Whisky Magazine Issue 67
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Whisky tourism continues apace and discerning enthusiasts continue to demand something special from their visit. Dominic Roskrow reports
It was clear that the mixed group of German and Australians were a cut or two above your average foreign tourist when we reached the part of the tour when we could taste the wash.
The Australians concluded that the sour distiller's beer was quite palatable and would grow on you after a while. The Germans weren't so sure, concluding it was ‘flabby'.
Me? I just thought what an interesting insight in to the two respective cultures we were witnessing. But for a few moments a heated debate – I recoil at the word ‘argument' – ensued across the cultures as to whether Belgian lambic beer was better or worse than the un-sterilised Scottish wash.
This, then, is the state of the ‘VIP' or advanced tour in 2007. This particular episode took place at Aberlour, but could have taken place at any number of other distilleries as the enthusiast seeks out greater and more challenging whisky experiences.
On Aberlour's tour, which also included what can only be described as an earnest but commendable rant against the term ‘blended malt whisky' by the guide, they let you continue your debate in the cosy bar area at the end of the tour, where time doesn't seem to be an obstacle.
And they also let you purchase your own bottle of Aberlour from either a classic sherry cask or a less obvious bourbon one, and to write your own label. Most of our group took up the option.
Such tours, believes Jim Long of Aberlour's owner Chivas Brothers, are very much the way forward.
“There is no dou...