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Craigellachie, Speyside, Scotland

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This evening, my focus is on Craigellachie. This is a fascinating small town (see above image) in the heart of the Speyside Scotch Whisky industry. The name Craigellachie was the battle cry of Clan Grant and translates as 'crag of the rocky place'. Below is an image of the River Spey near Craigellachie.

This is an image of the famous Whisky Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel which is home to some 700 malt whiskies, some of which are extremely rare.

To my mind, Craigellachie is indelibly associated with the whisky industry. Nearby can be found a host of famous distilleries including Speyburn, Glen Grant, Caperdonich, Glenrothes, Glen Spey, Macallan, Cardhu, Knockando, Tamdhu, Aberlour, Dulluaine, Benrinnes, Glenallachie, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Glenfarclas and Strathisla. Close by can also be found (and visited) the Speyside Cooperage which produces the oak casks in which whisky is matured for 3 years and upwards.

Other visitor attractions in the area include:

  • Ballindalloch Castle
  • Strathspey Steam Railway
For the fit there is the 80 mile Speyside Way and for those interested in engineering look out for Thomas Telford's bridge over the Spey near Craigellachie which dates from 1812-15 and is constructed of cast iron.

Elsewhere today, I have occupied working on various Scotland tours including self-drive, private-guided (Inverness and Edinburgh) and a day tour from a cruise ship. Made a post to my separate GlasgowAncestry blog covering Davie family history one member of which was killed at Gallipoli in WW1.

Another busy day looms tomorrow!


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Aberlour, Speyside, Scotland

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This evening, my focus is on the small town of Aberlour (full name Charlestown of Aberlour) which sits on the banks of the River Spey between Inverness and Aberdeen in the north of Scotland.

Aberlour is famous for two products: whisky and shortbread. There are some 50 whisky distilleries within a 15 mile radius of the town and Walkers have a major plant in the town producing the famous shortbread. The town has its own Aberlour Distillery.

Here is the Aberlour Hotel

Aberlour Church and War Memorial

Main Street, Aberlour

River Spey at Aberlour. Famous for salmon fishing.

Overall, a pleasant enough small country town. A useful stop when touring the whisky distilleries.


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Private Speyside Whisky Tour Scotland

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Today turned out fine. After overnighting at the very comfortable, 5 star An Cala Guest House at Grantown-on-Spey we drove up the Spey valley through some spectacular scenery and encountered a wide variety of wildlife and animals including birds of prey, hundreds of pheasants, Llamas and Highland Cattle.

We arrive at Aberlour Distillery in good time for our tour which was of the 'Connoisseur' variety, lasting over two hours and ending with a tasting of 5 whiskies. Tour Guide was first class. The distillery dates from 1826 but was rebuilt by James Fleming in 1879 and is now owned by Pernod Ricard of France. Aberlour produces a 10 yr old 40pct, 12 year old 40pct., 15 yr old 40pct and A'Bunadh 59.6pct.

Next we moved on to nearby Glenfiddich for a spot of lunch and another Connoisseur Tour led by another competent tour guide.

Glenfiddich was founded in 1887 by one William Grant (who literally built the distillery with his own hands) since when then product has become the world's biggest selling single malt which is made with lightly peated water from the Robbie Dhu spring nearby. Glenfiddich operates 28 stills in trios. A combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks are used along with new oak from which various expressions are married and experimentation with new blends is carried out.

Glenfiddich uses traditional practices to produce its whisky, principally the 12 year old Special Reserve 40pct but also a 15 year old 40pct., and an 18 year old 40pct.

Excellent tour of all facets of the distillery and warehouse (maturing whisky) which culminated in a tasting session of the various malts.

