State of the Savage: February 2017

February 22, 2017 by Keith Savage
Freedom Is a Noble Thing - John Barbour

I hope you’ll excuse this detour from distillery month, but I felt the regularly scheduled State of the Savage was both timely and welcome for those not so interested in the ‘water of life.’ The big news is that I leave for Scotland on Friday! Over the last 10+ years of traveling in Scotland I’ve visited almost 50 distilleries, and it has long been a dream to work at one — even just for a short time — to learn the craft and capture a sense of the flow and camaraderie.

That dream becomes real next week.

Last November I spent a week in Perthshire… Read more...

Barrels of Silver and Gold: Old Pulteney by the Sea

February 15, 2017 by Keith Savage
Old Pulteney Distillery, Wick, Caithness, Scotland

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve written about Strathearn Distillery and Wolfburn Distillery, and I’m continuing distillery month with a look at another Caithness distillery: The venerable Old Pulteney Distillery in Wick. Since its founding in 1826 Old Pulteney has been one of the more difficult distilleries to visit in Scotland due to its geographical location in the far northeast hinge of the highlands. When the distillery was established everything was brought in by sea — barley, barrels, even men — and the finished whisky left by the same means. This heritage has given Old Pulteney’s whisky the moniker ‘The Maritime Malt,’ and as I would find out there’s more to this name than the history. Read more...

Howling from the North: Wolfburn Distillery

February 8, 2017 by Keith Savage
Wolfburn Distillery, Thurso, Caithness, Scotland

Today I’m rolling forward with another distillery visit for Distillery Month here on Traveling Savage. Last week I wrote about Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire and announced my impending return to work there for a week at the end of this month, but today is all about the wild and windy northland. Caithness stands in the northeastern-most corner of Scotland, just across the Pentland Firth from the Orkney Islands, and makes one of the far corners of the North Coast 500. This is a gentle landscape… Read more...

The Mad Men of Methven: A Visit to Strathearn Distillery

February 1, 2017 by Keith Savage
Strathearn Distillery, Methven, Perthshire

Today marks the beginning of distillery month here on Traveling Savage, and I’m starting with a doozy. Before I get into the heart of my visit, I want to let you know I have some very exciting news that I’ll share at the end of this post. Keep reading!

Visiting every whisky distillery in Scotland is a solemn duty and privilege and a task unlikely to be accomplished any time soon. Every year new distilleries open, further adding to my dastardly workload. Kilchoman and Daftmill are a couple of Scotland’s more recent additions, and Strathearn Distillery, which just celebrated its three-year anniversary in August, is another one. Read more...

Battle and Beauty: The Pass of Killiecrankie

January 25, 2017 by Keith Savage
The Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Scotland

Some of Scotland’s most beautiful places are integrally linked with strife and bloodshed. Glencoe, arguably the most beautiful glen in Scotland, immediately comes to mind where a deplorable massacre occurred after the Jacobite uprising of 1689. That same uprising began at the Battle of Killiecrankie, where John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee and leader of the uprising, aka “Bluidy Clavers,” aka “Bonnie Dundee,” was shot and killed. Though the Jacobites won the day they were later defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld, another gorgeous place and one of my favorite small towns in Scotland. Perthshire has borne witness to much history, and the region has long been renown for its great natural beauty… Read more...