Last week we were in Scotland for a short holiday. The country is great, full of nice people and beautiful places (also the other way around ;D ).
The idea of the holidays was to spend a long weekend in Edinburgh (Military Tattoo included) and surroundings, therefore our time schedule was a bit tight.
Thursday was the visit to Castle Rock (wiki), an impressive construction and view point of the city. Friday was the free walking tour in Edinburgh (Official Site) and a comedy show (Pappy's All Business).
Until that point in time everything was smoothly according to the plan.
Saturday was a very compact day. The idea was to pick up a rental car in Edinburgh at 0800 and head for Loch Ness to be back in Edinburgh the same day late in the evening (well, night). In the way to Loch Ness we intended to visit Stirling, Callander, Glen Coe, Fort Williams and Fort Augustus (south end of Loch Ness) and back over Perth to the initial city.
Along the trip we wanted to visit the Ben Nevis Distillery (Official Site) which should be open until 1600. So we hurry up to be there with plenty of time to be able to visit the place, taste some whisky and buy some bottles. We were serious about buying as in our group there were two persons who actually love whisky and who actually planned their holiday's luggage letting some extra empty room for the bottles. According to the webpage of the distillery, the place should have been fantastic and the visit to the place should have been one of the nicest moments of the trip.
That was the Theory. Reality was a total disappointment.
We arrived there at 1500 (sharp) but the only lady there promptly informed us that even if it was one hour before closing time, it was not possible to visit the place anymore but that the shop and the visitor centre were, of course, still open.
According to the webpage:
"After your experience with Hector, a conducted tour of the production areas by a trained guide concludes with a complementary 'tasting'.
After your tour around our distillery why not relax with a refreshment or if you are hungry, try some of our delicious home cooking in our coffee shop and restaurant. It will be an unforgettable treat."
However, there was nothing there to drink or to eat. Even the tasting was impossible, because as apparently they do not have a "Pub licence", they are not entitled to serve you alcoholic drinks. I was not aware that you would be punish in the UK by offering alcohol for free inside of a building to an adult person. But, of course, if you were part of a group, then the tasting was included in the visit (?!)
Incidentally I must say that such a group happens to arrive at the same as us, therefore all the attention of the only lady there was focused on this group with total disregard to our small group (only six of us) and a poor couple which was waiting in front of the desk to buy some souvenirs or some bottles, what exactly I don't know.
Briefly said: If you are in Scotland, enjoy the country, but don't waste your time with this distillery. It is not worth of your time. There are more pleasant things to do in Scotland that to be disregarded by a mindless minion.
Obviously, our two whisky lovers were totally sunken by the "unforgettable experience!".
However, the day after we visit The Scotch Whisky Experience (Official Site) which was, by far, a better place.