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Glasgow - whisky related weekend - any suggestions ?

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Glasgow - whisky related weekend - any suggestions ?

Postby Xavier » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:55 pm

Hi all,

After some very usefull suggestions I received from you about whisky shops in London (see Q&A some months ago), I'm trying it again now.

In September this year, my wife and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage. She proposed to celebrate this in Scotland, knowing and understanding my passion for that country and for its golden nectar (well, you know, she cleans my whisky room once a week :roll: ...).

We would like to stay for 3 to 4 days nearby Glasgow (that's where the RyanAir-plane will bring us most probably). The plan is to hire a car, have some walks and of course visit one or more distilleries.

Does somebody know if there is a distillery - or some other "romantic" :wink: place - up to maximum 150 km away from Glasgow offering bed-and-breakfast-facilities ?

Any suggestion is welcome !
Xavier
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Postby Admiral » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:07 pm

Is Inverary more than 150km from Glasgow?

If not, I'd recommend a stay at the George Inn there. Beautiful accommodation, and - best of all - you can walk out the door and head straight into Loch Fyne Whiskies!

The closest (working) distillery to Glasgow these days is probably Auchentoshan, although Loch Lomond isn't too far a drive either.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Xavier » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:10 pm

Wow, that was quick, thanks Admiral. I'll check it out. And indeed, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs is an interesting idea.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:18 pm

Xavier - you must bear in mind, though, that it can take much longer to travel relatively short distances than you would expect. 150km on the map can take several hours as the roads twist and turn, and caravans slow things down even more.

Auchentoshan may be relatively close to Glasgow but it is the wrong side of Edinburgh and also not terribly near any other malt distilleries. If you were able to find a cheap flight to Inverness, you'd find the Highland and Speyside distilleries much more accessible.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:00 pm

I second Inveraray and the George, absolutely. About an hour and a half from Glasgow (although RyanAir will probably drop you at Prestwick, another half-hour the wrong side). If you stay two nights there, you can visit the beautiful ruin of Kilchurn Castle (see below) on Loch Awe, and see a great variety of antiquities (chambered cairns, standing stones, medieval grave slabs, etc.) in Kilmartin Glen. You might even make it up to Oban, although I imagine the distillery tour is a fairly standard Classic Malts one...I haven't actually done it.

Another possibility is Arran; the ferry from Ardrossan to Arran is not far from the airport. The distillery there is only about ten years old. There is also a brewery, a ruined castle at Lochranza, and a number of standing stones and such on Machrie Moor. Good walks to be had, including an ascent of the Goat Fell, if you are up to it. You could even do a circuit including Arran and Inveraray, if you have the time.

Finally, from Prestwick it's not very far to Scotland's deep south, Dumfries & Galloway. I am myself looking into staying in Isle of Whithorn when I go in October; I've never been in that corner of the country, but it looks like there are a lot of interesting things down that way. Bladnoch is very close by.

But again, I echo Admiral's recommendation of Inveraray and a visit to Loch Fyne Whiskies (your wife can visit the woolen shop down the road if she's not interested in watching you drool for an hour). Splendid Highland scenery, for so close to Glasgow.

Check out the Undiscovered Scotland website (http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk) for information, travel tips, and a fair selection of accommodation.

Image
Kilchurn Castle--photo by Mr Tattie Heid
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Postby JimHall » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:49 am

Xavier

I have to recommend either

The Trossachs which is is a national park. Callander at the heart of this is an excellent little spot and has probably one of the best whisky shops in the country which has a great selection including small 10ml cask strength bottlings which can help to reduce costs for tasting.
This is well within the reach of Gasgow and offers lovely scenery the Rob Roy visitor's centre and from which you have short drives to Glengoyne,Tullibardine, Dewar's World Of Whisky,Glenturret, Aberfeldy,Edradour,Blair Atholl as well as The City of Stirling "tourist capital of Scotland". In stirling you can visit the Castle or climb The National Wallace Monument and look out over the river forth where the battle of Stirling Bridge was fought. You can also see a sea of Bonded warehouses where Diageo hold approximately 65% of all their maturing stock.


Pitlochry (Perthshire)
Here you are again in a beautiful part of the country.
You could visit any of the above mentioned distilleries and also within reach of Dalwhinnie, and parts of speyside (although that involves a bit more driving (albeit on good traffic free roads).


If you are flying with Ryanair then you might go into Prestwick Airport which is quite a drive from Glasgow so be aware that you might have a bit of driving to do even to get to Glasgow.

I hope this is not next week as the G8 summit promises some major disruption in Scotland.[/img]
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Postby Xavier » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:22 am

Thanks Jim, Nick and Mr Tattieheid for your interesting reactions. Six years ago I visited Scotland by mobile-home and traveled for three weeks to almost every corner of the country. We didn't go to Arran, however, and this may indeed be an interesting idea. What I am really hoping to find, is a distillery (just like the old Glenlochy in Fort William) in a beautifull surrounding where we could stay overnight.

I didn' realize Prestwick was at half an hour drive from Glasgow (RyanAir doesn't emphasize this in its commercials of course), but I didn't have the intention to visit Glasgow (again) anyway.

Thanks again for all your suggestions, now I can lay the printout of this thread next to my map of Scotland :D .

