A Primer on Buying Single Malt Scotch
Finally. After bourbon, North American whiskeys, Irish whiskeys and blended Scotch, comes single malt Scotch. This is Scotch made from only one malted grain (barley) and from only one distillery. Let’s just get right to some tasty brands.
(Familiar meaning I have seen them on the shelves in many a bar that I remember and some bars that I don’t.)
In Gaelic, the word Glenfiddich means “Valley of the Deer.” I don’t associate deer with drinking much anymore because I haven’t gone drinking in the north woods of Wisconsin in many years and those things are like antlered rats up there. When you do go visit Deer Valley, you can take the Pioneers tour for fifty pounds a person. That may sound like a lot, but you get to bottle your own 6.7 ounce bottle of Glenfiddich to go with tastings of their 30-year-old scotch and a three-hour tour. A three-hour tour. Yes, you can pray that the weather starts getting rough and you get stranded, but I doubt it will happen Gilligan. Plus, you’ll want to get back to the main part of the distillery to check out the art of their artists in residence.
The Glenlivet distillery tour is free and open from April to the end of October. At the end of the tour, there is a choice of 12-year-old or the 18-year-old Scotches or the Nadurra, a single malt that is not chill filtered. The 12-year-old sounds the most enticing, just to get a taste of the pineapple note. If you register to become a Glenlivet Guardian, you can attend the Guardians Whisky School that for 250 pounds includes three days and two nights of food, accommodation and lessons on nosing and tasting Scotch.
First off, from the main page comes the pronunciation of this Scotch – La-froyg. Secondly from the same page, it’s pretty amazing that three things, barley, water and yeast, can create such a great drink. (Ok, maybe not that amazing as coffee and water and tea and water create drinks every day.) Bessie’s Flavours tour offers three different Scotches and how they pair with food at 11:00 am everyday of the week.
Oh, the Precious. The Precious. The Precious tour offers a tour lasting over two hours that concludes with a tutored nosing in the nosing room, which if you were talking anything else but drinking scotch, would sound a bit kinky. Hopefully when you go, you can purchase a bottle of Lalique, a sixty-year-old Scotch that has matured in Sherry casks.
For only two and a half pounds, you can take the Glenmorangie tour that includes “a dram or two” of your choice and you can use the price of tour as a discount in their gift shop. For the full distillery experience, you can stay at Glenmorangie House for 170 pounds that includes the room, afternoon tea, a five-course dinner and a full Scottish breakfast. Hopefully you’ll get a little Scotch at each of those meals.
On the shores of the largest loch (lake) in the United Kingdom, Loch Lomond distillery offers three different single malt Scotches. If you visit the area, there is the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park where you can hike and golf as well as just enjoy the wildlife there like seals and badgers.
That’s it for whiskeys from me. I’ve enjoyed exploring and writing about them, and can’t wait to taste more. If you have any suggestions that I’ve missed, feel free to share them in the comments, then I’ll be sure to check them out at my local watering hole.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."