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A mystery in Scotland: how I saw a ghost walking through the trees | Israel today


A search for an elusive monster in the lake, an encounter with a stone circle from the Bronze Age - and an encounter with a spirit dressed in black that disappeared into the empty air • A jump to northern Scotland following a new whiskey from the Glenmorangie distillery

Right outside "Glenmorangie House", the picturesque guest house of the most famous whiskey distillery in the north of Scotland, a green avenue of trees is planted, which in the summer days spreads generous shade on the short road that connects the yard to the nearby beach.

At sunrise, the track descends in a cool fog down the cliff, with an orphaned whiskey barrel placed as an environmental sculpture and looking at the seagulls screaming in the sky.

Here, in front of a mesmerizing landscape that could open a dark Agatha Christie thriller, I saw a ghost before my eyes.

And this is what happened: at the entrance to the avenue of trees there was a locked gate, and I assumed that the road was actually blocked for passage.

That's why I continued without turning to her, only turning my gaze back from time to time, to survey again the dark gray clouds above the peaks.

When I was about 50 meters away, I looked again, and this time I saw a figure dressed in black walking resolutely down the center of the avenue in the direction of the guest house.

I immediately turned back to the locked gate, thinking that the unknown person would kindly open it and we would greet each other with a smile, but when I got to the gate there was no one there.

The avenue was completely empty.

I thought the man was greedy for money and trying to get me, but he had no trace, and believe me I was looking.

Where did he fly, where did he flower?

No one will know.

Maybe I dreamed?

And maybe he just entered a place I didn't see?

To remind you, we are in Scotland, a land where mystery, and especially the kind served on the morbid side of the plate, is a well-known appetizer.

Glenmorangie distillery in northern Scotland, photo: Yaakov Levitam

Thousands of barrels in the warehouse

We came to visit the northern and mountainous region of Scotland, called "Highland", following a festive launch (held the night before in London) of a new whiskey from Glenmorangie, "A Tale of the Forest".

This is a distillate whose name - tries to capture in its aroma and flavors an experience of walking in the forest, which infuses the glass of the shot (46 percent alcohol) with herbal and floral "tendencies", with nut, citrus fruit, earthy earth and an echo of hazy smokiness.

The Glenmorgeny Distillery, which next year will celebrate 180 (distributed in Israel by the Central Beverage Company), has been working in recent years to connect to a new marketing language and produce whiskey that will be identified with the compliment "delicious" (delicious).

According to its leaders, it is determined to appeal to a wider and younger audience, which goes beyond the tradition of drinking rats who know how to recite the instructions for opening a single malt in the morning.

Glenmorangie's new whiskey - A Tale Of The Forest,

The distillery, which is close to the city of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is undergoing a series of regeneration and refreshment processes, under the baton of the charismatic director Dr. Bill Lumsden. Alongside the traditional fermentation and distillation boilers, which receive the water from a nearby spring, another wing was recently built with a high-tech glass-metal appearance, which the local people What is done there is kept under a heavy veil of secrecy.

"I promise you that in a few years everyone will taste the results of the experiments we are conducting here today," explained the distillery guide, an energetic Scot named T.J.

A short tasting test in the distillery's aging warehouse, which contains thousands of barrels of various vintages, revealed that the "delicious" claim certainly has something to rely on ("Be careful not to light a cigarette here, otherwise we will boom into the sky", the warehouse manager politely prefaced).

Dr. Lumsden, whose eyes are mischievous and slightly glazed, befitting someone whose job is to sip whiskey during working hours, smiles when I mention Israel. "Your audience is very sophisticated, knowledgeable and sophisticated," he compliments. "Israel is not a big market for us, but I certainly Appreciates the fact that the Israeli consumer is willing to pay for quality.

I visited you once, a few years ago, and I was impressed that the Israeli drinkers know very well what they are looking for."

They will love to know how to put "walk in the woods" in a bottle.

"It's an act of thought by our skilled team, which 'medicates' the flavors by judicious use of barrels and aging time. You don't expect me to reveal the process here. These are actually laboratory experiments at the distillery. By the way, 'Story of a Forest' is the third in the series. That's how we released 'Story of Cake' and 'Story of Winter'."

What's next - a story of diving in the sea?

"You gave me an idea."

In recent years, whiskey has also been made in Israel.

"I have heard, but I admit that I have not tasted and that I have no information about it. Your whiskey may be good, but I allow myself to assume that it will never be able to compete with the tradition, the knowledge and the great water that springs from the soil in Scotland."

Distillery boilers.

The most famous whiskey in the Highlands,

The whiskey market is considered very traditional and reluctant to change.

How do you still appeal to young people who, at best, drink "head pounding" whiskey in a cocktail?

"In recent years, especially after we were bought by the Louis Vuitton Corporation, we changed our design language, including the logo on the bottles, and the current campaign, which is led by the iconic photographer Miles Aldridge, emphasizes more elements of a young lifestyle and less matters related to the specific way of whiskey production Our sales prove that it works."

How does Glenmorangie Distillery intend to celebrate its 180th anniversary next year?

"I estimate that we will wait with the big celebrations until the round 200th year. You know, in Scotland, 20 years go by quickly, and I estimate that by then there will be several more of our new bottles on the market."

A cult of stones

You don't have to walk with a glass of Lowball in hand to be impressed by the refined beauty of northern Scotland.

Imagine expanses of green, interspersed with hills on each of which an old building or tree stands out.

Add to all this many lakes, sheep grazing the grass and the frequent chirping of birds, without a single traffic jam on the road and without looking for parking - and you will realize that you have reached the seventh heaven.

During the visit we passed peaceful Inverness, which attracts housing developers from all over Scotland and therefore suffers from an oppressive rise in real estate values ​​(sound familiar?); we stopped in the field where the bloody "Battle of Caledon" took place in 1746, where the British forces carried out a terrible massacre In the Scottish Rebels; we passed a ruined church from the 13th century, paved with ancient tombstones; and we wondered at the mysterious stone circles "Clava Cairn", which were placed here in the Bronze Age, apparently for worship purposes.

Remains of a church near the city of Inverness.

the capital of the province,

We also stopped, how could we not, at the ultra-famous Loch Ness, the remains of the medieval Urquhart fortress still peek out into its waters like a spectacular landscape postcard.

To your question, we didn't see any trace of the "Nessie" monster, but we heard from the guide that this persistent myth, which deserves to be taught as a required course in every genius marketing school, still brings "tons of money" into the region's economy.

The weather in Skoland is getting colder these days, and even the locals admit that it is "very volatile" and that it cannot be predicted in any way.

Either way, when the North Sea looms on the horizon, and the body warms from another shot of fine whiskey down the throat, one thing is certain: you won't miss the sweaty traffic jam on duty in Ayalon for a moment.

* The writer was a guest of Glenmorangie

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-11-24

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