Left this small quiet town. Not too far away is the Scotland’s highest distillery, Dalwhinnie. Right entering the distillery, my wife asked me what’s for the two large oak cask outside the still house. It looks very similar like the mash tun but it can’t be. I have a guess of some water tank. Close, but wrong, it’s actually the worm tub again, acting as a condenser. Our guide showed us through the distillery quick, but quite covers all the question. I was very stupid to asked the question when I found they are using liquid yeast like Glenfiddich. I asked why are they choose liquid yeast when most distillery use powder forms. The guide answered interesting: they choose liquid because they found it’s performs better, and NO most distilleries use liquid because all Diageo distilleries use liquid. How stupid I am! And I found out most of the distilleries I visited are not under Diageo, that the reason. Because Diageo is too big and do not really promote their single malt distilleries. I was also very surprise to learn that Dalwhinnie only has one set of stills. The guide also mentioned that when encountered the high temperature like last week., the worm tub does not works very well, they have to slow down the distilling process and kept pumping water inside the worm tub. But generally speaking, it works well most of the time as being the highest distillery in Scotland, the temperature is quite low most of the time. I personally not quite convince about the statement. I think it would be interesting to compare the summer spirit to winter one, but could never being able to find the answer. Another interesting finding: there is a Classical Mat map put on the wall of the warehouse we visited at the end. The Dalwhinnie bottle on it is the Centenary bottling (1983/1998), I later found from it cost 300 pounds! The free dram:
Dalwhinnie 15yo (43%, OB, white label, old)
Still very pleasant, fruity. Lot’s vanilla. Medium to strong body. Score: 85. Seems better then new label.
I also found some interesting bottles here. The most interesting one is the miniature set of the Classical Malt. Most of the labels are the old ones. Quite collector’s items.
We then drive directly to Glenturrent, mainly for the Famous Grouse. My wife and the kids just love the lovely grouse. Though I don’t drink it, I just love the cute commercials. I didn’t go through the distillery tour, but I take lots of photos. I even bought a DVD of all the Grouse commercials Not to mention 15 Grouse chocolate as gift to friends.
Before we drive back to Edinburgh, we stopped by at Tullibardine shop for a quick visit. I must admit that after one week of distillery tour, I really tired of going inside. Tullibardine attract me because of the idea to co-op with a shopping center. However, I was very disappointed to found the shopping center is under construction. Only Tullibardine and a sport shop is open. But I think it will be a hit in the future. The visitor center/shop idea is unique and I quite like the atmosphere.
We return our VW Passat before checking the hotel. Our hotel in Edinburgh is the Holyrood Aparment Hotel. This is a two bed room apartment, with wireless internet access. Thanks God! I finally back to the modern world.
My good night dram:
Glenturret 10yo (40%, OB, miniature)
Vanilla, Caramel, some citrus. Very nutty in palate. Light body. Finish weak. Easy. Not too bad but lack of personality. Adding water get more pleasant citrus. Score: 76.
Tullibardine 1993 (40%, OB, miniature)
Golden brown. Grassy. Woody. Not balance. Simple. I don’t like it. Score: 69.