Thursday, 30 October 2014

day 3 - after lunch: the Balvenie

So, after spending the morning at the Glenfiddich distillery, the group had to get back into the car to drive the half mile or so to the Balvenie distillery. We took the car, because we were out of time (big lunch) and crossing the terrain without high-visibility vests and a tour-guide, is simply not allowed. At the visitor's reception - a livingroom like place where our guide Katya had made us coffee and tea (with Walker's of course) while she told us in short the history and the hows and whys of the distillery. She told us that - sadly - the malting floors were empty at this time, because there had been a company party in the barn. No harm done; Katya had some good stories, "laboratory" samples and pictures to explain the process.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Day 3 - before lunch: Glenfiddich

Thursday-morning, the weather was a bit grey and misty when we woke up. After a sturdy breakfast, we drove the small one and a half mile from the cottage to Balvenie Castle. It turned out the van had wipers, and we actually needed to turn them them on to keep our eyes on the road. Sadly, we were there out-of-season, so little further than the path up to the castle was next to impossible. Both the wet air and the absence of an open gate could not withhold us of enjoying the scenery and snapping some pictures before we would head down the hill to our first stop of the day: Glenfiddich.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Day 2: Aberlour - Rothes - Keith - Craigellachie - Aberlour

Because of yesterday's late arrival, we had not seen the crisp and beautiful surroundings of the Parkmore cottages earlier. With the sun shining and the surrounding hills covered in cold, misty clouds, this promised to be a beautiful day. Again. Some of the early risers had already been running or strolling around in the vicinity, and when bacon and eggs were all eaten, we all were ready to start our second day of the trip.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 1: Taking some friends along for the ride

The whole group ready to go to Scotland! 
Over a year ago, we got the idea to organise a trip to Scotland with a group of our whisky friends and have some whisky-related fun. It would be our first experience as "travel-agents" and after many preparations and planning, the day had finally come that everybody gathered at our place for a pre-travel tasting. Glen Garioch (the distillery was sadly not on the schedule) had send us a threesome of drams to try with our whisky-friends via their #GGDrambasador programme, and what better moment to have a go at these than this evening.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Whisky & Rum aan Zee

Having a chat with Richard
(Photo Whisky-Photographers)
Some years ago, we first learned about the existence of this whisky & rum festival in the harbours of Ijmuiden, organised by Richard and Esther Blesgraaf, who run the Zeewijck wine and whisky shop in the city. Last year we were too late to book a hotel room last minute (literally), we then decided to book well in advance for this years' event and a hotel room in the Holiday Inn hotel where the event was held. The event itself is held for the ninth time, and it was the fourth time at this hotel where the complete top-floor was re-decorated to accommodate about 500 people.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pot Still Festival 2014

The Potstill Festival is a whisky and spirit festival organised by importer and distributor van Wees in Amersfoort, where we already have been to for some years, and has grown into a tradition with a growing group of friends. Besides whisky, they have a wide selection of cognac, eua-de-vie, armagnac, grappa, rum and other distilled products available, most of them represented by the distillers themselves. This year was the twelfth edition of the festival, and we were lucky enough to go there for two three-hour sessions on the Saturday.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Whisky by the Sea 2014

Junction Gorinchem: our view for most of the trip 
With whisky-festival season in full-throttle again, we found ourselves at our first festival since Speyside, in Vlissingen - way south in the Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland (where new-Zealand gets it's name from), in a small theatre on the coast of the North-Sea. Organisation was in the capable hands of Ronald Zwartepoorte, Keeper of the Quaigh and editor in chief of Dutch Whisky Passion magazine.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sharing the passion

In our stories about the travels we make, we do not only visit Scotland, but also explore outside that beautiful country. A Friday morning in September we decided to take a road trip after work and go to the Dutch island called Texel for the weekend and just relax and have the wind in our hair and feet in the sand.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Compass Box - Artisan Scotch Whiskymakers

For some time we have been on the lookout for the many expressions of the Compass Box range in order to explore what they have put together in their next production. Their labels with crazy good artwork can be spotted in many whisky shops, but sadly they do not always get the prominent spot they deserve. For many people it is an unknown "niche" blend-brand they would easily skip, and grab a bottle of their known favorite single malt, which is a shame, and no good reason not to check them out.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The pioneering spirit

Recently we had the pleasure to meet Andy Watts from The James Sedgwick Distillery in South Africa. He is master distiller and only the sixth distillery manager at distillery since it was established in 1886.