Aberfeldy is an old distillery dating back to 1898. It was established to make sure that there is a steady supply of quality single malt for the Dewar’s White Label blend. This Highland Distillery was founded by John Dewar & Sons, nearby the town of the same name. Aberfeldy sits on the south bank of the river Tay. The distillery takes its water from the Pitilie Burn. The town of Aberfeldy was mentioned in a well-known poem by Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. The Birks of Aberfeldy was written in 1787. Burns was inspired to write it by the Falls of Moness and the birch trees of Aberfeldy during a tour of the Scottish Highlands. The main output of the Aberfeldy distillery is still used in the Dewar’s blended whiskies.
During one of our frequent visits to our local Checkers Cheese World, John found some Raclette cheese. Not knowing much about it, he bought it anyway. When he opened the package, the cheese smell was quite overpowering. Testing it on a cracker further did nothing to endear the cheese to him. It quickly got relegated to the back of the fridge. Luckily I found it and did a bit of reading on raclette. It is not well known cheese in South Africa.
Tomintoul meaning “Hillock of the Barn” is a village in the Speyside region of Scotland. Tomintoul is a relatively young distillery, built in 1964, close to the village of the same name. Tomintoul village itself is one of Scotland’s highest, at an altitude of 345m. It was built in 1776 by the 4th Duke of Gordon. It’s one of the driest areas in Scotland, as the Cairngorm Mountains intercept much of the rain. Drawing its water from the Ballantruan Spring, the Tomintoul distillery sits in a rugged mountain terrain. The Cairngorm National Park area surrounding Tomintoul is of astounding natural beauty. There are an array of flora and fauna specific to the region.
Created by Speyside legends William Grant & Sons, Monkey Shoulder is a blended malt whisky. It’s made with malt from the company’s three Dufftown distilleries, namely Glenfiddich; the malty, honeyed whisky from The Balvenie; and finally, Kininvie. All three are aged in first fill bourbon casks before being blended in very small batches (27 casks at a time). The blend is then further aged before being bottled. The Kininvie Distillery is one of the youngest distilleries in Scotland. They began production on 4 July 1990. The distillery was built on the grounds of the Balvenie distillery and consisted only of a still house. Whilst featuring computer controlled distillation, it lacks its own mash house.
Our whisky goal is to collect a single malt whisky from every country that produces single malt whiskies. So when an opportunity comes along to add a new country to our collection, we grab it with both hands. Last year, my mom went to the United Kingdom. We managed to find a New Zealand whisky at the Whiskey Exchange and mom brought it back for us. The Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, call their home ‘Aotearoa’ – which means ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’. New Zealand is well-known for its magnificent beauty of snow-capped mountains (think LOTR), tranquil forest and sweeping green vistas. It is a country renowned for its clean air and pure water.