"Having long been possessed with an ardent desire to see the Distilleries of Scotland...", Alfred Barnard, 1885

"O Thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink", from Scotch Drink, by Robert Burns

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rumblings from the Cask – Dram 2

My return from my first day in Glasgow is met by a phone call from one of those witty chums mentioned in an earlier post:

‘Hey, how’s it going.’
‘Not too bad, just back from a whisky trip to Glasgow.’
‘So how much whisky have you had?’
‘None, the distilleries I visited were…’
‘None?!!! How many distilleries did you visit?’
‘Four, but three are long since closed and…
‘Let me get this right, you visited four distilleries and didn’t get to sample any whisky at all?’
‘Yes, but…’
‘You’re not very good at this! It’s going to be a long journey.’

Humph! The point I was trying to make was that of the four, three are long gone and the other one, Port Dundas, is a grain whisky industrial monolith with no visitor facilities and is in the process of closing down. A far cry from the sampling rooms and tourist friendly visitor centres that have grown up around our more photogenic distilleries in the hills and glens.

Said chum has a point though (at this point I pour myself a large dram of Lagavulin to make up for my earlier shortfall). If you’re going to embark on a whisky tour then whisky should be found or at least accompany you along the way. Barnard knew this and from the outset carried a flask to share with friends and those he met on the way (see Glasgow Part 1 – Arrival).

My well travelled hip flask
I am even more despondent when I realise that I had not even considered taking a hip flask for that day in Glasgow (although the drunk on the bench in George Square was keen to share a fine Buckfast Tonic Wine with me – sweet, medicinal but with a smooth, rounded taste.  The Buckie that is, not the tramp, he was medicinal and musty, with a smokiness that lingered on the nose far too long after passing ).

My next visit to Glasgow is even less likely to produce any whisky sampling notes as I have now acquired a shiny new set of (old) wheels with which to travel round Scotland in. Day trips to local areas will not lend themselves to sampling when having to drive back home, longer journeys when resting up overnight will, I hope, be more fruitful.

I do resolve to ensure that a hip flask will, from now on, accompany me at all times on the journey, even when I am unable to partake of a dram myself.

Whisky related suggestions for a name for my shiny new silver wheels are welcome, a Whisky Story blog T-shirt to anyone coming up with a name I actually choose to christen the car with.