I love being able to make last minute decisions and a cancelled New York trip due to potential Hurricane interference left me able to get on my bike and head to Scotland. Literally completing my Air Canada reservation by phone as I drove to the airport to just make my flight might be one of the crazier things I have done this year.
It is a privilege to be able to bring this Scotch Whisky journey to so many people each year and spending some time with the awesome team at Craigton Packaging makes it that much more fun.
Of course there was still some essential experiences that had to happen including an epic night at the Pot Still with my mate Stuart and a stroll along the Clyde in the fall Scotland sun.
Scotland is truly one of the most beautiful countries and I absolutely love getting the chance to go there as often as I do. We were really pressed for time to make the ship this year and the crew at Craigton put their foot down while being careful to detail to make sure that every calendar had all the goodies.
I managed to get a few videos of the action (or inaction when I was trying to video and label one handed)
Following a calendar down the line to was a fun way to see it all happen.
December 1st we get going with our 25 days of 4th edition blogging. This year for the first time our calendars are available in the US so we will be opening our community to a host of new members. I hope you enjoyed this little peak behind the scenes. A photo gallery is below for you to browse through at your leisure.
Every trip I see a different side of Scotland and these next two shots of the Clyde at dawn and my room at the Gleddoch Resort and Golf course make me eager to return.
So until next time enjoy the gallery below and see you all for December 1st and the start of another journey through the most diverse whisky landscape on earth.
A second Great White North adventure to the Yukon was a must after the amazing time I had last year (read the blog here). This time around the focus was Whitehorse but I’m sure we will be back up in Dawson again at some point.
In a Yukon first some high ends Rums were the order of the day with a Rums Revenge tasting at the outstanding Woodcutters Blanket Cocktail and Whisky bar. Two sittings were needed to fit everyone in and provided an intimate atmosphere to really get our collective Rum geek on. James the owner who’s folks live in Calgary had already had a chance to try some of the rum with me a few weeks prior and so with his exceptional bar tender had come up with a couple of delicious cocktails. The first called Port of Saints included Walnut Bitters, Angostura bitters, Six Saints Rum and Warre’s Late Bottled Port along with a drunken cherry and lemon zest curl and spritz. This was paired with a Cuban pulled port slider with pineapple and spice that was gone within seconds of landing on the table in front of me. The second cocktail was a Saints Flip that tasted just like rum and nog with cinnamon dusting.
So we ran through 7 rums starting with the Six Saints and then moving onto the limited edition Santeria, West Indies Rum and Cane Merchants Central America, British West Indies, Belize XO and French Overseas before finishing with the Samaroli Fiji 2001. With such a diverse range of flavors and some truly incredible Agricole expressions there was no doubt that we had many new Rum converts by the end of it all. Getting all Piratey and helping folk to get jazzed about Rum is just such a pleasure. Big Bear Donair the only place for late night fare in Whitehorse came to the rescue for the after party munchies and my Greek Donair was just the ticket.
Loved staying in Riverdale at the Vangorda Bed and Breakfast as it afforded me a decent walk along the river into Whitehorse. This is where I came across the evidence of a very busy colony of Beavers and one of the largest dams I have ever seen. Every morning there were a few more trees felled overnight and the size of the trunk was no deterrent to getting those teeth stuck in. I wish I could have sat on the bank at dusk and watched them swim back and forth but had to be content checking out the new work each morning instead.
An invitation out to his home by a small lake by Peter Turner the president of the Yukon Chamber was very special as the Cedar plank Salmon and Rum by the fire pit completed a great Yukon evening. Apparently the Northern lights were supposed to be especially vivid but alas all we had was cloud cover.
The heel auction at the end of the night included the rums from the previous events and was a load of fun. We were able to raise a good amount of extra $$$ for the Chamber and make some people very happy to be taking away a special treat.
A visit to Yukon Brewing and Two Brewers Distillery was a real bonus. Sometime in the future watch for a review on the Single Cask Barrel Aged Schnapps that if it were bottled in the US could easily be classified as a whisky. I have tried Two Brewers whiskies on a few occasions and must get one for a review sometime soon as they are all delicious.
Thanks Rachel for ferrying me around Whitehorse all week. I am really looking forward to getting back there again as it’s one of the highlight trips of the year for me.