Sunday, 24 July 2016

Cutting the bullshit - the Eden Mill distillery & brewery

From our cottage in Collessie we drove up towards the city of St. Andrews following the A91. About ten minutes before reaching the city, just before crossing the bridge over the river Eden we entered Guardbridge village, turned onto Main Street at the roundabout and followed the road until we reached the not exactly pretty buildings where the Eden Mill distillery and brewery is vested.

Originally, the site was a distillery in the Haig family heydays around the beginning of the nineteenth century, was closed in 1864. The family turned the site into the Guardbridge Paper Company in 1873, building the village around it. A small part of the buildings was kept in use to run the Seggie Brewery from 1869 until the 1890s. With various mergers and buy-outs the then Curtis Fine Papers company, went into receivership in 2008 and in 2010 the St Andrews University purchased the buildings in order to convert them into the UK’s first Carbon Neutral University Energy Centre.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

From Dream to Dram - Kingsbarns distillery

Many trips to Scotland are generally focussed on visiting Islay or the Speyside region and for a long time, when composing whisky trips, the Kingdom of Fife shy North of Edinburgh has been an area overlooked by many, simply because the last couple of decades the Lowland area at the east-coast of Scotland had nothing much to offer except for a lot of golf-courses and the massive Haig Club (Cameron Bridge) distillery, which is closed for visitors. From the beginning of this century however, Fife is in the midst of a reboot, bringing back many distillery activities to the grain fields of Scotland.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Orcadian - Scapa Distillery

After the festivities of the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival, we had decided to take a trip north to the Orkney islands and stay only three nights and two full days knowing we would be missing out on many things as soon as we arrived on the main island. Pre-planned however, were the visits to the only two distilleries on the island. Sleeping underneath the smoke of “the other distillery”, we started our first morning with a visit to the Scapa distillery, who only have opened their doors for visitors mid-2015.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Smokin'! - the Highland Park Distillery

Best hotel view ever (for whisky geeks)
It was inevitable. After several years of traveling to Scotland, we never got to get more north as we did on our first trip, when we visited the shop at Clynelish. This year we had decided to go a little further, visit the Orkney islands and the Highland Park distillery, one of the most remote distilleries of Scotland. Only accessible by sea or by air, we had always decided it would cost us too many days to get to the island and get back, but this year we convinced ourselves to include it into our travels. Getting up bright and early in Speyside, have a pitstop at the Kininvie distillery for a previously arranged behind the scenes tour and make our way up North on the A9 right up to Gill’s bay, where a boat was waiting to bring us to Orkney.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

There is nothing above Groningen - Hooghoudt distillery

After our recent Scotland trip, we had to come back to the Netherlands and do some work to make some money and do it again (and again) next year (and beyond). Scotland is great, as you can see from our weekly articles these days after the road trip through the promised land, but hang on... we are in the Netherlands, cradle of brewing and distilling! Why on earth have we never decided going on a road trip in our own country and see what the dozens of distilleries have to offer (well, on some different occasions we have)? A road trip on its own, up north, two hours away from what we call home lies Groningen, where we find Hooghoudt, one of the oldest distilleries in the Netherlands. A traditional family company since 1888 and in the top five of producers of our national spirit: Jenever.