Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Auchentoshan Experience

Scotland is famous for its castles, fresh water lochs (lakes), misty mountains, bagpipers, the tartans, the kilt and the highlands. But if you ask an outsider the same question, the first thing you would hear would be 'for its whisky'. It is indeed true that Scotland is known for its world renowned Scotch Whisky and is one of their primary exports.

'Whisky' is derived from the Gaelic word 'uisge beatha' meaning 'water of life'. Yes it is quite ironic from the general perception about whisky and whisky drinkers :-), well that would mean stepping away from what I intend to write in this blog. So let me stop it there.

I am no connoisseur when it comes to scotch whisky. But I've been an occasional drinker for many years now. It would be a shame if I did not visit a distillery especially after living in Scotland for 2 years. Today that wish has finally become a reality. My friend and I made this trip to a distillery close to Glasgow.

Auchentoshan distillery Scotland's only triple distilled single malt whisky. Auchentoshan is the Gaelic word for 'corner of the field'. The distillery was founded in the year 1823 on Auchentoshan estate, overlooking the river Clyde, by the local corn merchant. History tells us that the distillery was at the corner of the field and thus the name.

The tour was fantastic in terms of the information we could acquire about the how's & what's of single malt and blended whisky. We had the privilege to taste the 12 year old whisky. An Auchentoshan can be enjoyed on it's own straight up or on the rocks. As the guide put it, 'smell the whisky's aroma before you take a sip and swirl it around your mouth, you will feel an explosion of flavours'. It certainly did.

I have learnt quite a bit about whisky and a drink would now become a wee bit more enjoyable. :-) (as if it didn't all these years)