AIDAaura - VIP Highland Whisky Experience (ADULTS ONLY) - May 27th
Taste 15 unique Scottish Single Malts
Glen Ord Distillery (Exhibition and tasting)
Dalmore Distillery (tasting)
Lunch in Dornoch (not included)
Glenmorangie Distillery (Distillery Tour and Tasting)
Balblair Distillery (Tasting)
Millionaires Viewpoint (Chocolate paired Whisky tasting)
Glen Ord Distillery - Founded in 1838 and currently owned by Diageo, Glen Ord distillery is the last remaining distillery on the Black Isle and what makes it stand out is the fact they still malt their own barley, something which very few distilleries still do on site, in fact they produce enough to supply other distilleries within the Diageo brand.Two of our go to everyday whiskies are the Lagavulin 16 and the Oban 14 both very different but delightful whiskies or if we're celebrating both of these distilleries have fantastic distillers editions. Glen Ord specialises in the Singleton of Glen Ord 12, 15 and 18yrs which are also all worth a taste.
Next up is the Dalmore Distillery with it's distinctive stags head branding and a line up of whiskies to make any luxury brand weak at the knees. Their 12yr old has been a staple since Gavin was old enough to drink whiskies and maybe even a wee bit before as it was the closest distillery to his family home with only 3 miles separating their front doors. This relationship has evolved over the years and where there used to be a 12yr old Dalmore now sits a bottle of the King Alexander III. If you're not familiar with this whisky (you will be by the time you leave) the King Alexander III is the product of a unique six cask finish (ex-bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry butts, Madeira barrels, Marsala casks, Port pipes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques) it really shouldn't work, but it does. So very, very, well.
By this time of day it's usually time to give your palette a wee rest so we take a short drive over the Dornoch Firth and in to Dornoch for lunch. There are lots of options but our favourite is the Royal Dornoch Golf Hotel which serves delicious Highland fare with spectacular views out over the world class golf course and beach. While visiting Dornoch it would be rude not to drop by the Dornoch Castle Hotel which is home to one of Scotland's newest distilleries and one of the finest whisky collections in the Highlands. What's even better is they're all on the menu and and available to purchase by the dram. Sunny day? Then it's out to their gardens to enjoy a whisky in the sunshine or if it's a "wee bit chilly" then the castle bar is an extremely pleasant place to enjoy a fine single malt in the company of locals.
Barely 8 miles away sits the mighty Glenmorangie. Over the last 7 years Glenmorangie Distillery has slowly but surely worked its way in to our whisky collection and now dominates with no less than 3 whiskies appearing in the line up. Nectar D'Or is the whisky we give to our guests who "don't like whisky" or as we like to put it "the people who haven't found the right whisky yet". 10 years in Bourbon and finished off for 2 years in Sauternes this cheeky little whisky goes down easy, really easy! We might even be as bold as to suggest dropping a couple of ice cubes in and enjoying this as a refreshing summer whisky. Some might call this heresy but our belief is that you can drink your whisky however you like whether that's with ice, in a cocktail or straight up as the distillery intended. A few drops of water? No problem! With some whiskies you'll find this develops the flavours and opens up the whisky allowing you to enjoy the full breadth of the flavour profile. But if you ever, ever, EVER put Coca Cola anywhere near a single malt, we will banish you from Scotland forevermore!!
What's that you say, "More Whisky My Good Man!" well alrighty then lets make our way to Balblair Distillery for a taste of their non age statement whiskies with a difference. Balblair doesn't tell the whisky when it's ready, instead they let the whisky do the talking and only bottle it when the whisky is at "the peak of perfection" as they put it. What we like is that you can buy a delicious bottle of 27 year old whisky for a little over £120. You can also bottle your own whisky at Balblair from a single cask, a nice wee touch and a great memory of your time in Scotland.
It's almost the end of the day but not before we take you to one of our favourite views in Scotland for some whiskies from our private collection. It changes throughout the year as new bottles are released and old bottles are finished off with friends and family. Millionaires View is the perfect place to enjoy your last drams with Invergordon Tours and reflect on your VIP Highland Whisky Experience