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As I listen to the atmospheric strains of the Cocteau Twins, I gaze through the window at countryside that looks as though it belongs on a tin of shortbread tied with a tartan ribbon.

A soft blur of purple trees, the wide, shimmering Loch Lomond, vibrant green patches of moss and mustard-coloured bushes are all so mesmerising, I’m almost disappointed when we finally arrive at The Famous Grouse Experience.It’s the oldest distillery in Scotland and we’re here, naturally, to learn about whisky.

We’re led past the various tubs and barrels where the liquor is produced, before arriving at the most important part: the tasting room.

The distillery has always made Glenturret single malt, but was taken over by Famous Grouse in 2002. We start with Snow Grouse, a tipple aimed at drinkers who aren’t used to whisky.

I’m no connoisseur, but this isn’t for me – the gloopy coconut character just seems a bit wrong.

So I wash it down with a dram of Glenturret and everything falls back into place; with honey and orange peel notes it’s strong and satisfying.

In fact, if pushed, I’d probably even describe it as wild and sexy...

So with fire in our bellies, we start the long drive home, passing the spectacular waterfalls and woodlands of Penrith, before arriving back in Edinburgh around 6pm, just as the city’s warming up for a raucous Saturday night – good job we got a head start with that whisky.


A one-day Whisky Explorer tour costs £32pp with Haggis Adventures  

Photos: Getty; Thinkstock


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