Oh Scotland, you always manage to surprise me.
Day five sees us doing our last distillery visit after going on our first dreaded battlefield tour. Let me explain something; I'm not a fan of history. I love stories but history is just a bunch of names and dates and it's boring and terrible and you're terrible for judging me.
Where was I? Oh yes. I wasn't exactly dreading the battlefield tour. I knew it would be pretty if perhaps a little uninteresting and dry, but I wasn't necessarily looking forward to it either. Also, I had a feeling, as we were moving further south that Glenlivet wouldn't be my favorite scotch either. So knowing the best of this leg of the tour was behind me, I got on the bus that would take us to Culloden for our first battlefield visit.
And it was freaking awesome. Well, maybe I'm overstating it, but it was pretty great. Maybe the subject matter was in my wheelhouse (it wasn't), maybe I'm just more into history now (I'm really not) or maybe our guide sounded like Ken Burns' long lost Scotish twin brother (that one). To be fair, the format of the tour was also a huge contributor.
The site was the Battle of Culloden which took place in 1746, the last battle of the Jacobite Uprising. Let me tell you gentle reader and potential terrible judge of my person that there is a chasm of differences seperatinh book learning and walking a battlefield with a competent narrator. We were expertly guided through the battlefield, making frequent stops to discipover new details about the events that took place right where we stood, almost 270 years earlier. Each waypoint on the field gave us a few re details, leaving us each time with a bit of a cliffhanger before moving on. By the end I felt I had learned some history and enjoyed the process tremendously. I'm looking forward to tomorrow for hopefully more of the same.
We finally made it to Glenlivet after lunch and, while I was looking forward to it, I knew this was going to be my least favorite distillery. I like my scotches peaty and smoky and that's just not in Glenlivet's DNA. The tour itself was fine. Entertaining but bringing nothing new to the table. Nothing to do with the quality of the tour, but Laphroaig and Oban had done a superb combined job of educating us on the subject and Coal Ila had filled the margins of our textbook with extracurricular notes with their unique tasting methodology.
The post-tour tasting at Glenlivet wasn't to the standards we'd been accustomed to either. A single dram of scotch that we had to chose from three options. Hardly the best way for us to really explore the variety of products offered by Glenlivet. That being said, our guide did pour us a couple of drams of his favorite 25 year old scotch to try. He had described it as the 'perfect scotch' and some of my fellow tasters seemed inclined to agree. It was a good scotch, smooth going in with a cinamony flavor, it had a rough, beery aftertaste I didn't care for too much.