A relaxed day in and near town. The morning consisted of some errands (buy postcards, scan documents for closing, buy a couple presents, some groceries, drop clothing off at the launderette). Lunch was sandwiches from the Scottish Deli. After lunch, we hiked through the Black Spout wood to reach the smallest distillery in Scotland – Edradour.
We watched a video, took a tour and bought some gift-Scotch and some personal Scotch. The personal stuff is “Un-chillfiltered” meaning it would go cloudy if poured over ice (or even stored in a chilly place – gotta get it out of Scotland quickly!) The chillfilitering process is to remove some of the oily/fatty stuffs that’s introduced during distillation process, but which will produce a haze when chilled. So often distilleries will chill the spirit and filter out this residue. But of course, it also removes some of the body and flavor. Our guide likened it to making a vegetable soup and then removing the vegetables. We got bottle 779 of 905 from Cask number 120. Distilled in March of ’99 and bottled in September of ’09, it’s a 10-year, like the bulk of the Edradour line-up.
It was neat to watch the process, and see the smallest still allowed by Scottish law (otherwise, it would be so small you could hide it from the excise people!) I wish I understood it all better though. Apparently Edradour was purchased by a fellow (Andy?) about 8 years back, and Andy’s trying to innovate – introducing experimental peaty flavors, different casks, etc. “‘Innovate or Die’, you know, and Andy’s an innovator” said our guide. I have to say, that’s one of my many retirement fantasies. Buy a small distillery in Scotland, help them evolve while still maintaining core strengths. I’d love to chat with this Andy guy over some drinks if only I knew what he liked. 🙂
After that, it was back in to town, gather our laundry, dinner at a pub, some further reading of Alice in Wonderland, some petville (purely for Sam, of course), blogging and off to bed. We have an idea of what tomorrow’s hike will be. We’ll be heading to the south-west either to Strathtay or around Carra Beag and the Old Pictish road. Or, if the magic boots hold out – both?