While we were at Balblair we decided right then and there to try and visit Glenmorangie too. A simple phone call later and we were booked for the 12 o’clock tour. It being just a ten minute drive from where we were we had time enough to do the tour, pour samples and drive over to Glenmorangie.
Upon arrival we were told to go to the shop and pay for the tour and then wait because the shop attendant would also do the tour and ‘she’d be right over’. That took about 20 minutes since her shop-attending-replacement took some extra time in getting lunch.
Anyway, the tour started with the bull crap guidelines of not being allowed to take pictures because of the fire hazard ‘with all the alcohol in the air’. I expected it, but I am still surprised by the level of bullcrap it is. Honestly, if there would be so much alcohol vapor in the areas that are not even the still room, the place would be shut down by Her Majesty’s Health and Safety department.
Anyway, the distillery looks like it was made for tourists with broad walkways, large areas to stand when the equipment is described and explained. The still room can really be compared to a cathedral, and that was where the ‘no picture policy’ was most regrettable.
A short stroll later we were in one of the warehouses where we were allowed to smell a few casks. A regular bourbon barrel and a port pipe were opened for a whiff, and both smelled utterly delicious. I’d have loved to try the port cask at cask strength.
The tasting was a dram of the Lasanta. What I found most surprising is that the full 100% of their product is sold as single malt and none goes to blenders.
What stands out most is that it’s really a tourist hot spot, and there are no more in depth tours than the standard which, with all the tourists there lacks even the most simple specialist terms. There was talk of sugar water, fermentation vessels and not of wort and washbacks.
I’d have loved to walk around a bit more and take some pictures without the tour guide telling me not to, but that was just not in the cards. It’s a lovely place, and a stunningly beautiful distillery. The product is great too, but a more in depth tour and tasting would have been nice!
Concluding and not to be a total ass about the place:
+ The place is beautiful
+ They make great whisky
+ They aim at tourists and succeed to about 100% in what they want to do
+ The tour is suitable for families
– For a more in depth look you don’t have to go there unless you can arrange another tour
– The no photo policy should go out the window
– A lot of over simplification during the tour