular brand of scotch or whisky is consistently the same for quality control.

As you can see, I learned a lot about the process of making Scotch and Whisky.

The best part of the tour was the ride. We rode a car through wax figures depicted from different times while a voice from the speaker on the dash explained the history of the Scotch industry. I took many pictures on this ride, perhaps foolishly but I'm sure you will like the once I get them posted.

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