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Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

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Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:34 am

I'm working on visiting (invading in force*) a number of distilleries in May 2015. This will be ol' Muskies' retirement trip. What I'm looking for is 1)some information on hiring a tour van versus self drive. Also, 2)any opinions on which distilleries you'd recommend seeing would be appreciated. What you've liked, what you haven't, and so forth. I've got a list of 25 myself, but I'm trying to tighten things up a bit.

Feel free to drop a PM or post any advice you might have. I'd love to do a whisky making class but don't know if there'll be an opportunity. Hopefully I've started planning far enough in advance... and yes Laggy is definitely on my "must go to list"
(*When I say invade in force, there will be four of us)
Thanks in advance,

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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Ganga » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:56 am

Well, ol' Musky ol' mate, one of my favorite tours was Glen Grant. The trip up the old brook where we had a lil' whisky with the babbling brooke. it was cool so whisky was even better. Glenfarclas was fun as was Macallan. Tis my understanding that the Islay tours are much different now. Bow, Lappy, Ardbeg.... 8)
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Ganga » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:15 am

Dallas Dhu is a museum so probably is worth the effort. I've heard that Pulteney is pretty good if you can get the "fill your own" bottle. Actually, that was the best Pulteney I ever had.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:22 am

Down to 25 candidate distilleries.

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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby jmrl » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:41 am

I thought you started with a list of 25!

Can't miss Springbank, Aberlour good too.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby raithrover » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:10 pm

Maybe give us your 25 and we can give you some advice on those?

I always enjoy a visit to Deanston, Balblair, Clynelish and the Islay distilleries. Bladnoch as well is pretty unique and Glen Grant a great visit.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Ganga » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:18 am

Not only Musky but the Gang and Lohss.... Seems like Scotland needs to bunker down!
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:26 am

Okay, renewed my subscription because, frankly, I need to know what's available in the near future that I can track down when the Northern Canadian invasion force arrives.
the list of 25 is now up to 40 Need to cut it down, dammit!
Aberlour
Balvenie
Convalmore
Glen Moray
Glenfarclas
Glenfiddich
Glenlivet
Longmorn
Macallan
Pittyvaich
Port Ellen maltings
Tamnavulin
Tamdhu
Tormore

Blair Atholl
Edradour
Brora/Clynelish
Cragganmore
Dalmore
Dalwhinnie
Glen Albyn parking lot
Glengoyne
Glenmorangie
Glen Rothes
Oban
Old Pulteney
Teaninich
Tullibardine

Highland Park
Scapa
Talisker

Ardbeg
Bowmore
Bunnahbhain
Caol Ila
Laphroaig
Lagavulin

Springbank

Bladnoch
St Magdalene

Now this is my dream list, I'm already winnowing it down to places that will be open for tours and that have something more than just a stop and shop. Granted there are a number which you can't visit, but I can at least blow by, take a snap and say I was there.

(I also dreamt about being on a canal boat drinking Balblair last night! Weird!)
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:39 am

Convalmore is looking like a photo stop as is Glen Albyn . Down to 38.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:16 pm

Not sure that there is anything to visit for St Maggies. Also, Tormore didn't do tours when I was there but things may have changed.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue May 06, 2014 4:29 am

The list is being fine tuned, possibly too far;
Aberlour ( cask from the past)
Balvenie
GlenMoray (5th Chapter tour)
Glenfarclas (5 decades tour)
Glenfiddich (Pioneers tour)
Macallan
Blair Atholl (I hear it's just great to tour, a friend just got back and loved it)
Edradour (You just gotta tour Edradour)
Brora/Clynelish
Cragganmore
Dalmore
Dalwhinnie ( Am a friend of Classic Malts - might be of use here Dalwhinnie & chocolate- mmm)
Glen Goyne ( Maybe the 5 hour tour....)
Glenmorangie (Another must tour)
Glen Rothes (Only open during Speyside festival-may be ad rive past)
Royal Lochnagar (Royal Tour)
Oban (I like the sound of the Exclusive Distillery tour)
Old Pulteney (Managers Tour sounds very enjoyable)
Tullibardine Connoisseur Tour for Musky)
Highland Park (Magnus Eunson tour looks great)
Jura ( Anyone know anything about the Private Managers Tour? I like the fast ferry ride from Islay)
Talisker ( Probably the Talisker Tasting tour)
Ardbeg ( Bog walk appeals to Musky)
Bowmore (Master Distillers Tour looks worth the price)
Bunnahbhain ( Managers Tour )
Caol Ila (Chocolate and Malts)
Laphroaig (Visit square foot; Water to Whisky tour)
Lagavulin (Is the Malting to Maturation worth the tour? Any idea what the fee is?)
Springbank ( Frank McHardy tour looks worth the price)

So, 29 on the list now, subject to negotiation wit the other attendees. If you have any constructive comments or opinions, they would be welcome.

