Whisky Boys – Snow, Water & Whisky on the River Spey
After our wee tour of Dalwhinnie (Saturday 19th May, see our Dalwhinnie Distillery blog) The Whisky Boys and their guests (Scott Young, Alex Milne – A guest taster and the maker of our unique Whisky tasting table top and Dave Craig – Proprietor of Spirit of the Spey, who’ll be taking us canoeing down the famous River Spey), continued with our Speyside trip, so after Dalwhinnie we headed for the very top of the Cairngorms where in four feet of snow we decided to have a wee whisky tasting of course.
The drams we carried (by funicular) to the top of the mountain were Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year Old 40% Alc/vol, which was honeyed, sweet, full bodied, soft fruit and sherried and it held a wee hint of peat. Our second dram came from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 7.74 A Magical Moment in Time, which is a 21 Year Old Longmorn, Single Cask and bottled at 53.1% Alc/vol, this dram was an absolute joy with floral notes and dark rich chocolate. Maybe this could be the highest tasting of these two drams in Scotland. This could be the start of the Whisky Boys venturing into extreme Whisky tasting?
Down the mountain and we headed for Newtonmore, the home of David Craig and base for Spirit of the Spey and our bed & breakfast for the night, after we all made ourselves comfortable we went into Newtonmore for dinner. When we returned to Dave’s home we opened several bottles of fine Single Malt Whisky and had a fabulous evening of whisky tasting, chat and laughter, which went onto the very early hours. From the photo’s you may agree why Jim and Alex are now nicknamed Jack and Victor (from Still Game). We sipped many a fine Balvenie, a Tomintoul and a couple wonderful SMWS bottling’s.
So bright and early on the Sunday morning we all had a hearty breakfast prior to getting all the gear ready for our canoe trip down the Spey. Trailer loaded and our life jackets at the ready we headed for the river.
Dave went solo, Jim and Alex (or should it be Jack and Victor) were in one canoe and Nicola and Scott manned the other. Dave gave us some safety tips and then on the water we had a few lessons involving steering the canoe and some figure of eights around some bridge stanchions. Lessons over we headed down the river towards Aviemore approx. 7 miles away.
Many parts of the river were slow moving and peaceful but others were a little faster, the main thing we all found about the trip down the river was the wildlife, from Osprey’s to Sandmartins to fish leaping out the river. On the whole stretch of the river we saw one fisherman and two young lads in a couple of Kayaks. As you would expect from the Whisky Boys we did not stop only for a riverside lunch but we also had a couple of ‘’dram stops’’, the photo’s tell the whole story. Aviemore came too quickly and the past 6/7 hours passed in a jiffy.
The hospitality afforded by Dave and Jude was truly outstanding and his Sprit of the Spey trip was one we shall all remember for a long long time.
The Whisky Boys highly recommend that you visit David’s website (www.spiritofthespey.co.uk) and take the opportunity of a trip down the River Spey, it is exhilarating as it is fun, remember to enjoy a dram our two and even call into a distillery or three.
To finish we all thank Dave and Jude for a great weekend.