Beer and whisky are two of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. While they are both made from grains, there are significant differences in the ingredients, production processes, and flavour profiles of these two beverages.


Beer is typically made from four primary ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Other ingredients, such as wheat, oats, and rye, may also be used. The malted barley is first soaked in water to begin the germination process, which releases enzymes that convert the starches in the grain into sugars. These sugars are then extracted and boiled with hops to add flavour and bitterness to the beer. Yeast is then added to the mixture, which ferments the sugars and produces alcohol.

Whisky, on the other hand, is made primarily from grains, such as barley, corn, rye, or wheat. The grains are first soaked in water and then spread out to germinate, a process known as malting. The malted grains are then dried and ground into a fine powder called grist, which is mixed with hot water to create a sugary liquid known as wort. Yeast is then added to the wort, which ferments the sugars and produces alcohol. The mixture is then distilled to increase the alcohol content and create the unique flavours and aromas of the whisky.

Production Processes:

Beer is typically brewed in large batches using a process known as brewing. The malted barley is first soaked in water to begin the germination process, which releases enzymes that convert the starches in the grain into sugars. These sugars are then extracted and boiled with hops to add flavour and bitterness to the beer. Yeast is then added to the mixture, which ferments the sugars and produces alcohol. The beer is then aged and carbonated before being packaged and shipped to stores.

Whisky is made through a process known as distillation. The malted grains are first soaked in water to begin the germination process, which releases enzymes that convert the starches in the grain into sugars. These sugars are then extracted and boiled with hops to add flavour and bitterness to the beer. Yeast is then added to the mixture, which ferments the sugars and produces alcohol. The resulting liquid, known as wash, is then distilled in copper pot stills to create the unique flavours and aromas of the whisky. The whisky is then aged in oak barrels to develop its distinct flavour  profile.

Flavour Profiles:

Beer comes in a wide variety of flavours and styles, depending on the type of malted barley and hops used in the brewing process. Some beers are light and crisp, while others are dark and full-bodied. Beers can also have a wide range of bitterness levels and alcohol contents.

Whisky, on the other hand, is known for its complex and nuanced flavour profile. The type of grains used, the distillation process, and the ageing process all play a role in determining the final flavour of the whisky. Whiskies can range from light and fruity to rich and smoky, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice.

While both beer and whisky are made from grains and are alcoholic beverages, there are significant differences in their ingredients, production processes, and flavour profiles. Beer is brewed in large batches using a process known as brewing, while whisky is made through a process known as distillation. The flavour profile of beer can vary widely depending on the type of malted barley and hops used, while whisky is known for its complex and nuanced flavour profile, which is influenced by the grains used, the distillation process, and the ageing process.

Scotland is known for its beautiful highlands, friendly people and of course, whisky. For those looking for an unforgettable experience, we’ve already covered the Highland Whisky Trip for those who only have one day. But now, we’ve written the second part to the full whisky tour. If you missed the first part of this post, you can read our Highland Whisky Tour Starting at Tullibardine Distillery.

Here is the second part of our whisky tour guide from Edinburgh, so don your kilt (we’re joking here of course), grab a whisky glass and get ready to embark on the final part of your amazing whisky tour through the majestic Scottish Highlands!

Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery

There is always a peace and tranquillity when visiting this distillery. Maybe it’s the lack of road noise, the sound of the birds or the rush of the Pitilie Burn that flows past the distillery. This always seems like a place to stop. 

Designed by the famous distillery architect Charles Doig, building started in 1896 with production starting in 1898 to provide more whisky for the Dewars blend, the distillery is now owned by Bacardi along with Craigellachie, Royal Brackla, Aultmore and The Deveron (MacDuff). All of their whiskies can be tried in the whisky lounge/café. The two highlights sampled on this visit where the Double Double 21 year old which was incredibly smooth and something for the non-whisky drinker to try and a 25 year old Aultmore that was sublime, a definite whisky for a summer’s day or even in winter to remind you of summer – sun, grass, herbal and clean on the palate. 

Dewars is also a blend that reminds you of why blended whisky is so popular. If you are a fan of any of these whiskies, then this is a site of pilgrimage for you and any visit should include a tour which includes a visit to the Heritage Museum. 

For the non -whisky drinker there is the nearby town of Aberfeldy to explore and for something more active there is paintballing, white water rafting on the Tay, and mountain bike hire. Certainly, enough to keep them occupied whilst you immerse yourself in your favourite passion. To book a tour you’ll need to go onto the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery page. For accommodation and “things to do” you can find out more information at Visit Aberfeldy.

The Glenturret

Situated in a wooded glen beside the river Turret just outside of Crieff, this is a very pleasantly situated distillery and has sufficient attractions on site to make it a destination for everyone.

Thought to have been built before 1763 the distillery is known as the oldest working distillery in Scotland. It has changed ownership a few times during those 250 odd years and closed between 1923 and 1957. In 1980 the distillery was amongst the first to open a visitor centre, welcoming the one millionth visitor in 1991. In 2019 a new chapter opened with the distillery being purchased by a joint venture led by the Lalique group, a French luxury lifestyle company.

