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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Talisker (Virtual Tour), Skye, Scotland

This was my fifth Virtual Distillery Tour (VDT#5) and I have in fact been here in person, back in the summer of 2009 PB (Pre-Blog).  At the time (for reasons I don’t fully recall) I did not take the tour, but it was summer and often tour spaces at the more iconic distilleries like this one are limited at peak times.  I do remember being in the Distillery Visitor Centre and Shop and so that seemed like a good place to start my virtual tour.

This appears to be based on Google Earth platform and involved lots of clicking around to explore it and once you get the hang of following arrows and finding and clicking on the Xs on front of you then start looking around it is pretty interesting experience, and you do get to see the visitors centre and key parts of the distillery in much the same way you would on actual tour (just without the “happy cows” jokes and “magical water sources” stories).  With no commentary or information, it feels a bit like you have broken into the place and are wandering around rather than taking a tour though.  As I knew the basics I could tell what I was looking at, but someone who did not know anything about the whisky making process (and I am told there are some people like that out there) would get very little from this experience. 

As good tours end with dram, and I do have a bottle of the pretty good Talisker Storm on hand, I will drink one tonight, party like it is 2009 and then post that review.

If you want to take this tour then click on link and scroll down  to Talisker.... https://imbibe.com/news/8-virtual-distillery-tours-to-entertain-you-during-coronavirus-lockdown/

What is this:  https://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/894-distillery-tours-from-my-couch-1

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Bowmore, Islay, Scotland

Bowmore, Islay, Scotland

Probably my favorite distillery tour and experience to date. I visited in July 2010 and after a couple of days touring Islay’s distilleries Tammy and Eleanor had seen enough and let me go alone, with a plan to meet in the tasting room at end of the tour. It turned out it was the last tour of the day and I was the only person who signed up, so it felt like I had the entire place to myself and my guide was happy to indulge every question I had, and without larger group I could indulge myself in the minutia of the place. Effectively it was a private tour of Bowmore, and the notes I took that day show that being alone had liberated my inner “whisky anorak” who normally stays safely hidden in the group tours. Not only was the tour perfect, but the subsequent tasting in a great room overlooking the Loch was well organized, fun, informative and innovative (they gave food samples like coconut, chocolate and raisins to help match tastes in the whisky). We tried a range of whiskies from their parent company, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch and of course Bowmore. Perhaps with it being the last tour of the day they were also generous with pours and allowed us to retry samples while giving our daughter sweets and juice to keep her happy as well. Personally I fell in love with the rich, highly sherried Bowmore Darkest 15 year old that afternoon, and while it has never tasted quite as good as it did that perfect day in the distillery, it is still a 4 star whisky for me and my “go to” Bowmore.

If you go to Islay and only do one tour (which would not be a great idea in itself, stay and do more) I would say do this one and I can only hope you have same great experience I did.

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