After my encounter with the rain and the mud coming down the hill from Edradour I stumbled across the Blair Atholl Distillery which produces the signature malt of the Bell’s blend. It was a welcome relief to be out of the cold rain and into the cozy reception of the distillery’s visitor center. I spent the thirty minutes before the tour perusing their “How Whisky is Made” installation and wolfing down the sandwich I bought at the petrol station across the road. All I needed now was a good dram to warm me up.
In contrast to Edradour, the Blair Atholl guide was a kilted young lad. He was a very good guide as we had a much larger group yet he was clearly audible to everyone there. The most impressionable part of the tour was smelling the difference between the peated and unpeated barley. The smokey aroma and phenolic flavor was very memorable and is a good reference point for peatiness.
The glimpse of the multistory warehouse through the panoramic glass was especially dramatic as the barrels closest to us were well lit and the rest receded into a mysterious darkness. At the end of the tour I got the chance to finally savour a gingery dram of whisky in the gift shop. Now warmed up I headed back to the station to catch my train to Edinburgh. While I would have loved to continue on to Speyside, Pitlochry was as far north as I got on this trip.