Despite the modern draff trailer (draff is the spent grain used to feed cattle), and the fresh whitewash, there is a feel of history and tradition here. You can imagine it as an old farm distillery it likely was and feel yourself transported back to the eighteenth century. This history and tradition still play a large part in the production of whisky here, small batches, hand selected. 

Previously, the distillery was famous for two things, as the home of The Famous Grouse Experience, and Towser the record breaking cat, who is reported to have caught around 29,000 mice according to the Guinness Book of Records no less, during a near 24 year reign as a top distillery mouser. The current two distillery cats, Glen and Turret may not be so famous, or be faced with such a vermin problem, but definitely look cute lounging around the distillery. Perhaps they symbolise the change in direction that is very evident at The Glenturret? This is definitely a place to stay, at least for a few hours. This is a destination that you need to visit. The changes made in the last three years under the new ownership are literally astounding.

The Glenturret distillery has something to please everyone. From the beautifully presented café to the Michelin starred restaurant. From the 2023 gold medal winning core range of whiskies to the expensive collector’s bottles (if you can get hold of them). And if you do spend a wee bit too much on the whisky and need to placate your better half, then pop in to the Lalique Boutique with its wide range of Lalique perfume, jewellery and crystal glassware amongst other Lalique items. To top it off is the superb bar offering over 93 expressions of Glenturret and over 250 whiskies from around Scotland along with some wonderful vintage port. 

Tours start at half past the hour and can be booked on The Glenturret website. The Lalique restaurant offers both lunch and dinner and is open Wednesday to Saturday. Browse the dining options here at The Glenturret Restaurant

This is a luxury destination with something for everyone, even the café seemed to be influenced by that Michelin Star, but still offering café pricing. Certainly, one of the most interesting and best Tuna Mayo sandwiches I’ve ever had.  With the tourist town of Crieff on the doorstep, then this is a place you can stop off at, enjoy the welcome and hospitality at the distillery, before retiring to your B&B or even staying at the famous Crieff Hydro hotel. For accommodation you will just need to Google it, although I’m pretty certain the distillery staff will be happy to advise you. 

Deanston Distillery

Deanston is not an iconic Highland distillery, it’s an old cotton mill, a great monolith of a building, that closed in 1965 and was brought back to life as a distillery by Brodie Hepburn. The waters from the river Teith were considered soft enough to distil whisky and the mill used this water to power the looms. It definitely produces good whisky. Move forwards to the present day and Deanston still obtains all the electricity it requires to run the distillery from the river and exports the surplus back to the National Grid. A newish distillery ahead of its time?

Currently owned by Distell Group Ltd, who also own Bunnahabhain and Tobermory distilleries, Deanston produces unpeated whisky with the majority matured in ex-bourbon casks. There is something about their organic range of bottlings where you can taste the clean freshness, well worth trying. 

The undoubted highlight of the experiences offered to visitors is the Warehouse 4 tasting. Here you can hand draw whisky from some of the best barrels and experience the flavours of Deanston whilst sat in the cool warehouse.  A jumper may be a necessity, but the experience is well worth it. Finish with a visit to the distillery shop where samples from both Bunnahabhain and Tobermory may be available. The staff are always very friendly and seem very generous. Rather unusually even distillery exclusives are available from their website. A boon perhaps for Deanston enthusiasts who live in England. 

For the non-whisky drinker, the café offers excellent food and a walk along the banks of the Teith, and exploration of the historic village will take time away. Both the distillery and village of Deanston are listed, with the buildings dating back to the Georgian era. 

Glengoyne Distillery

The current owners, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd, acquired the distillery in 2003. They also own Tamdhu and are rebuilding Rosebank distillery. The catchphrase for Glengoyne is “unhurried since 1833” and certainly once you cross the distillery gates time seems to slow. It is one of a handful of distilleries that has seen continuous production since opening. It is also unusual in that the whisky is produced in the Highlands but matured in the Lowlands. This happens as the distillery sits on the Highland Line, the fault that splits the Highlands from the lowlands and the warehousing is on the lowland side of the fault. 

The distillery is beautifully situated and very photogenic with the wooded glen rising up the slopes of Dumgoyne and many of the buildings being the “originals”. 

It is difficult to pick a favourite bottle from Glengoyne. Perhaps the latest “Teapot dram” or 25 year old? All can be sampled in the shop, and purchasing a bottle means you can sample the slower pace of life when you get home.

There are a variety of tours on offer ranging from sampling a couple of whiskies to the 25 and 30 year old and even making your own blend. Perhaps the pick is the monthly walking tour, which lasts two hours, roughly the same time as it might take you to walk up Dumgoyne and experience views across Loch Lomond and Glasgow. For the less active non-whisky drinker maybe a slow amble up the wooded glen to the waterfall is very restful. 

