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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland

Just like the girl in college who broke your heart and you never quite got over, this is the distillery that got away.  As I mentioned in Reviews I really like this whisky and I decided in May 2011 to go and visit Wick and the far North of Scotland and take in Glenmornagie and Old Pulteney.  Unfortunately it was not to be.  Traffic, single lane highways and poor planning meant I finally got to Wick at 4:10pm in the afternoon that day, and the visitor's center closed at 4:00.   Now I will never her see her stills.  I peered through some windows, took my photos and drove on to John O Groats, the northerly tip of Scotland where the UK mainland, like my luck, ended.

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Glengoyne, Dumgoyne, Scotland

Glengoyne, Dumgoyne, Scotland

If the Mayans were correct, the world was going to end on December 21st 2012. I decided that if that was going to be my last day I was going to spend a little time that day at a distillery. Glengoyne has a picture perfect setting with a waterfall outside the very nice visitor center. They offer a variety of tours (based on the tasting at the end) and allowed our daughter to come along as well.   Overall I thought tour was good, a short video at the beginning along with a dram of Glengoyne 12 year old and a well stocked shop, (but they did charge us for the tour). One observation was that they use one wash still with two spirit stills, rather than the usual wash still and spirit still pair. However what was most interesting to me was that they were very proud of fact they are technically a Highland distillery and even pointed out that the road that runs outside the distillery is the boundary between the highlands and lowlands. If they were on other side of road they would be a lowland distillery. I have stated before that I don’t think it would be a bad thing for them to style themselves as a lowland distillery, as today they are just another Highland distillery, but they obviously feel differently. But the thing is, and I think it is quite a thing, that they mature their whisky across the road; technically in the lowlands. Most people suggest maturation accounts for around 60% - 70% of taste of final product and Glengoyne mature their spirit in the lowlands! So you could argue the final product is more lowland than highland.

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