Scotland, Day 13: Knockando Woolmill, GlenAllachie Distillery, Craigellachie Bridge, Exploring the Grounds at Glen Grant Distillery, an Unexpected Visit to Elchies Estates, Dinner at Highlander Inn

Another spot that was incredibly close to our B&B: Knockando Woolmill.

Do Not Turn… On?

“Woof well the strong threads that bind their hearts to thine”

Looking around, I discovered that this sculpture was the work of Stuart Murdochu, and based on the last two lines of a poem by Alice McDonnell.

Mind Yer Heid

Fragile roof

Outside GlenAllachie Distillery.

On arriving, we met with Karen at the shop (we were told she would take care of us, from Kevin at the Quaich Bar). We mentioned our visit with him, and she remarked how the two of them were in the same whisky club. Liz and I both very much felt like insider/locals, for a brief moment here.

We learned that the distillery had just released a 14 year bottling that was already difficult to procure (everyone, including staff, were limited to one bottle per person). This seemed to be a UK specific offering, so we felt pretty lucky to have snagged a bottle for ourselves.

A day or so later… it was nice to see that others were also excited about this bottle.

On the way home, we stopped off near a bridge that Liz had seen on our trips to/from Burnroy House: the Craigellachie Bridge.

There was a small path from the (also small) parking lot, leading down to the river.

We had gotten a recommendation (from Karen) to check out the tour at Glenfarclas. Having been on a few tours herself, she still said it was good enough to attend.

Shortly after our visit to the bridge, Liz and I had a choice: go on the Glenfarclas tour or try to visit Glen Grant Distillery (we had heard really great things about the grounds at the distillery). We opted to skip the tour, and chose instead to walk around in the final hour Glen Grant was open.

And boy, am I glad we did.

The shop and cafe area closed at 4PM, but we were told we could wander the grounds until about 4:45 PM.

The path snaked through a wooded area, and ultimately led to a gated area filled with apple trees, and a wide open space that led to even more hidden paths.

We spotted a few fake birds, perched in trees. And I remain convinced that there are security cameras, embedded in these guys.

On the way home, we stopped off at Elchies Estate, a nearby farm that we passed several times to/from Burnroy House.

One really interesting feature: there’s a building with vending machines, open 24/7. We’d see the lights from our car/taxi, and anyone could stop by to pick up fresh local meat, produce, baked goods, and snacks.

And yes, even yarn!

While we were inside browsing around, we met the farm owner (Julie, I think her name was). When Liz asked if she had more yarn, she invited us up to some of the main buildings near the house.

There were a lot of other yarns she had up there, in a separate building. While Liz was browsing, I wandered around a bit and bonded with the four legged friends milling about.

Who doesn’t love a trampoline?

There were three dogs who greeted our car, as we pulled up to the vending machine building. Two of them followed us up the road. While Liz was inside browsing yarn, I played catch with these two delightful pups.

Fast forward a bit to dinner: we made reservations at Highlander Inn (another place we tried for dinner, on our first night in Speyside).

We arrived a bit early to do a flight, and tried out several we hadn’t yet experienced.

Originally, Liz and I were going to do our own (separate) flights… but we ended up sharing this one together.

Liz chose Highlander Inn because of her research, and after seeing Tatsuya Minagawa on a few scotch documentaries.

To us, he was a bit of a celebrity… and we were excited to come here to the bar. Dinner was mostly an excuse to visit Minagawa and the bar.

I’m sad to say: we didn’t get to talk or interact with Minagawa all that much. At this point in our trip, we were feeling a bit more educated on whisky and felt like we were a step or two above your random tourist.

Our interactions with Minagawa were fine, but just brief and very business-like. We saw him interact a lot with the locals, and could see how different his interactions were with the regulars versus, well… people like us, I suppose.

Minagawa was very focused on running the restaurant/bar. As much as we were hoping for some more personal interactions with him, my sense is we would need to stay and visit a few more times before that was possible. A single visit might not garner us the kind of conversation we were looking for.

Something to aim for, for our next visit.

Scotland, Day 1: Driving to Glasgow, Dinner at The Butchershop
Scotland, Day 2: Auchentoshan Distillery, Kelvingrove Park, Dinner at Fanny Trollopes and Bon Accord
Scotland, Day 3: Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow Cathedral, Tasting at Glen Goyne Distillery, Dinner at Stravaigin
Scotland, Day 4: Island Hopping to Isle of Arran, Lochranza Distillery, Isle of Islay, Late Arrival at Islay House
Scotland, Day 5: Bunnahabhain Distillery, Lagavulin Distillery, Dinner at Islay House
Scotland, Day 6: Bowmore Distillery, Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Jura, Jura Distillery
Scotland, Day 7: Travel Day, Dunchraigaig Cairn, Oban Distillery, Whisky Vaults
Scotland, Day 8: Travel to Inverness, Glencoe Valley, Loch Ness, Moments of Indecision, Drinks at the Malt Room
Scotland, Day 9: Victorian Market, Clava Cairns, Old High St. Steven’s, Malt Room Revisited
Scotland, Day 10: GlenDronach Distillery, a Late Dinner Panic, Arriving at Burnroy House in Archiestown
Scotland, Day 11: The Macallan, Aberlour Distillery, Anniversary Dinner at Dowans Hotel, and a Most Amazing Coincidence
Scotland, Day 12: Cairngorms National Park, Quad Biking through Rothiemurchus Estate, Cardhu Distillery, Strathisla Distillery, the Quaich Bar, Dinner at the Copper Dog

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