Day 4 an 8.30 start to get us to Port Ellen for the morning ferry back to Kennacraig, noon (ish) off and along the road down to Campbeltown, almost there and I gave a wee chat re Campbells and Macleans, as I finished my story, a part of the coach fell off! (honest to God, true) those Campbells still up to tricks, in the heavy rain we arrived at Springbank Distillery for the tour, which is most memorable for the warehouse tasting! Superb, and late again, over to Glen Scotia Distillery for the next tour; http://whiskytours.scot/interview-ian-mcalister-glenscotia-distillery small but good, good couple of tastings, shopping, thank you’s and back to Cadenhead shopping, over ran once again, there’s a theme here. Late back up the road to Tarbert again, a meal and a tasting, this was something different, 3 Kavalan drams; King Car single malt, Podium single malt and Solist Sherry finish. In the hotel back bar we enjoyed these with plenty of local craic and time to enjoy ourselves, Liz had joined us by now – these drams are bloomin good, favourites were; Podium, King Car then Sherry, which many thought too sherried for them. They are making really good, award winning, whisky over there and personally, I am a huge fan.
Day 5 a 9am start for yet another ferry, this time a wee one, from Claonaig to Lochranza (Arran). We arrived early as it is non bookable and I needed to be sure we got on it! It is wee (photograph). Whilst waiting we opened a bottle of Jonnie Walker Black, 5 minutes later the bottle hit the bin at the ferry point. We also enjoyed a Cragganmore, am sure these guests/friends of ours don’t enjoy all this whisky at all! The ferry arrived – a floating ramp, it was choppy and as we de coached, many of us got wet! A great sail and landing at Lochranza, 5 minutes to the Arran Distillery, where Louisa was awaiting us. Our final distillery tour, quick look at the water source (in heavy rain) then a tasting of many grand drams. Brief distillery tour, shopping and sandwiches etc laid on for us.
Er, fun and games followed. At Brodick ferry we arrived early, all pre booked and PRE PAID as usual. Passengers boarded off the coach, as the ferry sailed a tannoy message asked for me to see the captain. Off I toddled, to be told my coach, driver and Anders were NOT on the ferry. You might imagine I was not overjoyed, the captain and the purser got my drift, after a “chat” I was told they would be on the next ferry following us in 30 minutes. Was not a happy bunny. On arrival at Ardrossan we hit a bar to wait for the coach and others. Here comes the bus, all aboard and away to Glasgow for the night. City centre Glasgow on a Saturday night can be fun, Liz and myself bade our farewells and took a cab to our apartment.
A GREAT TOUR WITH OUR FINISH FRIENDS YET AGAIN.
Can I say a huge thank you to everyone on this tour, our friends at distilleries, hotels, visits and ferry crews (almost), there was much rampaging and Scotland is now short of many thousands of pounds worth of bottles, we are now thinking ahead to the next trip.
Paul McLean; chief rampager and tour manager. Thanks Mika for all your help.
People are as vital to Whisky as barley, malt and water. People make a tour great.
Some comments …
“Great Rampage ! … thanks Paul and Liz”.
“Brilliant Tour. Excellent distillery visits and nice visit to a small craft brewery. Many highlight. The Cadenhead warehouse tasting, Omg! Respect!”