If there is anything I have learned through seeing the various countries of the world, it is that off-the-beaten path is so much more interesting than the major capitals. A city is a city, no matter where you are, but the country – that’s where you meet all the interesting people, hear all the interesting stories and make your life adventure.
Up by Inverness, at the very top of Scotland, rests a small distillery called Glen Ord. A part of a large network of Scotch produced throughout the world, a tour through the distillery followed by a tasting, is where the true Scotland lays.
With nearly 2000 whisky’s produced in Scotland alone, the drink itself is synonymous with the very heart of the country. Official distilleries actually only began in the late 18th century, with whisky being produced in individual homes and small, untaxed establishments prior to this. As a part of the many myths that go with the intricate brewing process of the whisky, angel’s share and the copper dog have to be among my favorite.
Nearly 160 bottles are lost every year due to evaporation. Endearingly thought of as the Angel’s Share, the distillery workers also have taken their share throughout the years. Naturally, working around whisky and growing up with the brew, locals developed a method for skimming a little off top. In came the invention of the copper dog. An ingenious invention that could be quickly dipped into the barrel then string along the inner pant leg, with the boss left unaware.
With its intertwined history with the country of Scotland, Scotch is an acquired taste, but an absolute must if visiting Scotland. We tried 3 at Glen Ord – Talisker, a peaty, smoky scotch not for the faint-hearted, Dalwhinnie a 15 year scotch with hints of honey and fruit (my favorite) and of course the singleton, the signature of the distillery, stored in sherry barrels which give it a fruity vanilla taste.
If there was ever any hint of doubt on your love for Scotland and its hardy, rich people, then a tour to a distillery will surely win you over. The pride and heritage of the spirit ties directly into the pride and spirit of the people who make the famous liquor – and you can’t help but love both.