The Final Verdict on this Highland Whisky Trip From Edinburgh

This can be a whistle stop tour of eight contrasting distilleries with eight different core styles, or a leisurely trip. Each distillery offers something different or unique, which will be your favourite? Each of these distilleries deserves your time to explore more fully with the obvious places to stay overnight being Pitlochry, Crieff and Aberfeldy. 

However you make the trip, some planning is essential. Even as a leisurely trip, sampling several cask strength whiskies each day is not good for your liver, so you need to decide which distilleries you’re going to spend time at. The three best to indulge your senses in are probably, The Glenturret, Aberfeldy and Deanston which also have suitable activities for the non-whisky enthusiast either within the distillery or within easy walking distance. If the driver happens to be a whisky enthusiast, whilst they may not be overly happy at not being able to indulge at the time, they will be able to enjoy any samples once home.  

When planning, remember to save some budget to buy a few bottles and expect to overspend. You will find it impossible to only buy a couple of bottles and likely will buy from each distillery visited. Interestingly on this trip, whilst purchases were made at each distillery visited, the undoubted winner was The Glenturret with the best value bottle tasted, the 7 year old peat smoked at £53 and the most desirable whisky, the stunning 33 year old Trinity Provenance at £9,800. You can also enquire about the second in the Trinity series, the 33 year old The Trinity Prowess at £11,800. Ah well, roll on that lottery win…

What is obvious to us though, is that taking part in this whisky tour (whether it’s only a day, or a few), you will get to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Scottish Highlands, from the warm hospitality of the locals and the unforgettable experience that this trip has to offer. We certainly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a unique way to experience Scotland and its whisky.

Are you looking for an unforgettable journey through Scotland’s stunning Highlands? Join us on our Highland Whisky Tour from Edinburgh! This tour will take you on a journey through Scotland’s historic whisky-making region, and you’ll get to visit some of the oldest distilleries and sample some of the finest whiskies in the world. 

If you only have one day spare to try these whisky distilleries, you can always check out our blog post here: Highland Whisky Trip From Edinburgh in 2023: The One Day Trip

Our tour starts at the Tullibardine Distillery and can take 2-3 days depending on how much time you would like to spend on this trip. This post includes four of the eight distilleries that we recommend, alongside some great tips for those looking to experience the stunning scenery and learn about the history and culture of Scotland’s whisky making region. 

Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy a traditional Scottish meal and a dram or two. So if you’re looking for a fun and informative tour of Scotland’s whisky-making region, join us on our Highland Whisky Tour from Edinburgh! 

Tullibardine Distillery

Tullibardine has a history of brewing beer since the 15th century and distilling going back to 1798. But its story is even more chequered than the average distillery, with the current distillery built in 1947 by distillery designer William Delmé-Evans, who concluded the water sourced from the Danny burn, the same source as Highland Spring water, was perfect for distilling whisky. If you like a drop of water in your whisky this is a perfect match with Tullibardine as the bottled water is widely available across the UK. 

Between 1947 and 2011 the distillery passed through five owners and closed between 1994 and 2003 (all dates vary slightly depending on source). Currently it is owned by Picard Vins & Spiritueux.

Set in the village of Blackford, just off the A9, the distillery looks rather industrial but once parked up and in the visitor centre it is a lovely experience. 

You are well taken care of, and it is one of my favourite distilleries to visit. The shop stocks the full Tullibardine range and also includes distillery exclusive bottles, called the Distillery Editions which have been handpicked by staff members, that are well worth trying. If you are a member of their Custodians club you can sample some really exclusive whiskies in the luxurious Custodians bar, an experience in itself. 

Blair Atholl Distillery

Blair Atholl distillery, owned by Diageo, is one of my favourite whiskies. Situated just as you drive into the southern end of Pitlochry, park the car in the distillery car park situated by the warehouses, walk across the Allt Dour burn who’s pure and clear water flows through the distillery grounds arising from the slopes of Ben Vrackie. It is claimed that the quality of this water contributes to Blair Atholl’s mellowness and smooth finish. You then enter the visitor reception/café area and walk through that to the distillery courtyard with the shop on your right. 

The distillery was built in 1798 and had a chequered start until it was acquired by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd in 1833. It was extended in 1973 with a visitor centre added in 1987. A lot of the spirit produced is used in Bell’s blend. As such, official bottlings are limited to a 12 year old Flora and Fauna, and a 23 year from 2017 released under Diageo’s Special Releases. However, the shop stocks a good range of Diageo releases along with a couple of distillery only releases (that can only be bought from the distillery):

  1. A Non Age Statement (NAS) released in 2019 and a soon to be released second distillery exclusive later in 2023. This current distillery exclusive costs £90 and is a blend of refill, rejuvenated and American Oak ex-bourbon casks at 48% ABV. I can’t remember my tasting notes but it is good enough to warrant a trip to the distillery in itself. 
  2. An 11 year old hand bottled distillery exclusive at 56.2% ABV for £120 which I thought fantastic and can be summed up as Blair Atholl meets a 20 year old Mortlach at cask strength. It is well worth “chewing” it for as long as possible in the mouth. There is a theory that to “taste” a whisky you need to swirl it around your mouth for one second of each year of age. 

