Scotland, Travel
Comments 20

Declaring an End to the Travel Ban: a Wee Trip to Scotland

How Now Scottish Brown Cow?

So, that travel ban. It lasted 6 weeks instead of 2 months. 6 whole weeks I stayed put in London.

I decided that I had better do it, when after a series of quite intense long distance trips, I found myself exhausted and slipping behind with my work at the end of February. Something had to give, and sadly, just for a little bit, it had to be the travel. So, I carried on with anything planned and cleared May & June for some downtime and focus.

It could never last and I got itchy feet. I simply didn’t want to stay put for as long as I had planned. I love travelling so much and all of the work stuff started to come together really quickly. I also find 6 weeks a perfect period of time for any project. I throw myself into it, get it done, and then am ready for the next one.

Just as I stuck my head over the parapet, Talisker organised a trip to their distillery in Scotland and invited me on it. I jumped. I love whisky anyway (and Irish whiskey too), a tipple now and then and to purists shock, in a cocktail. I even cook with it. Why not? If you use the best tasting ingredients you get the best tasting end results.

Whisky is a complex drink with often quite savoury flavours. We tasted many, the stand out for me was the Talisker 30 year old which screamed porcini to me, in the best way possible. I always find food in everything I taste.

Talisker distillery from the air

Talisker is based on the Isle of Skye, which is really very remote and difficult to get to. So. we went by helicopter. We started the first day with a trip to Cardhu, a new whisky for me.

I must be brief for I have little time today, but what struck me was the passion and commitment to their product. I am a big geek at heart and love the detail behind making an aged single malt. The combination of European oak sherry barrels and American oak bourbon barrels. The patient wait. The analysis and combination of different barrels. The bottling. Then the aged whisky at home by the fire.

For now, some photos, I will be back with more on the whisky itself soon.

Drummuir Castle

Cardhu distillery

Drummuir Castle

Bouquet of herb flowers picked in the castle garden. I couldn’t resist and I hope they don’t mind. They had LOADS! ;)

A whisky as old as me! I had to try it. Unfortunately I did quite late in the evening so no tasting notes :S

Scottish Highlands from the helicopter

Scottish Highlands from the helicopter

Talisker stills

Talisker tasting

All set for a boat trip on the Isle of Skye

Boat trip

Dolphins!

This entry was posted in: Scotland, Travel

by

I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

20 Comments

    • She will have a great time! Love Scotland. Had been to Edinburgh a few times and Glasgow once but the Highlands and Skye were new to me :)

  1. One of the best days out we ever had with our boys was to the Gen Ord distillery when we on hols in The Highlands. Like you say there’s a lot of sciencey-geekery that goes into whisky-making and they were fascinated by this – how every ingredient is important, where the water comes from, what difference the barrels make to the flavour etc. The beautiful old stills looked like something from WIlly Wonka’s factory. I love the idea of whisky and I’ve tried and tried to like it but can’t but nevertheless would recommend a visit to a distillery for an amazing day. Oh I want to go back to The Highlands now…

    • Keep trying! They are all so different. Agreed re Willy Wonka – actually made that comparison several times on the trip :)

  2. Your tasting trip for Scottish Whisky looked great fun – love the pic of you in the fisherman’s gear, ready for your boat trip, it reminded me of my little grandaughter dressing up in big clothes. Your trips to ‘foreign’ shores do me good, just reading about them. Keep travelling for all of us.Regards, Astrid

  3. So disappointed you came by helicopter and left again without being able to spend time exploring our beautiful island . The scenery, the history and the fabulous food on offer all need to be savoured slowly to be appreciated fully. Hope you manage another, longer trip before too long. P.S. weather here has been lovely for the past two months.

    • I had to come back to teach my cooking class – otherwise would have loved to stay. Would love to go back.

  4. aodan1 says

    Jealous of your Talisker experience: love that stuff! What a lovely return to wanderlust I say

    • It is a fantastic tipple. It was a lovely gentle return. Now I am planning the rest of my summer :)

  5. Looks fantastic fun! Just got back from a lovely trip to Cornwall, Devon and Bristol but Pete would have died and thought he’d gone to heaven with this one. :-)

    • Hey Cara! Getting back in the travel saddle as it were. Although, with a little more balance this time :) Sydney sounds ace. I really need to get back over there soon, it has been too long. Have fun and look forward to reading about it.

  6. Great that you got such lovely weather for a trip up here – not as unusual as everyone makes out mind! Skye is the next trip on my list (quite bad that I love a mere 4 hours away and have never been) and the dolphin pic has made me more excited about it.

    If you\’re a fan of whisky then I can recommend the tour at the Glengoyne Distillery (http://www.glengoyne.com/) – the lowest highland malt you can get as I understand it plus you can walk out to it via the beautiful West Highland Way and Mugdock Park so you can leave the car at home!

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