Scotland: Day 1 - Pitlochry to Glasgow
Last year when we visited Edradour distillery and tasted through all the Signatory selections we froze our asses off. There was snow on the ground, ice clinging to everything we touched, and we had to take breaks outside of the frigid warehouse to warm our hands in between samples. This time, however, couldn't have been more the opposite. Spring has sprung in Scotland and we were treated to California-like weather all day long. Edradour is absolutely picturesque as is, but with the sun shining and the flowers in bloom, it was like a fairy tale setting.
The mountain stream was flowing through the main campus and our friends Des and Andrew were in fine spirits and even better form. We were all bubbling with positivity and enthusiasm as we shook hands and said our hellos. That's always a good thing when you're trying to politely pry barrels of rare and interesting whisky away from men doing their best to hold on to it.
We started in the main store with a few new Edradour selections and some vials of newly-acquired casks, but after about thirty minutes it was time to put on our big boy pants and head up to the main warehouse. We knew what we were in store for, and we were up to the challenge.
McCagherty was in the zone; rushing from cask to cask and grabbing samples like a man possessed. We blew through forty different possibilities over the course of four hours. It was a marathon and I was gassed by the end of it. Expect a rehashing of the past: more Imperial, more sherried Glenlivet, more old Glenlivet, more Glen Elgin, and more ancient Caol Ila. All those whiskies are simply too good not to bring back around once more. Don't worry though, we've got you covered if you're into new things. There was plenty of exciting fresh stuff to be had in addition to the familiar faces. I think we're even going to buy a few peated Ballechin barrels. Maybe some thirty year old Linkwood, too. There's a lot to think about, and a lot to look forward to.
It's funny: for all the time we've spent at Edradour we've never actually bought any Edradour whisky. That might also change this year. There's now a new 21 year sherry butt to consider. Andrew let us take a bottle for the road, so I'll have to get back to you when I've spent some time tasting it. We said our goodbyes, made the drive to Glasgow, and got in around 4 PM to sit down with Douglas Laing and start another long round of tasting and negotiations. I think we got enough booze today to last until 2018.
I hope you're all thirsty. We're pinning ourselves into a corner and we're going to have to drink our way out! Off to eat dinner and have a few pints. More on Glasgow tomorrow.