The adventures of Apanache in Scotland

Following the success of the Ballantine’s Blending Experience organized for Pernod Ricard Charles-de-Gaulle Airport in Paris, the Apanache team – always ready to devote themselves body and soul to the good cause for their clients – decided to prolong the experience and to dive a little further into the world of Scotch whisky!

Full of joy and enthusiasm, the whole Apanache team left for a seminar in Scotland from June 9th to 12th. Accompanied by Ditoc, their privileged high-tech partner from Hong Kong, they embarked on a voyage of discovery of Ballantine’s and Chivas whiskies.

Ah, Scotland : its arts and culture, stunning landscapes and lochs, its culinary specialties, and its distilleries… with a welcome fit for a king by Pernod Ricard on arrival! No sacrifice is too great for Apanache!

Nature – Highlands

To start off, getting close to nature. The entire Apanache team took to their bikes and sped around Speyside. Between forests and Scottish lochs, the fresh air and cheerful mood put everyone in good spirits, as can be seen by the photos snapped during well-deserved breaks along the way. The bravest even tried a little “rock-climbing”!

Our adventurers may have discovered the secret of this lovely forest: in Scotland, it’s not just whisky that matures in barrels … the trees do too!

Blending experience – Glendronach Distillery

The next stage of the trip was the Ballantine’s distillery. The Apanache team discovered the entire whisky-producing process, in exceptional conditions in this establishment founded in 1826! Obviously, the production techniques are tried and tested, and the distillery visit was fascinating.

Brewing and fermenting of barley: the first stage of production is identical to that of beer, which is to some extent whisky’s little cousin! The product obtained is then distilled, to obtain spirits. The superb pot stills at the Glendronach Distillery give an idea of their quality!

The last stage, but by no means the least, is the transformation into whisky obtained by ageing in casks. The casks used may be recycled bourbon casks from the United States, or Spanish casks which have been used for cherry brandy. These specific casks confer a particular flavour to Scotch whisky, even if the taste and colour of different whiskies vary according to age or region. The French poet Emile Augier said that “Truth in a barrel hides, not in a well” and we’re quite prepared to believe it!

For a truly complete Blending Experience (when we say that at Apanache, we’re nothing if not thorough!), the team’s visit ended with a fine tasting session: a selection of glasses containing a mixture of whisky bottles from different regions. The objective: find the percentage of each bottle in the whisky obtained. Once again, the team (ladies and gentlemen alike!) showed total dedication!

Scottish evening – Strathisla Distillery

The climax of the seminar in Scotland was a magnificent Scottish evening at the Chivas distillery in Keith, Banffshire. This time, the adventure was… in the dinner plate! The Apanache team had the opportunity to taste the very traditional and no less delicious haggis (the famous sheep’s stomach stuffed with “sheep’s pluck”). For this special occasion, the gentlemen donned their finest kilts!

Make way for the traditional haggis ceremony! The dish is brought in, to the sound of bagpipes. A poem is recited, and the haggis is cut in half and doused with whisky. It returns to the kitchen. This is the moment for a wee dram as a toast to friendship: to be drunk “bottoms up”, and then the glass is placed on one’s head! Yes, there was in fact a good reason to take this photo…

The haggis comes back. It’s ready: time to taste. And it’s absolutely delicious!

The evening went on until late, with traditional Scottish music and songs, snooker and… more whisky, of course!

Apanache went for full immersion in their client’s The evening went on until late, with traditional Scottish music and songs, snooker and… more whisky, of course!products, and is fully prepared to renew the experience for other clients! Roll on the next seminar!