Xavier
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Postby Iain » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:37 am

Glengoyne is only about 30-60 minute drive from Glasgow (depends where you set off from!). Beautiful setting at the foot of the Campsie Hills, and a lot of decent hotels and b&bs in nearby Killearn and Strathblane. Have a look at

http://www.glengoyne.com/glasgow_whisky_distillery/
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:10 am

Have just realized that I confused Auchentoshan with Glenkinchie upthread :oops:

Glenkinchie is the worng side of Edinburgh from Glasgow. I have no idea where Auchentoshan is or whether it is open for tours. Apparently Fettercairn is quite an attractive distillery to visit, but it isn't terribly near many others and its whisky tends to get bad reviews.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:42 pm

Auchentoshan apparently lies close by Erskine Bridge, very near Glasgow. I should think it would be on any Scottish distillery hunter's list, being the sole practitioner of triple distillation in the country.

http://www.morrisonbowmore.co.uk/auch%5Fhtml/home.swf
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:46 pm

Along with Hazelburn, which is also triple distilled.....
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Postby Iain » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:23 pm

For a whiles last year (during and after Whisky Live), there were special buses ferrying folks from Glasgow city centre out to Auchentoshan for tours. The distillery is near Clydebank, about 20 minutes from the city just off the main road to Loch Lomond. Don't know if they'll repeat the exercise this year.

When I last visited Arran a couple of years ago, we went to the distillery on the open-top bus from Brodick Pier. In glorious sunshine. Great day!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:05 pm

Lawrence wrote:Along with Hazelburn, which is also triple distilled.....


True! I stand corrected. But Campbeltown's practically in Ireland, isn't it? :wink: (So's Port Ellen; so what does that prove? :? ) Still(!), I wonder how the process that Springbank is using on Hazelburn compares to Auchentoshan's, or to the Irish, for that matter. I don't know enough about it to guess. Are there three sets of stills, or is one (as I seem to recall) used twice?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am

At the Bushmills distillery (County Antrim - where whiskey was first thought of :wink: ), they explain that their single malt is different from Scotch because it is triple distilled (for a smoother flavour), whereas all Scotch is double distilled. I pointed out once that Auchentoshan is triple distilled, but it got such a frosty response that I didn't mention it on subsequent tours.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:11 pm

How Irish...never let the facts get in the way of a good story! :wink:
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:55 am

Tattiehead, Springbank has 3 stills and they use them in a combination of ways depending on what they're making.

When I was visiting Oban distillery years ago the lady guiding us said the distillers edition of the Classic malts were only available in Scotland. When I pointed out that they were currently on sale in Canada she refused to believe me and also gave me a "frosty response". :roll:
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Postby Iain » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:53 am

Not such a happy visit for these fellas?

THREE US federal air marshals had "sensitive documents" relating to airline security and travel plans for high-level American diplomatic staff stolen during a whisky-tasting trip to a distillery at the start of the G8 summit.
The marshals' hire car was broken into. Personal identification was also taken while the three were at the Glengoyne Distillery, Strathblane, 15 miles north of Glasgow.

More at http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/43309.html
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Postby Xavier » Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:11 pm

Well, everything is booked (flight, car and hotels). Thanks Admiral and MrT for your advice, because the George will indeed be our first stop. Then we go to Oban (what a coincidence, there is a distillery in Oban :roll: ), Glen Coe, Loch Lomond and Ayr. Ah, can't wait to be back in scotland again...

Xavier
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:49 pm

Have a great trip! Did I mention the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe village? Supposed to have a really good pub. I haven't been in, but I'm due to stay there October 11.
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Postby Xavier » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:32 pm

Thanks ! The Clachaig Inn was fully booked for October 3rd. We are going to Ardno House now.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:47 pm

Nick Brown wrote:Have just realized that I confused Auchentoshan with Glenkinchie upthread :oops:

Glenkinchie is the worng side of Edinburgh from Glasgow. I have no idea where Auchentoshan is or whether it is open for tours. Apparently Fettercairn is quite an attractive distillery to visit, but it isn't terribly near many others and its whisky tends to get bad reviews.


I think Auchentoshan is open for tours now and is near Clydebank, to the north-west of Glasgow. Glengoyne is on the A81 between Glasgow and Aberfoyle.

Fettercairn is okay whisky - Tesco's own Glenfoyle 12 is Fettercairn - and the distillery is just off the A90 dual carriageway between Dundee and Aberdeen. I believe you can tour Glencadam, in nearby Brechin, as well.

The Victorian Heritage trail starts at Fettercairn.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:05 am

Since writing my original post, I have now tried Fettercairn on a few occasions. Actually, I rather like it. It is a bit rubbery, slightly warming without being hot, syrupy, sweetish, slightly burnt and a definite fruity undertone. These don't sound like great adjectives, but they do come together to make a distinctive whole. But I can see it wouldn't be to everyone's taste.
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Postby bjorn » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:10 am

Nick Brown wrote:At the Bushmills distillery (County Antrim - where whiskey was first thought of :wink: ), they explain that their single malt is different from Scotch because it is triple distilled (for a smoother flavour), whereas all Scotch is double distilled. I pointed out once that Auchentoshan is triple distilled, but it got such a frosty response that I didn't mention it on subsequent tours.


when i toured jamesons, they did mention that some scotch is triple distilled though i got the same frosty response when i mentioned that a lot of bourbon is distilled twice.
one step forward and one step back
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