Whisky Magazine Issue 87
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Strathisla, Glenlivet and Aberlour are the band of brothers behind Chivas Regal, but nature has been giving them a tough time. Dominic Roskrow visited them.
This is the whisky which Neil Armstrong drank when he first walked on the moon,” says tour guide Dennis Hendry, holding up a glass of Aberlour 16 Years Old for his Australian audience to inspect.
“How do you know?” asks one.
“Oh, it's a common known fact,” comes the reply. “Actually he wanted to have a party but there wasn't any atmosphere.” If you think that one's bad, you should have heard the rest of his jokes, of which there were several.
Yet his audience hangs on to his every word. I'm told later that he regularly gets cited on internet postings as one of the highlights of the Aberlour experience, and it's clear that he's one of the reasons that the distillery's VIP tour remains one of the very best.
He's a chancer, is Dennis. He'll tell you that his father, grand-father and brother are on one of the old black and white pictures which adorn the distillery wall, and that he's not because he was at school at the time – all complete tripe.
He'll tell you he's worked 35 years at the distillery. Total tosh – he used to be a publican. But he's a natural entertainer and people love him.
It fits that he's working for Aberlour. The distillery was one of the first to offer visitors a VIP tour, and to offer them the chance to fill their own bottle with a single cask offering from bourbon or sherry. It has been offering intense and detailed visitor experiences for years. Yet every time you visit there is something new and memorable about the experience and yo...