Its always whisky season in Scotland!
One of the many (many) reasons I love what I do is that it takes me to stunning locales and gives me the opportunity to have amazing experiences! And I just returned from one such, having crossed out a bucket list item in the process!
The lovely (and indulgent) folks at Diageo, the largest alcoholic beverage company in the known universe, who own legendary brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness and far too many more to name, were kind enough to invite me to have the “Scotch Experience” in Edinburgh, Scotland, and it was AMAZING, to say the least!
Here’s a blow by blow account of everything that blew me away!
1. Head in the clouds
Sorry Scotland, I took pictures in your airspace!
2. The Hotel
The Principal, (Formerly The George), an absolutely beautiful hotel on George Street! Can you believe this building was constructed circa 1780!? And, it turns out, the night before I checked in, they were awarded the Scottish Hotel of the Year 2017, at the Scottish Hotel Awards!
3. Of course a bagpiper!
4. Edinburgh, you beauty!
A perfect blend of the old world and new, Edinburgh is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
5. The Glenkinchie Distillery
The 180 year old Glenkinchie Distillery is located in the beautiful region of East Lothian, 30 minutes from Edinburgh. Glenkinchie is a classic lowland distillery, set in an idyllic landscape of rolling barley fields. The local Lammermuir Hills provide the water for the distillery, producing the light, fruity, dry Edinburgh Malt.
6. Trying the good stuff!
And who better to do a tasting with than Dr.Nicholas Morgan, Head of Whisky Outreach for Diageo, a veteran historian who setup the Whisky Archives for Diageo! Was such an honor meeting Dr. Nick, who is a treasure trove of information on Whisky and especially Scotch, and I can safely say that 75% of my Whisky knowledge now comes from him! His agenda is to move scotch whisky blends away from its perceived snob value, of being too exclusive, and to dispel the myths about drinking Scotch, and make it accessible and easy for everyone to understand! I’m his new
7. Cocktails & Dreams!
I had the immense pleasure of meeting (the hilarious) Tom Jones, Global Scotch Whisky and Johnnie Walker Ambassador, who taught me how to make amazing cocktails using blended Scotch Whisky. And delicious ones at that!
8. The Diageo Archives & The Liquid Library
This was probably my jaw drop moment in this trip, checking out the archives that hold the collective history of Scotch, from the first recorded mention in the 1500s if I’m not mistaken. And in the same premises was the Liquid Library, which stores over 5000 bottles of Alcoholic Beverages, some dating back centuries!
9. Size always matters!
The Diageo Cambus Cooperage is the new GBP 10 million cooperage that is situated within Diageo’s ridiculously huge Blackgrange complex. This is a warehouse facility of staggering proportions, the sheer scale of which will not sink in unless you drive through it. Blackgrange has 14 km of roadway connecting over 50 warehouses that hold four million casks of whisky – that’s approximately one fifth of all of the Scotch maturing in the world!
Clearly I wasn’t very good at putting a cask together!
The Diageo Abercrombie Coppersmiths, where the distilling stills used in the whisky making process are made.
10. The food, oh the food!
11. The Michelin Experience – The Kitchin.
The Kitchin is a world renowned Michelin Starred restaurant in Leith, Edinburgh, headed by Chef Tom Kitchin, whose philosophy of ‘From Nature to Plate’, is a reflection of his passion for the finest, freshest Scottish seasonal produce, and presents modern British cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques.
12. Edinburgh Castle
Whether you love Whisky or just love traveling, Scotland HAS to be on your “Top 5 places to visit before i die” list, and if you do, make sure you visit a distillery! You won’t regret it!
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