Pitlochry is a tourist destination in itself with lots for those who do not fancy a distillery tour. From browsing the shops, to visiting the pass of Killiecrankie or Blair Atholl castle, along with numerous outdoor pursuits. The range of accommodation is also good. I was told that the town has no public swimming pool and the locals are encouraged to “wild swim” in Faskally loch. 

Something I had no intention of trying given how cold it was on the day of my visit. The distillery is picturesque and the staff both friendly and knowledgeable. On a quiet day, you can spend an hour or more just chatting with them as they talk you through the various whiskies available in the shop. 

Edradour Distillery

Set in the picturesque village of Edradour in the Perthshire hills behind Pitlochry, this distillery built in 1825 long described itself as the “smallest distillery in Scotland” although with the boom of craft distilleries this is unlikely to be the case these days. 

I was looking forward to revisiting, but both the distillery and shop are currently closed to the public with a message on the website, “Due to the ongoing pandemic and shortage of staff, please note the Distillery Tours and Shop are closed until further notice in order to create a bubble to protect our remaining staff and export business.”. This despite the fact the website appears to have been updated to 2023. I’ve heard gossip that the owners, Signatory Vintage, no longer wish the public to visit. So please check on the website first.

Edradour has always been a bit of a some people like it, some people don’t whisky, although its Ballechin range of heavily peated whisky seems to hit the spot. The range of Signatory bottles available in the distillery shop was very impressive the last time I visited, and I missed not being able to peruse this display. 

Dalwhinnie Distillery

Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland, as well as having the coldest mean annual temperature of any town/village in Scotland. This it is claimed aids in the development of its gentle but intense flavours of sweet malt, honey, vanilla, and fruit with the 15 year old being part of the Classic Malts range. It is a very approachable and easy drinking dram. 

Built in 1897 with various periods of closure up till 1947 this distillery was fully modernised in 1996. At the junction of two old drive roads with access to clear spring water and peat from the surrounding bogs, much of its production goes into Diageo’s Black and White and Buchanan blends and has not been bottled by independents for years.  

A visit to this distillery is a must to not only explore the award winning whisky but also experience the five star visitor attraction. Accommodation is available close by, if somewhat restricted in the amount, so prior booking is best if you wish to stay here for the night, otherwise return to Pitlochry. The best tour is the Spirit of the Highlands tour but make sure you do not drive for the rest of the day. It is £120 per person, lasts two hours and includes 6 cask strength whiskies paired to chocolate. The tour does not happen every day, although it always starts at 12.00pm, so you will need to book via the distillery website. 


Whilst this isn’t the end of the Highland whisky tour from Edinburgh, you should start to feel like you have a better understanding of the process behind whisky-making and will have a  deeper appreciation for the unique flavour of whisky from the Highlands. You will have enjoyed some of the most renowned whisky distilleries in the area, learned about the history and tasted some  of the best whisky Scotland has to offer. 

But the trip doesn’t end there – keep your eyes peeled for our next post which will be about the last four distilleries that we recommend for the final bit of your whisky tour. 

For those looking to enjoy a whisky tour starting in Edinburgh, then this is the post for you. There will be three parts to this tour guide, so make sure to keep an eye out on our upcoming posts. The first post is perfect for those looking for a busy one day trip, so if you don’t have several days to spare, then this is the guide for you!

This guide takes you from Edinburgh and includes some wonderful scenery, tourist destinations. It can be done in a day (so long as you don’t drink and drive) or be extended into a 2-3 day trip if you would prefer to enjoy tasting your whisky, whilst also including various outdoor pursuits and a meal at a Michelin starred restaurant! 

The tour includes up to eight distilleries and although they are all classified as highland distilleries provides a wide range of styles and different visitor experiences. You might think that once you’ve visited a distillery, you’ve visited all distilleries, but these eight will demonstrate how even if there are only four “ingredients” that make malt whisky (malt, water, cask, and time) the result can be infinitely different. 

The One Day Trip

To cram this trip in to one day, you should  start with Tullibardine Distillery at Blackford (a few miles away from the famous Gleneagles Hotel) or Blair Atholl Distillery in Pitlochry, optionally you can  visit Edradour Distillery whilst at Pitlochry (although currently it is closed to the public but this might change at a later date, so make sure to check the website before visiting) and maybe travel 30 miles north to Dalwhinnie Distillery

We suggest that you try to finish with Glengoyne Distillery close to Glasgow, which sometimes is one distillery too far with most visitor centres/distillery shops only open between 10.00am and 5.00pm (you might find it too much of a rush, but there is always the option if you have enough time before 5pm). 