Musky
PS:
Port Ellen maltings are only open during Feis Isle as far as I can determine.
St Maggie, is gone and would only be a photo stop, like Glen Albyn of bare ground/pavement.
Bladnoch is under a liquidator and unless I won a lottery and bought it, there are no tours.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun May 18, 2014 1:15 am

This is looking like a trip of a lifetime. I've priced out automotive rental, B&Bs, meals , tours and distillery fees and the like.
Bed and Breakfasts appear to run in the £45-60 range per night for 4 and 5 star locales. Up to $110.00 per night which is roughly $2000.00 for lodging for 21 days.
Tours of distilleries run anywhere from £6-35 depending on how fancy a tour and tasting you desire. So say about £400 for tours of 20 distilleries would be $750.00
Car rental from Edinburgh airport would run from £ 553.69 GBP / week for a Large 4x4 to £ 573.58 GBP / week for a full sized MPV van. £ 1,475.40 GBP Total $2737.00 plus gasoline. ($7-800.00 each)

So the basic trip is about $3500.00 each not including roundtrip airfare (which at present is $2400.00 + taxes) I found that we spent about $50-100 between Mrs Musky and I per day of travelling so another $700.00 – 1000.00 for expenses (meals, gratuities, beverages)

$6000.00-7000.00 Canadian is what I roughly estimate for a three week trip, subject to increase of a few more percent, which is to be expected. That's generally what it costs for any decent vacation in Europe from Canada, so it's not out of line.

Of course if I stayed home it would be a pretty good sum to use to procure some fine whiskies and never leave the Lake.
:?
...

Naw, Scotland it is.

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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Thu May 22, 2014 5:42 am

Update on the planning. Musky is now researching articles in the WM from the last 5 years to see what information can be gleaned about the selected distilleries. There's a surprising amount of information available between the pages. I find the older magazines have more information than the newer offerings. (I actually don't really like the latest format.)
But I digress.
Once I have the information distilled down to a palatable form, we're going to gather and discuss dates and timings between the 4 of us. One of my concepts is to select the main distilleries we want to all see and then discuss the others, with the pertinent dram in hand. I'm pretty sure that the Whisky Lair can provide whatever is required.
It's looking like a May - June visit for about three weeks with the hopes of hitting Feis Isle which I suspect will run from May 22-30, 2015 if past festivals are any indication. The Spirit of Speyside may be a bit early, falling on the May long weekend being May 1-4, 2015. Early June I really want to get to Laphroaig to celebrate a significant birthday with a dram on a wee bit of land, so early May might not be in the cards.
Of course, the longer we hang around, the more distilleries that can be invaded. Interesting thought.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat May 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Finished running through and gleaning information from my back issues starting around Issue 49. Surprisingly, as I went along through the articles highlighting the distilleries, the more recent dwelt more on the product and less on the physical plant and basic visiting information. At one point there were more references to music by one of the authors than to whisky itself. (At least it so appeared to myself).

To fill out my information, I had to resort to a substantially internet based research to glean information that was missing in the WM articles. In any case, I have my basic information to present today to the group for our planning meeting.

Will there be whisky involved? In due time.

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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Ganga » Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 am

Why would anyone want to visit the distilleries..... :P

Will keep you apprised of my plans for 2015.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri May 30, 2014 3:00 am

Ganga wrote:Why would anyone want to visit the distilleries..... :P

Will keep you apprised of my plans for 2015.

Why wouldn't one wish to visit a distillery or 30. We've spoken with our travel agent who is pursuing some possible tours to consider. We'll most likely self-drive and so have started to look at B&Bs and cottages to book once the 2015 booking season starts.

We're frankly too early to do anything really, as flight schedules are always subject to change this far in advance, but we do know when we can travel and where we want to go. Of course as soon as we pass close to a distillery that's not on the primary list... well you how it is with shiny new things dangling in front of us - all the plans go out the window and in we'll go!

