Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Day 2... Trucking right along!

Having fallen asleep well past 1:00am, totally exhausted after day 1, I was a bit shocked when I woke up at 7:30 the following morning. I padded down the stairs into the kitchen of our rented house and made myself a pot of coffee. I sat in silence looking out over the garden just taking in the sunshine, the peace and the birds. Day 2 at the Spirit of Speyside was about to begin...

With over 400 events over the course of 4 days to choose from it was really difficult to pick the ones I really wanted to go to. I just didn't want to drink a bunch of whisky, I wanted to experience Speyside in as many ways as I could. I started my day with the James Fleming Walking Tour with Ann Miller. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for a light hike through the hills & town of Aberlour. 

Along the trail we found nature at its best as you walk along a babbling brook, the Linn of Ruthie and six images of whisky components taken at a microscopic level. The walk was refreshing, interesting and well worth the few dollars I paid. If you want to learn more about James Fleming please click here: 

With a mango chutney chicken sandwich from the delicatessen, we were on our way to Roseisle Distillery for our next tour. I will talk about it briefly in this blog, but a full blog about it is coming in the next few weeks. Walking through Roseisle was like being on the deck of the Starship Enterprise!  

4 stories up!
It is a state of the art distillery and since I love chemistry SO MUCH... It was an amazing experience with regards to carbon footprint and everything a distillery can do to be as cost effective as possible. Back in the car, quick trip to the Tesco and back to the house to cook a proper spaghetti supper, which was superb since the house we rented has a fresh herb garden. :)

Packed up the car and headed over to Elgin to see Charlie McLean & Michael Urquhart at the Droughty Cobbler. What a fantastic & intimate venue for the festival. I was impressed not only with the whisky selection, but the staff knowledge! Up the stairs to a cosy area where we all had the pleasure of listening to Charlie & Michael talk about reflecting on their whisky lives with an interactive audience. Discussions were informative, funny and insightful. The surprise of the night was a blind whisky
that Michael would only describe as a 50 year old Speyside whisky that had been distilled in 1939. My gut instinct told me it was a Mortlach. I went home quite elated that I had taken part in such a great night.  
The awesome Gavin Smith, that is all!
 All and all, day 2 was great!  Later that night as I drank a lovely independent bottling of Mortlach, the lot of us had a fantastic discussion about very old whisky. Two things I learned from Day 2: Appreciate the moment! Be present, be willing to absorb and never stop learning.

I think Day 2 really drove home the "spirit" that exists during the whisky festival. Speyside is a magical little part of Scotland where whisky is an experienced that is lived, not just nosed and drank.

Off to bed, yet another exciting day ahead of me for day 3: International Women of Whisky Day. #IWOWD

Cheers from a very happy Lassie!

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