An October trip to The Singleton of Glen Ord

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

Part of a press trip to The Singleton of Glen Ord and Talisker Distillery.

The Singleton of Glen Ord

This is not actually my first trip to The Singleton of Glen Ord as I also had the opportunity to visit in July, which you can read more about here. This time around we visited both the distillery and the next-door maltings before we continued our trip to Isle of Skye and Talisker Distillery.

In July The Singleton of Glen Ord reopened after having redone their Visitor Centre. It is now the home of Singleton, which produces single malt under the same brand to different markets around the world – from three separate distilleries. This can be a bit tricky to understand but at The Singleton of Glen Ord you now also have the opportunity to also try Singleton of Dufftown and Singleton of Glendullan which usually make whisky for the European and American markets respectively whilst Glen Ord focuses primarily on Asia.

The Visitor Centre has a new look featuring teal and copper details all around in a fresh and inviting way. There’s a bar, a shop and also a deli where you can find local products like cheese.

When we arrived we were treated to a little afternoon tea of macarons, nibbles and the cocktail “A glass of wine”. This cocktail is designed to look like a glass of wine and have similar flavours, although it is a whisky cocktail.

The Glen Ord Maltings

After our nibbles we got to put on hard hats and hi vis vests as we were heading in to the Glen Ord Maltings. This was the first larger scaled maltings I’ve visited so it was fascinating to see. For those unfamiliar with malting barley, it is basically a process to get the grain to release its natural sugar, usually used for its growth, but within whisky production this sugar will be the nutrition for the yeast which will in turn produce alcohol as the byproduct. This is done by germination when the barley gets steeped in water and “tricked” in to starting the conversation of starch into sugar. I’m still quite amazed by how much science goes in to making whisky and that people have managed to do it for hundreds of years.

These maltings are the only Diageo maltings on the mainland that can peat barley as well and they use this peated malt for distilleries like Talisker or distilleries using lightly peated malt and sometimes even distilleries on Islay. The maltings have a sustainability approach where they are leading heat from one kiln to the other to optimise the usage as well as using a heat loop connected to the distillery which assists with heating and cooling.

For those of you interested in the maltings, they are planning to offer tours next year at some point so keep an eye out for that on their website or social channels. .

The Tour

During my last visit to The Singleton of Glen Ord we got a more informative tour of the distillery but as the group I was a part of consisted of whisky journalists and content creators who were already familiar with production, we got a quicker walkthrough. The distillery was heading in to silent season so we got to see the other still house this time, which is usually not part of the tour. However last time we didn’t do a whisky tasting, so I was excited to see the tasting room and maybe even more so to finally try their macarons that I was intrigued by last time!

The Tasting

We got to do our tasting in their lovely Tasting Room, but please note that the whiskies we got to try are not part of the standard distillery tour but were selected to highlight the distillery specifically for our visit. I have never tried macarons with whisky before but was very happy to try it. These macarons are soft, but has a lovely texture and the nutty flavours go well with the whisky. Although if you are expecting a similar experience to chocolate or cheese, this is quite different as the macarons don’t coat your palate in a similar way. This means the whisky changes less.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Fill Your Own 11yo
The Singleton of Glendullan 15yo
The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery Exclusive

Before it was time to leave the distillery we got the chance to fill our own bottle! This is a clever contraption where to pull a lever for the tube to fill up with the right amount for you bottle. You get to pull the lever down to fill your bottle, and as it’s a set amount in the tube there’s no risk (or chance) or overfilling or messing up. You also get to write your own label and attache the cork and labels to the bottle.

Now it was time to leave the distillery for this time and head towards the Boath House which turned out to be an absolute delight of a hotel that really impressed me.

✦ Want to read more about whisky happenings?

✦ Or things going on in Edinburgh?

Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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Moa Nilsson

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