Welcome to JohnMichaels Pub's Blog
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
After a midday meal at St. Michael's, we headed for the highlands to find a whiskey distillery (Scotch). We found Glengoyne. This photo is me in front of the waterfall that flows behind the distillery. Highland mountain spring water, along with
Scottish barley (golden promise and chariot varieties) and yeast are the only ingredients in the spirits they distill before barreling it for ageing. The barley is sprouted and air dried without the use of peat, hence the Scotch they produce is described as unpeated. The distillery has been in operation since 1833 legally, although it is said to have been in operation before that. Changes in the law allowed it to become legal in 1833. Matthew and I were able to tour the distillery to see the whiskey being made and taste their 10, 17, and 21 year old single malt scotch whiskey's today. We both agree the 17 year old was the best. Some critics seem to agree. It was awarded the Gold Medal by Scotland's Master Blenders in the prestigious International Spirits Challenge 1999 and again in 2005. It was named "Best of the Best" in the Highland Malt Whisky category by Whisky Magazine in 2001. It also received the Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2003 and took honors in 2005 and 2007. This photo shows the copper stills used to distill the spirits used to make Glengoyne's whiskeys.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
We also visited Provand's Lordship, the oldest surviving house in Glasgow, built in 1471. In 1566 century, Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here with her husband Lord Darneley while he recuperated from a serious illness.
We also stumbled into one of the halls for Strathclyde University that we thought was a church (originally was a church). The room was set for students to take their exams. Matthew commented that it looked like a sceen from Harry Potter (it looked like the hall at Hogworths).
From there we went to the Barras, the open air market (flea market in US terms) in downtown, the called it a day. Glasgow had so much more than we expected to find.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Today we went hiking in the mountains. We went to Arrochar and climbed a mountain called "The cobbler's wife." The photo to the left shows the cobbler (Ben Aurthur) on the left of the photo. The cobbler's wife is to the right of this. It's true height is not shown. It is close to 3000 feet. We did not make it quite to the top, but as you can see by the scenery below, we made it pretty far and had a beautiful view and had our lunch near the top.
This picture of Matthew shows how steep of a climb we had. It was steep ALL THE WAY up.
The picture above is a closeup of a field of blue bells on the side of the mountain.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The photo on the right is just part of the view from the balcony where he is sitting. Helensburgh, where we shopped today, is the town across the loch.