The last tour was back in April to Campbeltown, Arran and Islay, this one was Speyside again. Due to my ill health, Marcus was driving making it easier to chat away. Ingvar arrived into Edinburgh late and stayed overnight, as did Marcus who met him 8am next day. They picked me up in Perth and we headed north, first stop Aberfeldy. Now I know quite a few folks there, so no a new place to see. Ingvar did his usual and we had tea and biscuits. Next up The Cairn Distillery in Grantown. Once again Ingvar did his research, we took the drivers share (tea and coffee) but also were given wee drams to take away, including a 70 year old blend! Last of the day; Dunphail near Forres, interesting wee distillery. We all had the tour and chat with the guys there, before heading to our digs in Dufftown. Staying with a friend of Ingvar, Marc Pendlebury of whisky brother fame, what a nice man! I had had email contact with him some years back, so nice to meet him in person, all the way from South Africa. He has a superb whisky bar/restaurant there.
Tuesday; away to Glendullan Distillery, no been there before, grand stuff. Then the newly opened to the public Speyburn Distillery, this will be on our tour list next year, to be sure. Enjoyed drams and chat here a wee look around, thanks Alec. Linkwood Distillery – where the boys went in whilst I took time off. Benriach completed a busy day, again the boys went around, I chatted to a nice young lady in the bar, enjoyed a dram or two and a cocktail before they came back. Back to Dufftown.
Wednesday; Tamnavulin, a favourite dram of mine. Toured with manager Leon, what a nice fella, good sense of humour, Ingvar and myself had a dram; Tamnavulin 1970, delicious, while Marcus was given a 1973 dram to take away! Loved that visit! They plan a visitor centre, maybe 2025/6? Next to Tormore, never been here either. Sam was very nice, Weegie girl with the Glasgow humour, liked that. A tour and chat and teas, interesting, they too plan a visitor centre, maybe 2025? Finally, after lunch we dropped in on Sandy at Tamdhu, as usual great fun and a few drams for us Marcus taking his away. Bi g developments there, hope to be back soon. Staying overnight in Elgin amongst antiques and five star comfort.
Thursday we headed off to Glen Moray Distillery, been here so often seems like home. Ingvar went around whilst I chatted to Emma in the visitor centre. We headed to Glenlossie/Mannochmore but the road was closed due to the rain, we drove plan B via BenRiach Distillery. Ingvar did both, we settled in the car to wait. A free afternoon, unlike Ingvar tours, we took our time in the rain and headed to Tarland where we stayed overnight, a nice wee hotel for d b&b. This was day one of the storm and rain, it flooded a great deal of Aberdeenshire and Angus, rained all night, Angus (Brechin) saw a month of rain in a day!
Friday after breakfast we had planned three visits; Fettercairn, Kingsbarns and Inchdarnie Distillery. Ingvar had been in touch the night before, and this morning, we dropped all three due to the weather conditions sadly, and drove west past Braemar to Dunkeld, avoiding the worst of the storm. From here to Edinburgh. Ingvar stayed here three nights, we came home to a waterlogged Perth and Carnoustie.
Another good, long, educational tour with pals. Ingvar and myself are good mates, we take the Mickey out of each other, have lots of laughs and arguments (the nice kind, history and whisky), we are still working on his next tour for 2024, updates when we know more.
Thanks Ingvar, another excellent trip.