Obviously how many distilleries you can visit, in a day, depends on how long you spend at each distillery, but it is feasible to visit six of these distilleries in one day if you are only focused on purchasing distillery exclusive bottles. 

Add in any distillery tours, for which you could add between 45 minutes to 2 hours for each one, then this becomes a multi-day trip, and you are best to book the tours on-line  prior to arrival. Although most distilleries will try and accommodate you if you have not booked, you may need to wait an hour or two before the next available tour. 

It is also worth checking distillery websites as some of the best tours may only occur infrequently, even only monthly. As you’ll see, there can be a lot for non-whisky drinkers to do on this trip, and you will need to keep them happy, if you indulge your love of whisky to the full. The good news is that drivers who go on distillery tours will be given any samples in a bottle, to try at home.

For directions just put Blackford, Pitlochry, Dalwhinnie, Aberfeldy, Crieff, Deanston, Dumgoyne into the car’s sat nav. Once at the town/village, local signage will get you to the distillery. Total trip distance from Edinburgh to Edinburgh including all distilleries, in the order listed, is approximately 310 miles, so more likely a multi-day trip than all in one. 

Starting with Tullibardine and skipping Dalwhinnie makes this a 234 mile trip, whilst starting with Blair Atholl, skipping Dalwhinnie and then following the list, provides a slightly shorter route of 214 miles. 

And there you have, the quick guide to spending a day enjoying highland whiskies from Edinburgh. If you have an extra couple of days to spare and want to extend your trip, then keep your eyes peeled for our next post which will have a more in depth plan of action for you! 

You might have noticed a common theme in some of the whiskies that we have recently been reviewing. In light of National Irish Whiskey Day, it made sense for us to show our appreciation of the beautiful drink, by reviewing four Bushmill Whiskies. Here they are in order of our favourites:

Bushmills 1991 Madeira Cask Finish 50.2% ABV – scoring 5/5 stars

This whiskey was our favourite because the depth and complexity was everything I could expect from a whisky, but I would expect it to be this well-rounded at £700 per bottle. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 1991 Madeira Cask Finish.

Bushmills 21 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey  – scoring 4.5/5 stars

This whiskey came in second scoring a solid 4.5 stars because although some say they taste too much wood, it has a lovely distillery style that has time to mature. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 21 year old.

Bushmills 16 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey – scoring 4/5 stars

In third place is this whiskey because, for those wishing to explore more than the bog standard, this one can be bought for a special occasion that lets you explore how 1991 would taste if you were lucky enough to taste it. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 16 year old.

Bushmills 10 year old 40% ABV Irish Whiskey – scoring 3/5 stars

In last place is this whiskey because this is a core range which exhibits the basic style of Bushmills. You can read the full review for this whisky here: Bushmills 10 year old.

I think in the last decade, I’ve only bought a handful of Irish whiskies. Going through this flight has made me wonder if that has been a serious omission. If whiskey is this good from one Irish distillery, how good might the rest be? I’ve enjoyed all four and enjoyed the journey from “day to day” drinker, to special occasion whiskey. I’ve enjoyed tasting these whiskeys and exploring the history contained within the whiskey and the memories this tasting has evoked.  I’m sitting here now wondering if I can get the opportunity to repeat it, or maybe I need to invent another special occasion and start saving for that special bottle. 

Looking at what I’ve written, my concern with the last three whiskies is whether they offer value for money. Value is probably more important to me than the actual price, beyond being able to afford it, I don’t mind spending good money on an experience if the perceived value is there. Value like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is a personal matter. 

I’m pretty sure there are other whiskies out there that offer better value and Bushmills is not alone in this, even though Bushmills offers better value than Macallan in my mind. And quite honestly these bottles are priced at a comparable price point to several other distilleries.  I experienced this sort of situation a few weeks ago when I was all set to enjoy one of my favourite 25-year-old sherry bombs. I thought it would be nice to finish the night with a peated whisky and as I’d not tried the particular peated expression I was thinking of, I had a swift snifter early on in the evening. It was so good, I did not touch the 25-year-old, nor did my guests, the peated expression beat it hands down at a fifth of the retail price. This just confirms that if you look hard enough, you can still find good whisky, at a reasonable price, even in today’s market of what feels like ever-increasing prices.  

To conclude, I loved each of these Bushmills expressions, you will not be disappointed, but there is probably a debate to be had over the value offered. That should not prevent you from trying them maybe through a club or bar, just you may not feel inclined to buy another bottle. 

Beer is a beloved beverage around the world. For centuries, it has been enjoyed by millions of people as a refreshing and flavorful drink. From the traditional pub to the trendy craft brewery, beer has long been a staple of social gatherings and celebrations.  On Beer Clean Glass Day, which is celebrated on the 22nd April this year, beer lovers around the world come together to celebrate their shared passion and appreciation for this delightful beverage. 

Beer Clean Glass Day is an annual event held in honor of everyone’s favorite drink. The key part being though, that the drink is enjoyed in a clean beer glass. To get a beautifully poured beer you have to have a clean beer glass. It might be a simple idea, but often a clean glass is an overlooked fact to having a perfect pint. 

