Nothing to do with beer this one, but many of us beer drinkers also enjoy a good whisky.
My partner and I decided to book a whisky tasting experience on the good advice from friends who had been here and said that it was a great morning out. We decided to opt for the Gold tour and set out for the place after a leisurely breakfast, after getting my picture taking with the statue of David Hume (Philosopher before anyone asks) on the Royal Mile we ended up running to the venue as the skies opened with an impressive thunderstorm for a Tuesday morning.
We had booked the 10am tour figuring by the time for tasting it would be 11 or so, the tour was small mainly I suspect due to the time in the morning so apart from my partner and me there was only one other guy who as it turned out worked for the Johnny Walker distillery, interesting guy to chat to.
The tour itself was very good but the whisky collection which was all collected by one man and sold for unnamed amount was jaw dropping! The collector had mainly brought two bottles of each, one for his collection and one for drinking, if he could only get the one bottle it went into the collection. I have to admit to the awe I felt at seeing this collection, from an artistic view it was fascinating to see how the labels for some distilleries have changed over the years and in some cases how their newer elusive bottlings echo the designs of yesteryear.
Our guide was entertaining, rather than a scripted talk he tailored what he talked about to our questions and asked us about our opinions on some of the bits and pieces. He was just as good when it came to the tasting, this is the first whisky tasting I have done to be honest and it was good fun. The tasting for this package was done with explanation of the whiskies and how they can vary due how they are made, we also did a nose test… this I did enjoy not only because I got 14 out of the 20 which apparently puts me in the top 5% of people for identifying smells but because it was a great eye-opener to how difficult it can be to smell something without a sight or taste clue.
But yes, I mainly enjoyed it because I was top of the class!
After this we did a long taste testing of four different whiskies, from blend to single malt to single grain to a grain/malt brend. It was interesting how different they are in comparison; normally I buy whiskies from certain distilleries because I like their taste so the chance to experiment here was good.
Of course we finished the tour off by a midge of shopping, a lot more whisky tasting at the bar and then lunch at the restaurant on site which was needed after the off-piste tasting we did in the bar. Highly recommend going along if you are in Edinburgh.