A GREAT SUCCESS...
8th September, 2.30pm, collected the group of 15 from Aberdeen airport with a minibus. First stop, Strachan's whisky shop in Aboyne. They were collectors. Then, on to Gairnshiel Lodge, where they were staying for two nights. www.gairnshiellodge.co.uk Before dinner, an introductory whisky tasting: what the barley does, what the smoke does, what the casks do, how to identify the fruitiness etc. It's the download tasting.
First stop after breakfast was Royal Lochnagar, Diageo uses it for their own training courses and everything is traditional. Wooden washbacks, open mashtun, wormtubs and the spirit is made by the operators not by a computer. On the Family tour you try three different expressions of their whisky. The 12 year old, The Distillers Edition and the Select Reserve.
A quick stop back at Gairnshiel for a packed lunch and then over to Aberlour for their distillery tour and tasting. And there was time for a shopping stop at the Whisky Castle shop in Tomintoul before returning to Gairnshiel. And before dinner, a tasting of some harder to find gems.
Next day it was the Speyside Cooperage first, then a visit to the Whisky shop in Dufftown followed by the Cragganmore Premium tour. Again a packed lunch, more to save time than expense, followed by the Glenfarclas Ambassadors tour. The bus left them in Aberdeen and they flew home the next day.
And this is the feedback:
"Thank you so very much for the experience our whole group had in Scotland!!! I have since spoken to every one of the travellers, and they all expressed their heartfelt thanks to you, and their joy & satisfaction Gairnshiel Lodge, the bus service, the distillery visits and indeed every bit of the details of their trip. I must say, I share this 100% positive view myself, because in the end it all went just amazingly perfectly, and this would never have been achieved without your kind help & hard work. Thank you again Gordon." And thank you Mika.
The next group from Finland will arrive at the Airport slightly earlier so we should manage the Glendronach tour on the first afternoon as well.