Things We Learned: The Highlands and Islands

We’re just back from a phenomenal trip to the Highlands and Islands to gather information for next months edition of FERMENT magazine which is all about the craft alchohol scene in our homeland – Scotland. We visited a new distillery on the Isle of Harris, one of the most remote Scottish breweries on Shetland, took a whiskey tour around Speyside and met James Watt at the Brewdog brewery in Ellon. A jam packed trip and we had a wonderful time. Here are 6 things we learned from our time up north…


The Brewdog Brewery is one cool place…

Always ones to admire bottles rolling off a production line or some shiny distillery tanks – the Ellon brewery was always going to excite. There was a constant buzz while we were there, happy smiles in the brewery, boozy chatter and clinking glasses in the Dogtap and even a staff quiz we got involved in. A site that just fizzes with all things beer – we had a blast.


Boats are our new favourite method of transport…

The most we cared about anything nautical before this trip was when we lodged our vote to name that ship Boaty McBoat Face, so this really was a new one to us. But once you’ve been on a 20 seater plane in high winds – you soon find your sea legs. We stuck to the water after that to hop between the islands.


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There is always time for tea…

Our journeys between the various distilleries in Speyside (and the healthy drams when we got there!) left us a little sleepy and in need of some non alcoholic beverages. Luckily our tour guide had the perfect remedy and we pulled up and gathered our thoughts from the tailgate of the 4×4. It also gave us a chance to take in the stunning scenery surrounding the Spey.


You always need a nice place to rest your head…

After all this travel, a good kip is vital so you can continue to enjoy the wonderful journey you’re on. Thankfully our time at the Station Hotel allowed us exactly that. Beautiful rooms, friendly staff, a welcome gift of whiskey and tablet and a super comfy bed was exactly what we needed. Thanks guys!


A lot of craftsmanship goes into your single malt…

During our time at Balvenie we got to witness the wonderful art of barrel making. Couple that with our breath taking tour of the Glenfiddich distillery, it really makes you appreciate the real passion and knowledge that goes into every single dram of your favourite whiskey.


The pub is still the best place to meet your mates…

Its sometimes something we city slickers take for granted, but up in the Outer Hebrides and Stornoway these towns and villages all congregate around the local bar. It really reinforces the power and sense of community that surrounds our beloved drink.

Thanks for reading!

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