Oh boy, they feed you well on this train. Far too much to work off when you spend most of the day riding.
This morning we visited the Glenmorangie distillery and took the tour through the production facitlities. Not previously being a fan of Scotch, I found several interesting aspects of its production:
* the amount of CO2 produced during the second soaking of the barley is quite obnoxious
* the stills at Glenmorangie are 17 feet high, the highest in Scotland.
* Most of the flavor of the scotch is taken up from the barrels it is aged in.
* They use oak barrels produced in Missouri, but new barrels are too new for Scotch
* For the first 3 years, the barrels are used for Bourbon production.
* The barrel tops are painted red, and the first lot of Scotch is aged in them for 10 years.
* The barrel tops are painted black, and used for a second round of 10 yo Scotch.
* 20 yo scotch is produced by taking the 10 yo scotch and aging it for another 10 years in another round of red-labeled barrels.
* Special varieties of single malt scotch are made by using barrels that had previously been used to age port or sherry, rather than bourbon.
* The Scottish tax on whisky is 67%, due upon its exit from the warehouse.
* A very small amount of added water (1/2 tsp/dram) separates the oils and focused the flavor.
* You can only by Glenmorangie scotch at the distillery or Heathrow at the moment.
Too bad, I thought it tasted pretty good.