It looks like we'll be over around the end of Feis Isle, but will be in Speyside while everyone else is distracted. The Orkneys then figure high on the scheduled list followed by Islay and some other Islands finally ending with Campbeltown.

Sorry to be so vague but until we know travel specifics we can only make tentative plans at best.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:53 am

Arg! I have a document created but it won't allow a docx to be downloaded.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:53 am

Ol' Musky has provided a copy of the trip itinerary to the travel agent and since some accommodation bookings are being taken already for 2015, I'm getting a bit apprehensive. That being said there's nothing I can do until the flights are available for booking. I've guesstimated the cost of the 18 day tour to be in the range of $9,500.00 to 13,300.00 Canadian. This is for transportation, accommodation, meals and tours. And a wee bottle or two of the creature!

As I can't get the tables to print, here's the short form:
Day 1 Edinburgh Bus tour and maybe wander the Royal Mile then to bed.
Day 2 Edinburgh Rosslyn Chapel, Glenkinchie, walkabout and some drinks in a local.
Day 3 Speyside tour Edradour; Balir Atholl; Tullibardine stopping to visit Pitlochry then north to our B&B.
Day 4 Speyside ;Aberlour; Glenfarclas; two more of the group take the train up to Inverness and are brought to the B&B.
Day 5 Speyside; Royal Lochnagar; The Macallan; Balvenie; Speyside Cooperage
Day 6 Speyside Tours of Spey valley with possible stops at Clan Fraser Castle, Brodie Castle and maybe a distillery or two more; Pityvaich; Ardmore; Craigellachie
Day 7 Islands; Enroute to Kirkwall with a stop at Culloden; Tain and Glenmorangie, on to Wick and Old Pulteney and then to Stromness to catch theferry at 1645 hrs.
Day 8 Islands; Kirkwall tour Highland Park
Day 9 Islands; tour Orkney and visit Maes Howe; Ring of Brodegar; Standiung stones of Stennes; Skara Brae and maybe a glimpse of the Old Man of Hoy.
Sure won't try climbing him!
Day 10 Highlands; Back across by Ferry to Stromness, hang a right and drive the NW coast to Ullapool, just enjoying the ocean views and rugged scenery. It would be great on a Triumph motorcycle - but not this trip.
Day 11 Islands: Over to Skye with a tour of Talisker the Blackhouse museum and the northern tip of the island then back to the B&B in Portree.
Day 12 Drive down to Oban via Ft William, ferry to Mull to visit Ledaig then back to Oban for Oban distillery. Dinner on the harbour and a stroll to enjoy the view.
Day 13 To Islay; Down A83 to Kennecraig to catch the Ferry to Port Ellen. drop our gear at the Cottage and tour Bowmore and Bruichladdich and a peak at Kilchoman.
Day 14 Islay; Lagavulin; Bunnahahain; Caol Ila and a short ferry hop to Jura then back after the tour.
Day 15 Islay; Planned to celebrate my birthday at Laphroaig on my square foot in wellies. Then on to Ardbeg and a drive past Port Ellen maltings to pay our respects.
Day 16 On to Campbeltown, catching the ferry to Kennecraig, then a drive down Kintyre to the hotel and on to tour Springbank Distillery; hopefully the Frank McHardy tour.
Day 17 Lowlands; we leave for Glasgow and hopefully stay at the Pipers Tryst Hotel. Auchentoshan and Glengoyne are on the list and the Auchentoshan "Behind closed doors" tour quite appeals to me.
Day 18 Lowlands and our last day in Scotland, hopefully flying out either Day 18 or 19 to Canada.
At some point I also plan to go to Uddingston, near Glasgow, either before the tour starts or after to visit with some chums for a spectacular tasting that's been promised. Also... it's a self drive tour.
And that's the tour I've planned , we'll have to see what the travel agent can provide.
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:55 am

Less than ten months to boots on the ground in Scotland!
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:09 pm

Muskrat Portage wrote:Day 2 Edinburgh Rosslyn Chapel

2 miles from my humble abode ...
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:30 am

Willie: I will definitely keep that in mind!
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby John Barleycorn » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:15 pm

when do you think you'll be in Inverness?
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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:41 pm

JohnB:
I've PM'd you, but if Inverness is a good jumping off point for SPeyside, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

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Re: Musky is planning to invade some distilleries in 2015.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:08 am

On a side note and tied in with the ongoing planning for the retirement trip in 9 months...9 sleeps to freedom.
:thumbsup:
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