Although many businesses have proper cleaning protocols and sanitized glassware, this does not guarantee that they are “beer clean.” As a reward, patrons should seek out businesses that actively strive to improve their beer programs. This is why beer clean glass day is so important as it raises awareness about appropriate service standards and lets you thank those bars, restaurants and breweries who maintain them. 

Here are three reasons why we love beer clean glass day:

  1. Keeps our beer glasses sparkling and ready for use. Beer glass clean day gives us an opportunity to ensure all glasses are properly cleaned and sanitized so that our beer stays fresh and delicious. It also helps prevent any off flavors from getting into our beer due to bacteria build-up. 
  2. Helps us to maintain the aesthetics of our glasses. Nothing ruins a cold beer faster than a cloudy, smudged glass. Beer glass clean day lets us wipe away any smudges and give the glasses a nice shine. This gives us a great presentation for when we are ready to pour a perfect pint of beer. 
  3. Is a great way to get together with friends and family. We can have a fun time cleaning and sanitizing our beer glasses, and then enjoy the results with a few rounds of beer. What better way to spend an afternoon than with good friends and a cold beer in a clean glass? Beer Glass Clean Day is a great way to enjoy the finer things in life.

On this day, beer lovers gather together to clean their favorite beer glasses and celebrate their appreciation for beer. This special day is a chance for everyone to share stories, enjoy great beer and appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into producing it. 

Beer Clean Glass Day is a great opportunity for beer fans to show their love and support for the industry. By cleaning their glasses and sharing their appreciation, beer lovers can help to promote the craft beer industry and support their local brewers. Beer Clean Glass Day is a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the wonderful world of beer.

Drinking Bass in Burton-upon-Trent is an incredibly unique experience. Located in the heart of England, Burton-upon-Trent is known as the birthplace of pale ale, and Bass is one of the most iconic pale ales in the world. It has been brewed in the town since 1777, and is still brewed there today. This makes it an incredibly special beer to enjoy. 

The unique taste of Bass is something that many beer enthusiasts enjoy. It has a malty flavour, balanced with hints of bitterness, and an incredibly smooth finish. It is a beer that can be enjoyed by any type of beer drinker, from the casual drinker to the experienced beer connoisseur. With its history, flavour, and smoothness, it is no wonder why so many people enjoy drinking Bass brewed in Burton-upon-Trent. It is a truly unique experience that should be savoured and enjoyed.

Let’s not also forget that although this is a great beer, it’s also an important one as the Trademark that you see on the bottle (The Red Triangle) was the first registered trademark within the UK!

AromaCaramel / Toffee / Nutty
TasteFruity / Nutty
AftertasteBittersweet / Moreish
Overall (Star Rating)5/5 Stars 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Thoughts on the clarity, aroma, taste and aftertaste 

Clarity – An amber coloured beer which predominantly shines crystal clear through the glass as soon as you start to pour the beer

Aroma – The caramel and malty aromas reach your nose as soon as you prepare to take that first sip, swirling around the top the glass, the caramel and maltiness improves with each sip and you’ll be left astonished with how good this beer smells. 

Taste – The first texture of taste you’ll be greeted by a very subtle fruit and nut texture, such as a sweet tangy orange. Shortly after taking your first sip that orange texture is then converted into a nutty malty finish which makes this beer extremely quaffable. 

Aftertaste – An almighty bitter-sweet finish which is so impressive, it instantly makes this beer certainly moreish and wanting you to have another glass or two. 

Do we recommend it?

There are several reasons why we recommend this beer, it’s not just down to the fact of it being the first registered trademark, it’s not even down to what the beer tastes like. What it really is a saviour, each time you are going to drink this iconic beer, you are instantly going to be thinking of how historical and well-known this beer has become from 1777 all the way up to this present day. 

So when you are out and about and you’re in that pub and you come across that Red Triangle or if your in that local shop and see a bottle perched on the top shelf, just say to yourself, I am going to try that beer and I am going to toast to the much remembered, Bass Brewery. 

The Burton Bass is a great choice for any beer drinker who is looking for a classic English ale with a modern twist. The beer has a full body, with a subtle hop bitterness, and a rich flavour. The beer is brewed using quality ingredients and traditional brewing methods, making it a great choice for those who are looking for an authentic experience. The Burton Bass is a great beer for any occasion and is sure to please beer drinkers of all types.

This 28 year old whiskey spent 13 years in oloroso sherry and bourbon casks and then a further 15 years in madeira casks. It makes me realise why I love cask strength whiskies. It is exclusive to The Whisky Shop and only 738 bottles were produced.

