Results 1-10of 12 Reviews
Workington, United Kingdom
July 10, 2009
From journal Edinburgh Weekend - April 2009
December 18, 2006
From journal Honeymoon in Scotland
Flower Mound, Texas
April 9, 2006
From journal Picked Up by 12 50-Year-Old Women
New York, New York
December 26, 2005
From journal Searching for Braveheart
November 29, 2005
From journal Fall Day in Edinburgh
September 16, 2005
From journal History and Future Collide in Edinburgh
Fargo, North Dakota
May 27, 2005
The vials represent the three stages of scotch whiskey development. After a brief smell test and rundown about the differences between single-malt, grain, and blended whiskeys, the tour moves into the next room.
In the next room, a "ghost" tells you more about the history of scotch whiskey. This part of the tour was kind of hokey and pretty easy to tune out. I really have no idea what the ghost talked about. I’m sure it was interesting, but it’s a lot of information after you’ve just had a shot of scotch, and unlike the previous room, there’s no interaction, just sitting.
The third leg of the tour is the most fun. You climb into a giant keg barrel-shaped cart and take a tour through the history of Scotland and scotch whiskey. Robots act out important moments in scotch whiskey making, from the beginning to present. Just like the ghost in the previous room, it’s pretty hokey, but who cares really. This is not a tour to be taken completely seriously. You do learn a lot (especially if you pay attention), but it’s also silly and fun. At the end of the ride, you’re presented with a certificate that says you are an expert in scotch whiskey. The only problem with the certificate is that it’s not signed by anyone, and I think if you sign it yourself it’s less authentic. It’s still pretty cool.
From there you go to the tasting room. We got a good lunch and a glass of beer for a reasonable amount of money. The experience was a bit marred by a father who seemed bent on getting his son, who appeared to be about 15, wasted on the scotch sampler. It was a bit like a fraternity hazing, and I don’t know how they snuck the kid past his mother. That seemed to be the dad’s secondary concern; the first was "putting some hair on your chest." I must say, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard someone say that in real life. That kind of thing happens, I guess.
Naturally, after the tour is over, you wind up in a gift shop. You would think buying scotch whiskey at the source is cheaper than other places—this is wrong. The prices are just silly high, and you can do better almost anywhere in town.
From journal Pub-Crawling Edinburgh
April 21, 2005
From journal Week trip to Scotland
June 4, 2004
At this museum/bar/distillery/pseudo-amusement park, you'll learn all you ever wanted to know and more about Scotland's most famous beverage. . . Scotch whisky.
You can learn about the history and ins and outs of Scotch by taking a trip on the Whisky Barrel Ride (billed as fun for the family!), watching a film or at the Centre's model distillery. Like I said, you'll learn plenty about whisky.
Once you've learned all you need to about this tasty beverage, you'll probably have worked up a thirst. Not to worry. You can choose from some two hundred odd varieties of Scotch on the premises, at the Whisky Bond Bar and Bistro. Food is served in the bar and it is open to the public, as well. So, you can drop in to have a bit and a nip even if you don't choose to participate in the crash course in whisky history.
Don't forget to drop by the gift shop before you swerve your way on to the next destination. You may feel like you've had Scotch overload by that point, but it'll wear off. When you get back home, you may be glad you had the foresight to stock up on some of the wide selection of Scotch whisky offered in their shop.
From journal A Capital Time in Scotland
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
July 6, 2003
The group was herded into a room, where we watched a video on the popularity of whisky in Scotland. Then, we were herded into another room to watch a video on locations of distilling in Scotland. Then, in another room there was a large model of a distillery. The guide explained the distilling process, and pressed a button whilst the front cover rose of the model to show us the various stages. Before we had time to glance at the different rooms, the front cover returned to its position and we were then herded to watch the ghost of the master blender. This is an electric light display accommpanied by a tape recording and whisky bottled backdrop. Finally, four people at a time were put onto a large moving plastic barrel that went along a track at a very slow speed past reconstructed displays showing the history of whisky.
I was not overly impressed by the method. I didn't feel the guided tour was needed -- anyone could have made their own way around, watching the videos as they went like in other musuems, and walking around the displays and taking things in in their own time. It was only a short walk.
That said, I did learn something of whisky in Scotland -- the difference between malt and grain whiskys, the aging process, the Scotch whisky export industry, etc.
From journal Paradise in Edinburgh