Before dinner on our final night, we adjourned for aperitifs and canapés on the front lawn, where the sunset was jollified by an hour-long demonstration by a chap called Andy, the in-house falconer from Dunrobin CastleNormally, such displays are a spectator sport. But if you’ve booked a private show, you don a gauntlet and feed chunks of chicken to his feathered pets. They included an owl called Bonsai, an eagle called Monkey, and a golden eagle who wasn’t allowed off his perch in case he tried to kill things.
Today, it’s easy to forget the role falconry has played in our nation’s history. Gifts of birds have prevented wars, much like Royal marriages; it is also responsible for such modern expressions as “end of tether” and “boozing” descended from the term “bowsing. Meanwhile, the relationship between Andy and his six birds was fascinating: a sort of airborne One Man and his Dog. The next day we decided to round off our trip with a private tour of the Glenmorangie distillery, conducted by its manager Graham Eunson. Learn More: Tom Burke Realtor – Conveyancing Fees Sydney
Eleven million bottles of the stuff are sold each year, with buyers in 126 countries. We met Graham at Taplow Springs, where water bubbles up into a crystal-clear pool, before being piped to the distillery. Then we followed its journey through an array of Heath Robinson vats and pipes recalling Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In keeping with the spirit of Father’s Day excess, samples were offered at regular intervals, before Graham sat us down for a final tasting session, which involved eight different vintages.
A Parisian perfume house once analysed its smell, and found no fewer than 26 aromas in there, from crème brûlée and lemon curd, to custard pie and pencil shavings. By the time we’d got through about six varieties, from 10 to 30 years old, we were struggling to say the phrase “pencil shavings”, let alone smell them. Our efforts, however, made little more than a dent into the stocks of the distillery, which holds £1. 3bn of stock.