Later, we head to a small distillery, maybe the smallest in Scotland. The guides know Francis, one of the brothers who are proprietors. They also farm the land, which was bought by their grandfather in 1984 from the family that had owned it since the 1700’s, who had bought it from a family that went back in ownership to the 1400’s. They started making whisky in 2006 and have not sold a bottle yet (they could have started in 2009) because they want to sell great whisky and are willing to wait until it suits them. They farm crops (in addition to the barley, from which their whisky is fermented) and have cattle as well as a quarry on the land. This Francis is very unassuming and gives us a great tour and a taste right out of the barrels from 2006. Very understated, but could be a real gem of a whisky some day.
The other wondrous sight as we motor through the Central Scotland area is this yellow field phenomenon, caused by the growing of a crop called “grape seed” from which they make canola oil. Mundane crop, but such a vibrant yellow color in the fields, most of which are just starting to grow crops or are brown dirt or brown heather. Look at this photo.
Francis, the distiller, stands by his machines, hand made for him by local craftsman. He buys oak barrels for fermenting his whisky from Kentucky…they have been used for Bourbon Whiskey fermentation before. And, also, they have some oak barrels that have contained sherry, which will be used for a while at the end of the process, we think. Everything is a secret, you know.