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Issue 40 - Glenlivin'itup

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004

 

This article is 9 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Glenlivin'itup

Thisyear'sSpeysideFestivalwasagreatsuccess.MarcinMillerwasthere

Visitingadistillerygivesyougreaterunderstandingofthemeaningofwhisky.Attendingafestivalgivesyouthattothepowerof10ormore.How?Contextually,culturallyandexclusively,that'show.

Readingaboutatreksomeoneelseundertookisfine.Butit'snotthesameaslacingupyourbootsandfollowinganabridgedversionofthesmuggler'strailyourself.OntheSundayofthisyear'sSpeysideFestival,60peoplegatheredoutsideGlenlivetDistillery.

Manyofthem,thiscontributorincluded,weresportinghangovers.AlanWinchester,distilleriesmanagerforChivasBrothersandAndrewWells,headrangerofGlenlivetEstate,ledtheparty.

Overthenexttwohoursoureasypacedascentallowedplentyoftimeforconversation,wildlife-spottingandanecdotesfromAlanaboutthewhiskyhistoryofthearea–bothillicitandlegal.WalkingupthehillsfrombehindGlenlivetandseeingtheexpansiveviewsovertheheathertoTomintoulandTomnavoulin,itiseasytoimaginetheeasewithwhichillicitdistillerscouldavoidtheexcisemen.

Aswithsomuchofwhiskycountry,the21stcenturyseemsdistantasyouwatchthelapwings,catchaglimpseofaroedeerandflushsomegrouse.

However,asthepartyenjoyedthepeakexperience,Iregrettosaythatthemomentwasspoiltbyareminderofthereal,modernworldassomeinconsideratefool'smobilephonebeepedinreceiptofatextmessage.Sorryaboutthat.

AwalkinthehillsofSpeysideputsintocontextallthetalesofwhiskyandsmugglingyouhaveread.There'sadram(and,ofcourse,apackedlunch)waitingforyouatthetopofwhatisafantasticallyevocativewalk.

ForanunderstandingofSpeysidewhisky,youhavetoseetherealSpeyside.Okay,enjoyingSessionA9attheFochabersInstitut...

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