The Speyside Way Day Eight: Penultimate

On the Eighth Day, god created mushrooms.

I have compiled a photologue ( of nearly 30 mushrooms found along the Speyside Way. I would have loved to try some, get in touch with my inner druid.

I will have to stick to whisky for now.
Unfortunately Day 8 was practically a dry run. The only distilleries we passed were ones seen in the distance, not open to the public. It was a 13 mile walk today, with moderate elevation gain, almost totally on asphalt. A good penultimate day overall.
We ended up in yet another bleak provincial town (Scotland has many), this one living up to its name: Fochabers. What a bad name. Say it too fast and it sounds like an insult.
Food here was godawful and I prefer to forget the whole thing. But I did have one of the best drams of the whole trip: Glenfarclas 105.
Tasting Notes
Glenfarclas 105: tried this one at the Gordon Arms in Fochabers.
The Deuchars was off and the food was TV dinners, absolutely vile. Back to the whisky…
Glenfarclas 105: warm and deep copper. The cask strength aroma warns your nose. Beneath the heat is a panoplic layer of dried mission black figs, sultana, and sherry. Smells like a Mediterranean fruit torte. A sip is sharp on the tongue, prickly. Rich, thick, viscous, creamy, cut by the alcohol but oily enough to leave lingering drunken raisins, figs, sultanas. But the flame is intense. Added water. I have never had a whisky benefit as much from adding water! The palate mellows and balances, smoothing all the rough edges. Did they add dried figs to the mash? What was already beautiful becomes friendlier and more refined. More a nightcap than anything else, a way to dream your way to a winter evening on the Mediterranean coast.
Glen Elgin 12: bright 14k gold, looking unassuming and mild. Aroma of birchwood, olives, heather, hidden and subdued peat. Sugary palate is a surprise, silken demerara. Grass. Pancakes and syrup, wrapping up dryly. Strong and assertive, yet mellow, smooth and moreish. Excellent pick-me-up.


Fochabers had a saving grace: the town museum. The collection of memorabilia and bric-a-brac was indeed engaging.
My favorite was the stocked Victorian apothecary and the full bottles of ancient beers.
Last day tomorrow–very exciting!


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