A Very Scottish Day
By Allison Mazur
June 14, 2016
Scotland is famous for a few things: tartan, bagpipes, wool, and scotch. Not only do we get to meet with media professionals on our study abroad, but we also get to experience the cultures of the countries we visit. These past few days we have had a few activities that have immersed us in Scottish culture.
Today when we went to the National Museum of Scotland (entry is free!), I noticed that scotch whisky distilleries were a huge part of Scotland’s history. Not only is scotch what Scotland is known for worldwide, but it is also a main export and invaluable source of income for the nation. Prohibition in the United States caused 77 out of 112 scotch distilleries to close. Scotch sales helped boost the British economy during WWII. As you can tell, scotch exports are extremely important for Scotland’s economy.
Later in the day we went on the Scotch Whisky Experience where we learned about how scotch is made. There are four main types of scotch, which depend on where they are distilled: Highland, Lowland, Islay, and Speyside. There are also blends which are more than one type of scotch combined. Each scotch has a slightly different flavor, some may be more fruity or sweet, while others are smokier or citrusy.
We also got to see a massive collection of old scotch, which was incredibly cool. One bottle they were selling in the gift shop was £27,500!
On the note of Scottish culture, we visited Kinloch Anderson yesterday and got to learn about how kilts and other tartan products are designed and constructed. Kinloch Anderson is a small family-owned business that has been specializing in kilts since 1868. They dress the Royal Family, and the Queen even has her own tartan that is exclusive to the royals. Kilts can cost upwards of £1,000, and Kinloch Anderson handcrafts each one to make them truly special. After all, their slogan is your next family heirloom.