Tartan Day and Celebrating the Scots; Another Article Appreciating Scotch Whiskey

If you’ve been following the articles on the Fearrington website regarding the Fearrington House bar, you should be well aware of the love we have for whiskey. Whiskey, like anything good, deserves to be appreciated and enjoyed with respect and adoration. National Tartan Day commemorates the Scottish Declaration of Independence, as well as the achievements of Americans of Scottish descent. The American Declaration of Independence was modelled on the Declaration drafted by the Scots back in 1320, and half of the signees were of Scottish descent. So naturally, Scotland is a big deal in America. It’s also a beautiful country with a unique culture, and produces some phenomenal whiskey with worldwide renown.

Scotland has several unique scotch producing regions within its borders, and each of those regions has a smattering of equally unique distilleries. Whether they’re small batch or commercial, single malt, blended or single grain, the great ones find a way to stand out amongst the chaff. For the most part, Scottish distilleries are steeped in a rich history and boast a trademark technique, perfected over decades, if not centuries, of making whiskey. Below you’ll find some examples of scotch distilleries from each region and, as always, a beckoning to come enjoy them at the House bar.

Highlands – The Dalmore 12-year-old Single Malt

Steeped in history dating back to the 13th century A.D., this scotch has a story to tell. Adorning the front of each bottle is a stag’s head, commemorating the moment King Alexander III was saved from being gored by a stag, owing his well-being to Colin of Kintail, the ancestor of the former Dalmore distillery founders. The king granted a parcel of land to the clan chief, in addition to the right to bear the stag’s head in their coat of arms.

Speyside – Glenfarclas 12-year-old Single Malt

Meaning “Valley of the Green Grass” in Scottish Gaelic, Glenfarclas is another well-aged and well-loved distillery, dating back to the early 19th century. While many distilleries have been bought out or founded by large spirit retailers, Glenfarclas remains family-owned and managed since its founding. Although they have eschewed their home location of Speyside by putting Highlands on the bottles, this Speyside scotch boasts rich sherry notes and an unwavering traditional method.

Islands – Talisker 10-year-old Single Malt, from the Isle of Skye

Though a successful label in its earlier years, the Talisker distillery has a rich history wrought with setbacks. Grown upon the grit of the sea on the Isle of Skye, Talisker has been around since the early 1800s, and drew the affection of many profound authors, scholars and seafarers. While the quality of the whiskey itself has not diminished, the distillery suffered a still fire in 1960, which eventually led to the distillery being absorbed by the industry giant Diageo.

Islay – Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Single Malt Islay, The Peat Project

Lochindaal was the name of an old and famous Islay distillery known also as Port Charlotte, which closed up shop in 1929. In an effort to recreate the scotches produced by Lochindaal in days of yore, the masters at the Bruichladdich distillery began their Port Charlotte line of whiskeys, with a focus on replicating the heavy peat and soft sweetness of Lochindaal’s whiskey. Unfortunately, there is no surviving recipe or bottle of Lochindaal scotch to base their efforts upon, just the fond memories of days gone by in the minds of elderly whiskey lovers. At any rate, hats off to them for giving it a go.