Cask strength can be summed up as whisk(e)y the way nature intended whisk(e)y to be. It quite literally is exactly what was in the cask when the distillery decided to bottle it. It has not had the alcohol content watered down or gone through chill filtration which can remove some of the fatty acid esters and other particles that make up the flavour profile. The ABV of cask strength can vary from 40% to 60% plus, but generally it is 46% and above. If a good cask, even at 60% ABV you will struggle to realise how much alcohol is in there. Cask strength is not for everyone and I’d advise not starting your whisky journey here, it’s better to “build up” to it although once on it, you’ll never look back. 

The elephant in the room for this whisky is the retail price of £695. That works out at £30 per 3cl which is a decent sized dram for a cask strength but given “home pours” means it will be even more per dram. If you fancy trying it, then currently it’s going on auction sites for around £430 including commission. Slightly more palatable but still expensive. This bottle is aimed at the premium market or maybe even super premium (for us lesser mortals), so let’s compare it to a Macallan 25 at around £2600 per bottle, which I’d argue the Bushmills is easily on a par with. From that perspective it offers very good value, but unlike the Macallan it’s unlikely to go up in value if you keep it for a few years. But whisky is for drinking I hear you cry and I agree with you. But maybe if you’re successful in picking “investable” bottles then the money can go towards buying equally as good bottles but not so fashionable?  Rather than regret the world we live in, maybe we need to accept it and just do the best we can? Enough of the politics and let’s get on with the tasting. 

Previous DrinkBushmillls 21 Year Old Madeira Finish
NosePeaches / Mown Grass / Toblerone / Alcohol Prickle
PalateThick / Creamy / Peach / Coffee / Chocolate
FinishDried Fruits / Chocolate / Then Drying Coffee / Touch Of Heat
Overall (Star Rating)5/5 Stars 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

This is one of my favourite drams of 2022 that I’ve been lucky enough to try. I’ve ignored the price and given it a 5, as it is exceptional. It is two or three levels above the 21 year old. Whether it is value for money is up to you, several distilleries will charge a similar price for a similar age of whisky, but you do need to try it if you get the chance, maybe as a club bottle so the cost is shared. It has the depth and complexity I love and still has the underlying style of Bushmills. 

Overall, if you can get around the price this is a cracker, and you will not be disappointed.

We previously shared our thoughts on tasting whisky, but here are some additional thoughts that Chris Walster, our in-house whisky expert has put together. 

You need to look at the colour, this will indicate possible flavours and varies depending on the cask used and the length of time the whisky has been in the cask. First fill casks of any description will always have stronger/darker colour than refill casks. Older whiskies will also extract more colour from the cask. New make spirit is always clear with all the colour (unless colouring has been added by the distiller) coming from the maturation cask. It is always interesting guessing what cask or casks the whisky has matured in. 

Swirl the glass

This helps release the nose and also lets you examine the legs. Legs are formed by how the whisky coats the glass as you swirl it. They can be thick or thin, slow or fast, more visible or less visible. Thick, visible and slow legs suggest the whisky will be oily on the palate, giving a fuller coating to your palate as you swirl it around your mouth. Thin or runny legs tend to suggest a lighter whisky that is not full flavoured. 

Nose the whisky

Everyone has their favourite way of nosing. This might be holding the glass close to the nose and inhaling, or holding it away from the nose and using your hand to waft the aromas towards your nose and inhaling. Holding your hand over the glass for a few seconds before nosing can help capture the aromas. My preferred method is to hold the glass close to one nostril and inhale. Then repeat with the other nostril. That way, I minimise any alcohol burn and get two attempts at deciphering what can sometimes be a complex bouquet of aromas. 

Allow your nose to “rest” and repeat as often as necessary. Think about what you are smelling and start with “naming” the bolder aromas and then try to split them up and separate them out to help pick out each aroma from the complex. Discuss with other tasters what you can smell. This will help identify the aromas but beware it can convince you of aromas that were never there, or at least you could not find them. It is worth remembering that there is considerable variation between people on what aromas they get from a whisky

An interesting variation on nosing is to inhale with your mouth closed and then with your mouth open. You will notice that what aromas you can detect are different. I’m not sure what physiological mechanism causes this variation, and would be interested to hear if you know, but presume it illustrates how taste and smell are interconnected senses. 

Take the first sip

Having looked at the colour, the legs and nosed the whisky, now is the time to take the first sip.  Try it neat even if it’s cask strength. Swirl it around your mouth and try identifying the flavours. Although not necessary, it can be useful to swirl it around for one second of each year of maturation.  This can be helpful in exploring the full flavour profile. Remember that the distillery or bottler has already tried the whisky and decided it is at its best at whatever ABV. Adding water may make the whisky taste better but can make a huge difference to the nose, palate and finish. The ABV may not be your personal preference but remember the old adage that you can always add water, but you cannot take it away. 

Having tasted it neat, you now should add water. The amount to add is up to you, but I usually add no more than five drops. This is unlikely to change the ABV but will most likely change the aromas, flavours, and finish. Sometimes it makes no apparent difference, sometimes it can improve the whisky and other times you might wish you hadn’t added water. But this is all part of the tasting process. 

