Drink

Tullibardine Distillery, Blackford, Perthshire, Scotland

My pair of trips to Perthshire in the past year afforded me time to visit distilleries that had managed to elude me. Chief among them was Tullibardine distillery, another of Scotland’s doughty distilleries that has withstood the trials of time, soldiering on despite the merry-go-round of owners and consumers’ vacillating tastes. If Tullibardine single malt isn’t familiar to you, there’s good reason: Throughout the 20th century Tullibardine’s whisky was destined primarily for blending, and the distillery was eventually mothballed in the 1990s, its stock left to age in barrels of perhaps questionable quality. But like many other Scottish distilleries, Tullibardine’s tale mirrors the myth of the Phoenix… Read more...

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The Orkney Distillery under construction, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Long ago, the vikings sailed the seas by line of sight, naming land masses, bays, and promontories by their physical appearance so that anyone could navigate the wild oceans to distant lands. In Orkney, a land with deep Norse roots, this system is readily apparent the moment you peer at a map of that northern Scottish archipelago: Deerness (a deer-shaped headland), Hamnavoe (safe harbor), and Kirkwall (church bay) appear amongst many other names. Such is the tale Stephen Kemp, founder of The Orkney Distillery, told me as we explored The Orkney Distillery’s construction site along the Bay of Kirkwall. I caught wind of The Orkney Distillery earlier this year during my stint working at Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire. Read more...

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Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland

It seems only appropriate that Distillery Month on Traveling Savage was interrupted by a trip to Scotland where I worked at a distillery, but I’m back this week with a distillery that has long been near and dear to my heart: Edradour Distillery. Nestled in the hills of above Pitlochry in Perthshire, Edradour is among the first distilleries I ever visited in Scotland. I was struck then by its beauty, history, and indefatigable adherence to tradition. Places like Benromach, Kilchoman, and Strathearn all provide insight into the old ways of uisge beatha, but perhaps Edradour, as the smallest traditional farm distillery in Scotland, combines the various processes and stories of yesteryear into the most attractive and approachable package. Read more...

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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...

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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...

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