A wee whisky taster for a six day whisky tour… what to take?

On Monday I take some lovely guests to Arran, Campbeltown and Speyside for six days. So, what to take for a wee taster? Here is my first collection:

Something we will not be able to visit and/or drink…

For Cambeltown I took my favourite GlenScotia 11 years old special edition:

We will be missing both the Lowlands and Islay. For the Lowlands I opted to bring a along my neighbours’ Lindores Abbey. Their standard expression is a very likeable and smooth dram. I have recently fallen in love with their Sherry Butt at 49.4% which I sadly finished and brought instead a Sherry at cask strength 61.4% which I am sure will be equally devive.

The other lowland is another of my favourites even though I am a peat head really: Daftmill 15. Daftmill is a small farm distillery with quite a small but amazingly delightful output. I would have a Daftmill over MacAllan any time.

From Islay I present the Bunnahabhain 12, which is their standard expression but this one is bottled at cask strength. The same spirit matured and bottled by Woodrow of Edinburgh will add more Islay flavour.

I also got my hands onto the inaugural release of the long awaited Jim McEwan Ardnahoe, which again is in my opinion a very good dram.

Turning our focus to Speyside now: Craigellachie is sadly not open to the public so I took along their 13 year old. Balvenie is a very small distillery and they do tours but you need to book them well in advance. We will miss it this time around. So my remaining three whiskies from Speyside are all peated: Balvenie 14, Ballantruan and an 18 year old Caperdonich (a distilery which no longer exists and one which had links both to Glen Grant “2” and Glenlivet). Balvenie runs a peat week before they close down the distillery for the annual “deep clean”. Ballantruan has always beeen heavily peated just to state not all Speyside is smooth and light.

Turning our focus to the Highlands now and lets just briefly stay on the mainland, where on the remote peninsula of Movern in Drimmin’ to be precise you can find an amazingly new women led venture called NcNean. The name comes from the Gaelic Neachneohain which litteraly means the queen of spirit and that she is. The distillery is a B-corb and has a zero carbon footprint. It is also well worth the rather long drive to visit. If you are touring distilleries you can add Ardnamurchan and Tobermory on Mull.

Staying north and in the Highlands but onto the outer hebrideas now: Lewis with Abhainn Dearg (the red river) and Harris with the gorgeous Hearach, both relatively new ventures and Abhainn Dearg very clearly sticking to the traditional island techniques:

Abhaiin Dearg, small, traditional and some amazing drams

Finally, last comes a bottling from the Scottish Malt Wisky Society at cask strength (always) with a funniy name: “Gummidge VS Puswash”, only the number gives away the distillery. 66 it is on this bottle which is and Ardmore (SMWS codes).

This is just one example of what you may get to try when you join me for a whisky tour, or even any other tour, that is, if you would like to try a wee dram.

What do you think? Is there something important missing? Have you got favourites you would add? Get in touch!

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