The finish is the last thing to note. Finishes are the flavours and feelings in your mouth after swallowing the whisky. Finishes are often described as short, medium, or long as well as any flavours left in your mouth such as fruits, chocolate, coffee, peat/smoke, spiciness and wood etc. A rule of thumb is that whiskies with long finishes are better, but everyone has their personal preference. 

Complete your notes

Once finished, complete your notes, and score the whisky say out of ten or on the nose, palate and finish. Keeping consistent on how you taste the whisky during the flight, so you are comparing like to like as much as possible. At some point you will want to know what the official notes are. Whether you read them during tasting the whisky and then compare what you find to the official notes, or whether you read them after the tasting is up to you. On the one hand it can be useful knowing the official notes in helping tease out the nuances, on the other you’ll be amazed at how knowing the official notes will alter your perception of the whisky. Sometimes you’ll wonder whether the official taster was drinking the same whisky as you or whether the marketing department had got a bit over-enthusiastic. 

Because knowing the distillery, the colour, legs and official notes can significantly change for the better or worse how you experience the whisky it can be fun to carry out a blind tasting. This can be easily done by covering up the bottle, taking it further includes using opaque glasses and even blindfolding, only revealing the bottle label after the tasting. You will find it quite hard to identify much more than the style of the whisky (e.g. Campbelltown or Highland). Very hard to identify the distillery and feel very pleased with yourself if you identify the style, casks used, distillery and finishing casks. Even the most experienced whisky drinker will struggle and often get it wrong. This just demonstrates how sight, smell and taste are all interconnected and that experiences and the environment you’re in, all influence your interpretation of the whisky. 

Variations on a theme for tastings are to pair the whisky with cheese or chocolate, both of which go well with whisky. These types of tastings are much harder to organise, as you will need to try the whisky and food before the tasting to get the best results. From experience pairing the right cheese or chocolate with a whisky can be sublime, but I’ve yet to figure out a fool-proof way of pairing, it is not as simple as the internet would have you think. Another interesting variation is to have a tasting of different cask finishes and pair the whisky with the actual spirit used in the finish.  

Schiehallion is a beer that takes you on a journey up to Scotland to combat a breathtaking hike up the glorious mountain of Schiehallion Or (She-Hal-Ion).   

Just picture this, reaching the top of the mountain, taking in the view and toasting this outstanding pint whilst being surrounded by almighty, breathtaking views. 

There is also something else which is unique about this beer, it’s actually a lager, which has been brewed with Lager Malt, however when we sampled this beer at Burton’s Winter Beer Festival we were able to sample this product in cask ale format which is something you rarely see. 

About the Brewery  

The Harviestoun Brewery was firstly established in 1983 and was under operation by Ken Brooker who at this point was brewing different styles of beer inside a small shed at his own house. 

By 1994, the brewery’s flagship lager was launched and still to this very day it is still seen to be one of the most popular brews around the UK, also, to showcase how iconic this lager is, it was awarded in 2008 Best Pilsner at the World Best Beer Awards. 

In 1997, saw the arrival of Stuart Cali who became the master brewer for Harviestoun Brewery and his objective was to develop new outstanding products. 

Then, in 2022 after taking up the helm of master brewer for 25 years, Stuart Cali retired and the new era within this brewery was passed onto Amy Cockburn who has taken the top job and is starting to lead this iconic brewery into its next phase of producing great beer. 

TasteSweet, Pineapple, mango and tropical   
AftertasteRefreshing, sweet finish, smooth   
Overall (Star Rating)4.5/5 Stars 🌕 🌕 🌕 🌕 🌗

Thoughts on Clarity, Aroma, Taste & Aftertaste

Clarity – When we looked at the appearance of this lager, it certainly did make us realise that this certainly a beer to have on one of those cool, warming summer days. The beer delivered a bright, light blonde colour which was so welcoming. 

Aroma – Aromatic scents of tropical fruits that floated around the top of the glass which delivered some amazing fruity smells. Everytime we kept on smelling, the more it made us think we were about to sample a tropical fruit punch cocktail. 

Taste – The flavouring was honestly just wow! There was so much going on, mango, pineapple, peach, it was beautiful and if we were honest, we were quite sad when the glass stood empty. 

Aftertaste – It is understandable why this beer is classified as a lager, majority of lagers deliver a refreshing clinging feel and Schiehallion certainly ticked the box on this, furthermore the finish made us think that this is certainly a beer you would want to sample whilst chilling next to the pool. 

Do we recommend it? 

Out of all the beers that we sampled at the festival, we confirmed that this was the best beer of the day and this is why we are certainly recommending you all to try this lager.  

Furthermore, from when we first smelt this beer to taking the first sip, we concluded that it was perfect apart from one small thing, Schiehallion is a strong lager, it’s not a beer that you can sadly have a session on it, after 1 pint you will probably feel full and want to try something lighter, so our advice would be to try this towards the end of the night and make it your finishing beer.