Monday, June 13, 2011

Glen Grant Distillery Tour

This post is late because Aly and I are in full-throttle Tour of Scotland mode. Today, I've been showing her all the fine stuff St Andrews has to offer, but yesterday, we had a super duper road trip which involved a four hour trip to the Glen Grant whisky distillery up in Rothes in the Highlands as well as some quality time at Bamff where we saw beavers!

But back to the whisky. The tour was pretty cool, and of course, I'm always happy to drink some delicious Glen Grant. I especially enjoyed learning about the Angel's Share and the interesting fungus associated with it.

"Angels' share" is a term for the portion (share) of a wine or distilled spirit's volume that is lost to evaporation during aging in oak barrels. The barrels are typically French or American oak. In low humidity conditions, the loss to evaporation may be primarily water. However, in higher humidities, more alcohol than water will evaporate, therefore reducing the alcoholic strength of the product. In humid climates, this loss of ethanol is associated with the growth of a darkly colored fungus, the Angels' Share fungus, Baudoinia compniacensis, on the exterior surfaces of buildings, trees and other vegetation, and anything else that happens to be nearby.

I can speak to the truth of this. All of the trees were black and leaned a little, as though they themselves might be a wee bit drunk. They also leaned in the direction of the store houses, like they just couldn't get enough.

Kris bought a bottle of 25 year old. I hope he lets me have some! Thanks to Aly for setting that up for us. And super special thanks to the captain of the ship, Torc, for volunteering for such an extensive road trip!!

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