Tasting at Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich Distillery
Stills at Glenfiddich
Mash Tuns at Glenfiddich

Tasting at Aberlour
Stills at Aberlour
Taking away the freshly distilled spirit at Aberlour

Tour Group at Aberlour
Rare and expensive whisky at Aberlour

Pheasant in Spey Valley
Llamas in the Spey Valley


posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:57 PM  0 comments


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Glen Grant Scotch Whisky Distillery, Scotland

Friday, October 09, 2009

Today, I am focusing on Glen Grant Distillery which is located at Rothes on Speyside.

This distillery was founded by John and James Grant in 1840, became a success and stayed in the Grant family until sale to drinks company, Seagrams in 1978 and ultimately to Italian group Campari under whose ownership it currently resides.

Glen Grant's key market is Italy where the 5 year old (40pct) is very popular. There is also a 10 year old, also 40pct. The light malt with a hint of peat is very popular in countries with hot climates.

The distillery offers good tours and features in the Malt Whisky Trail. For those with a horticultural interest, there are also beautifully restored Victorian gardens at the distillery.

Due to photography restrictions, range of available images is restricted, for which I apologise.

Contact me for more information on whisky tours of Speyside.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 5:08 AM  0 comments


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Aberlour Scotch Whisky Distillery, Speyside, Scotland

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The evening, I am posting some information on Aberlour Scotch Whisky Distillery, Speyside. This is a popular distillery with visitors wishing to learn about the whisky process and regularly features in my whisky tours of the area.

Aberlour rhymes with hour. A distillery was first built in the village of Aberlour in 1826, in the shadow of Ben Rinnes on the banks of the Lour Burn (stream). The water for the mashing process is sourced from the well dedicated to St. Drostan (who subsequently became Archbishop of Canterbury) in the distillery grounds.

The lightly peated product is produced via two pairs of stills and matured in ex-Bourbon (from Kentucky) and ex-sherry (Olorosso) casks.

Aberlour is owned by the French drinks group Pernod Ricard and the malt from this distillery plays a leading role in Clan Campbell, the most popular Scotch whisky in France.

Aberlour produces a 10 year old at 40pct and a 12 year old also at 40pct. Smooth and soft with hints of sherry and malt.

In this distillery, photography is restricted, hence paucity of images

This image shows a private bottling at completion of the distillery tour.

This is the Tour Guide in full flow.

Delivery of the raw material. malted barley.

A short video of the freshly distilled spirit



posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:08 PM  0 comments


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Glenfiddich Whisky Distillery, Scotland

Sunday, October 04, 2009

This evening, I am posting information on the famous Glenfiddich Distillery which supplies the world's biggest selling single malt Scotch whisky.

This distillery was founded by one William Grant, who came very humble origins in Dufftown and after various jobs including a cobbler and quarry worker he became bookkeeper at the town's distillery and from then on went to build his own distillery, literally with his own bare hands, a task which was completed in 1887.

Glenfiddich means 'the valley of the deer', hence logo at top of this posting. The key to the distillery is the nearby Robbie Dhu spring and burn (small stream), both of which provide essential supplies of clear water for the whisky making process.

Whisky production entails a complicated process of malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation. In Glenfiddich's case the end result is the classic 12 year old which outsells by a factor of two its nearest rival.

Glenfiddich is still owned and managed by the Grant family.

Excellent tours are provided for visitors.

Contact me for more information on whisky tours of Speyside.



posted by Catswhiskers @ 11:00 AM  0 comments


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Drumin Castle, Scotland

Monday, September 28, 2009

This evening, I am posting information on one of Scotland's lesser known castles, namely Drumin which is located on Speyside and conveniently situated to add variety to the Speyside Whisky Trail. About 20 mins from Grantown on Spey.

Briefly, Drumin is open all year round and free to enter. It was a small castle possibly dating to the late 14th century and may have been built by Alexander Stewart aka "Wolf of Badenoch".

Drum is notable for its 2m thick walls. It may have been built on the site of a much earlier Iron Age fort or Dun. A pleasant location next to a river.



posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:23 PM  0 comments


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