Whisky Magazine Issue 105
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Vivien Devlin sees whisky country by rail
In April, 40 classic sports cars set off from Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, on a 1,000 mile tour around Highland distilleries on the Hero Scottish Malts Rally *.
It's certainly one way to get there, but you can't drink and drive. The alternative is to travel by train, eliminating the stress when touring a strange country, unable to follow a map by letting someone else take care of the driving. Not the regular ScotRail service but The Royal Scotsman.
Combining elegant, period decor with modern comfort, this burgundy and cream liveried train recreates the bygone age of luxury railway travel for just 36 guests. A choice of two to seven night itineraries explore the most scenic landscape across Scotland with the benefit of first class hospitality, cuisine and service.
On the four night, 720 mile classic journey, we depart Waverley Station, Edinburgh, heading north and across the iconic Forth Bridge, an engineering wonder of the world. Standing on the veranda of the Observation Car, it's an exhilarating sight.
The theme of each adventure is to embrace Scottish history and Highland outdoor life, with visits to castles and Highland estates (wildlife, fishing, shooting) and distillery tours.
The appreciation and consumption of whisky is seriously encouraged. During his welcome talk Michael Andrews, the train manager, boasts that the bar offers more than 50 malts, suggesting we sample “two for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few nightcaps.” (600 bottles are consumed each sea...