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斯貝塞生活—歡慶斯貝塞酒魂
文/羅伯·藍森(格蘭花格銷售&行銷總監)
2010年6月25日

 

超過一半的蘇格蘭純麥蒸餾廠位於斯貝塞區(斯貝河畔),這個區域堪稱純麥威士忌的家鄉。我們的訪客經常訝異在這麼小的區域,而且偏遠、鄉下的北蘇格蘭角落,蒸餾廠竟然如此密集地存在。

如果你開車從艾爾琴(Elgin)到格蘭花格,這趟旅程大約僅半小時,但你將經過二十家蒸餾廠,伴隨著這麼多的蒸餾廠,威士忌可說非常根深蒂固地與當地生活結合。通常,我們悠閒地享受當地自產的威士忌,但每年五月會有個非常特別的時刻,我們慶祝「斯貝塞精神威士忌節慶」(Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival)。

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

在格蘭花格,身為當地少數家族自有的蒸餾廠,我們很驕傲地扮演節慶中的角色,今年由我的同事喬治‧葛蘭(George Grant)主持我們兩支旗艦酒款的試飲,包括首度公開品飲的最新格蘭花格四十年,以及我們選了1995年的年份桶裝瓶,將在今年稍晚納入享譽國際的格蘭花格家族桶收藏系列中。當時我與知名的威士忌廚房食譜書的作者哈維與希利亞‧麥克柯納奇(Harvey & Sheila McConachie),一同主持了格蘭花格晚宴,那是多麼美好的饗宴,以天鵝絨糊哈吉斯開始,那是一種由哈吉斯與格蘭花格15年做成的奶糊狀創意湯品。同時為了引起晚餐的食慾,我帶領著這些格蘭花格超級粉絲賓客穿越石楠花叢,前往我們在貝里詩山腳下的水源地 ,那裡恐怕是享用格蘭花格105的最佳地點。

整個節慶有超過230個活動在斯貝塞區,遠遠超過我們在格蘭花格所主持的。譬如另一個由斯貝塞威士忌學校安排的活動,就包括三天的單一純麥威士忌製程的教育課程,至於節慶裡最惡名昭彰的「殘渣派對」(Dregs Party),則在節慶的最後一晚杜夫鎮威士忌商店裡,大夥喝光了所有剩下的酒。

這個「斯貝塞精神威士忌節慶」舉辦十一年了,把斯貝塞酒廠與群眾聚集起來,去年的旗幟遶境介紹了斯貝塞區最精華的部份。而今年則是從班洛馬區(Benromach)到格蘭花格,結合腳踏老爺車、騎馬、登山腳踏車,跨越達浮荒野(Dava Moor),然後把一隻腳泡進斯貝河裡。現在我並沒有自己的老爺車,我只騎過一次而已,也沒有夠快的登山腳踏車,所以讓我能到斯貝塞的挑戰是與其他自願者拿著旗幟從格蘭鎮(Grantown)順流而下到阿德維(Advie)。當然在我們設定沿河順流漂蕩的旅程之前,那是蘇格蘭最長最快的河流,我們要選定移動時能控制方向的輔助工具。所以在向斯貝河舉杯致敬之後,我們用雙耳小淺酒杯分享格蘭花格10年,那是蘇格蘭式的友誼之杯。這條河對我們如此仁慈,我們不僅能用另一種角度享受斯貝塞景觀之美,同時精準地按照行程到達阿德維橋,順利地把旗幟交接給下個派對的旗手。

事實上明年五月初展開的節慶現在已經緊鑼密鼓的計畫中,格蘭花格將會有1996年份桶的試飲,並且目睹裝瓶到家族桶收藏系列的過程,而且我也將再一次主持晚宴搭配我們的威士忌廚房團隊,我迫不及待那天的到來。
(Julie Lee / Translation)

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Speyside Life – Celebrating the Spirit of Speyside
Robert Ransom, Director of Sales & Marketing, Glenfarclas
25.6.2010

With more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries located in Speyside, the region is the home of malt whisky.  Our guests are often surprised by how many distilleries there are in such a small, remote, and rural corner in the north of Scotland. If you drive from Elgin to Glenfarclas, a journey which takes about half an hour, you will pass twenty distilleries. With so many distilleries, whisky is very much engrained in the local way of life. Normally we quietly enjoy the local spirit, but each year in May things are different, we celebrate with the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. 

At Glenfarclas, as one of the few locally owned distilleries, we are proud to play our part in the festival. This year our two flagship tastings, hosted by my colleague George Grant, included a chance to be amongst the first to taste our new Glenfarclas Forty Years old, and the opportunity to help us select a cask from 1995 to be bottled as part of The Family Casks collection later this year. Along with the authors of The Whisky Kitchen recipe book; Graeme Harvey and Sheila McConachie, I hosted a Glenfarclas dinner. A wonderful feast which started with a Velouté of Haggis, Graeme’s creation, a soup made from haggis with Glenfarclas 15 Years Old.  To build up an appetite for the dinner I led a group of intrepid Glenfarclas fans across the heather to our watersource on Ben Rinnes. Where could be better to enjoy a dram of Glenfarclas 105?

Of course with more than 230 events across Speyside, the festival offers far more than what we host at Glenfarclas. The other events ranged from the Spirit of Speyside Whisky School; three days of undiluted education in the production of single malt, to the infamous Dregs Party; in the Dufftown Whisky Shop, to empty any remaining open bottles on the final night of the festival.

The festival has been going for eleven years, and it brings the distilleries and the Speyside community together. Last year a flag relay across the region was introduced to highlight the best Speyside has to offer. This year the relay ran from Benromach to Glenfarclas incorporating legs by vintage car, on horseback, by mountain bike across the wilds of Dava Moor, and a leg by canoe down the river Spey. Now I don’t own a vintage car, have only ridden once, and am not the fastest on a mountain bike, so it was left to me to venture onto the Spey with some other volunteers to take the flag downstream from Grantown to Advie. Naturally before setting of on our voyage down the river, which is one of the longest and fastest flowing in Scotland, we needed a little something to help us on our way. So after proposing a toast to the river, we shared a dram of Glenfarclas 10 Years Old from a Quaich, Scotland’s cup of friendship.  The river was kind to us, and we enjoyed the Speyside landscape from a different angle, arriving exactly on schedule at Advie Bridge to hand the flag on to the next party of flag bearers.

Plans are already well under way for the festival at the start of May next year. At Glenfarclas we will be hosting a tasting of 1996 cask samples, with a view to bottling one of them for The Family Casks collection. Once again I will host a dinner with The Whisky Kitchen team. I am already looking forward to it.

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