Castles and Booze

Yesterday’s gorgeous weather was a gift that enabled us to make it up to Arthur’s Seat. While the weather forecast for today was basically the same as yesterday, the weather reality was not the same at all. It was cold and drizzly and overcast for all but about 30 minutes today. This is not a complaint, but an expression of thanks that yesterday was so cooperative for our walk!

Today we spent about 5 hours at Edinburgh Castle, exploring the grounds and buildings, cameras clicking away.

Edinburgh Castle

Steve at Edinburgh Castle

Anne at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Scotland National War Memorial

At the end of our visit, we spent some time in the Scottish National War Museum, learning about the history of the Highland regiments.

With sore feet and fried brains, we decided the perfect end to the day was to take the barrel ride and tour of the Scotch Whisky Experience, conveniently located just past the Castle esplanade.

Steve thought I was making things up when I told him the tour started with a barrel ride, but that is, in fact, the introduction we were given to Scotch whiskey.

The barrel ride was kind of lame, and they totally missed a huge opportunity to include smell in the ride. Three times during the narration, there was a discussion of the scents at that point in the brewing process, but there was nary a whiff in the air.

However, the rest of the tour and the tasting were interesting enough as we learned about four of Scotland’s five whisky regions (the fifth is very small and not included in the presentation).

Steve tasting at the Scotch Whiskey Experience

I purchased a Silver pass for myself which gave me one tasting. I felt fortunate that they offered an alternative to whiskey and I was able to taste a whisky liqueur called Glayva. It smelled of butterscotch and tasted of honey and licorice. I spent the next hour or so nursing the drink a few drops at a time. Anything larger burned my throat and diminished the otherwise sweet taste. Such a light weight.

Anne at the Scotch Whiskey Experience

I had such a long time to enjoy my drink because we got Steve a Gold pass which allowed him four additional tastings, a flight of whiskeys from the four whisky regions.

Steve tasting at the Scotch Whiskey Experience

The fourth of these was from the Islay region, and was exceptionally smoky. Perhaps a little punchy, Steve declared he was Smaug, the peat-breathing dragon, and proceeded to overwhelm me with his exhalation.

It was obviously time to head out for dinner before preparing for our next day.