My dad’s tipples are beer and whisky. He has visited different distilleries across Scotland, but had never been to the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, so for his 70th birthday, I decided to treat him to the gold tour.
All tours begin with a gentle ride in a ‘whisky barrel’ learning about the origin of whisky. The first stop after the ride is a sensory experience of whisky. All guests were given scratch cards with circles on them depicting each of the regions of Scotland where whisky is distilled. Whilst watching a video and learning more, we scratched the relevant circle to smell the whisky from that area. Some of the whiskies have a very distinct smell.
The next stop was whisky tasting. Each visitor chose the region of whisky they would like to sample before moving on to the sampling room, which is also host to a large whisky collection. We were shown how to swirl the glass to check the viscosity of the whisky. Hold the whisky to the light to check its colour. Smell the whisky. And then sample the whisky. All visitors get to keep the glass provided.
For all those you say it is sacrilege to add water to whisky, whisky actually tastes better with a dash of water. This is because it enhances the flavour of the whisky.
The tour finishes in the bar, where the most expensive whiskies are stored. And it is here where the gold tour comes into its own. Each guest is given four whiskies to sample from each of the regions of Scotland.
My dad and I learned different things from our visit.
I learned I really don’t like whisky from Islay! The smell alone is enough to turn my stomach. My dad favours this make of whisky.
My dad was shocked to learn the meaning of ‘the angels share’. Whisky which evaporates into the atmosphere during the distilling process and once bottled if the seal is broken or damaged. There was one empty bottle on display that although had never been opened, had a damaged seal, and the whisky had all evaporated. I think my dad will be enjoying a tipple of whisky more often to get the full benefit of all his malts and not share with the angels!