Posted by: vikingsinspace | February 6, 2012

I.4.01.3.03. Tour a Whiskey Distillery

Date Accomplished: 27 June 2011

Oban Distillery

I have been a lover of good Scotch Whiskey for several years now.  Having lived so close to the Scottish border for four years, it was a shame that I never managed to go to a distillery to see how scotch was made.  I had been to Edinburgh a few times before (see I.4.01.3.02. Visit Edinburgh) and got to visit the Scotch Whiskey Experience which did explain how whiskey was made, but it seemed to me that this was something that I had to see in person.

An Old Advertisement for Oban Whiskey

On my first trip back to the UK after living there, my family and I went to Scotland and I thought this would be my opportunity to visit a distillery.  It took some maneuvering to make it to a distillery in time, but we managed to get on the last tour at the Oban distillery on the 27th of June.  I was actually a little disappointed because none of the barley was being kept on site, nor the ageing barrels, but I suppose this should have been expected since the Oban distillery has such a limited space.  Again because of space, there were only two stills for the whiskey, and four wash barrels, but these were all huge and something I had never seen (or experienced – the smell is just as interesting as the sights) before.

We got to sample some of the whiskey straight from the barrel (a barrel from 2000, so this was an 11 year whiskey as opposed to Oban’s usual 14 year), and then tried another whiskey in Oban’s tasting room.  This second whiskey was served with dried ginger which supposedly enhanced the flavours of the Oban whiskey.  I didn’t much care for it, but my sister and brother-in-law thought it was quite nice.  Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures inside (fear of exploding alcohol they said), so I’m afraid these two shots I did get will be the only things I have to help remember the experience.

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