Reagan: an irish name meaning “little ruler”

Reagan Villet 6/14/16

Before coming to Scotland, I could easily list five things that the country was known for:

  1. Golf
  2. Unicorns
  3. Scotch Whisky
  4. Bagpipes
  5. Kilts

Today, I was able to experience the fame behind #3, whisky, as we adventured through the Scottish Whisky Experience. In Dublin, we were able to go to the Guinness factory and learn about the process of making the beer (see this post to read about my experience!), as well as learn how to properly drink it (we even got a complimentary drink!). I have tasted regular whiskey before, but having never had scotch whisky, I since this experience was described as being similar to the Guinness Storehouse, I knew I couldn’t turn it down.

The first part of the tour was a “ride” through the process of making scottish whisky. I really enjoy these types of interactive bits, as they are always very informative, but also much easier and more enjoyable than just simply reading signs on a wall. The room was pumped with smells and sounds to really give us a feeling that we were in the factory, experiencing the distilling process in real time.

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Storing room on the interactive Scottish Whiskey Experience ride (6/14/16)

The next part of the tour was the tasting room. We were seated around a table and handed a postcard with four different colored and labeled sections on it. Our tour guide told us to scratch and sniff each section on the card, as they were the (very exaggerated) smells/taste components of each main type of scottish whisky, made in four different parts of Scotland. There was a citrusy type (Lowland), a sweet honey vanilla type (Highland), a smokey-earthy type (Islay), and a strong banana fruity type (Speyside). After smelling and watching videos on each type of whisky, we were allowed to choose one that we wanted to taste. There was also a fifth option, a blended whisky with components of each of the other four, which also had a VERY high alcohol content of 50%! I of course had to try this one, because I couldn’t just choose one of the other flavor combos! After learning how to properly experience and taste a scottish whisky, we all took a big swig. I personally liked it, but I can’t say the same about the majority of my classmates (I think they were more impressed with the free tasting glass than they were with the actual liquor).

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The scratch-and-sniff postcard used for the tasting (6/14/16)

The final leg of our tour was a little more historical. We were able to see the vast bottle collection held at the Scottish Whisky Experience (over 3,000!). There were bottles dating all the way back to the late 1800’s! There was also a bottle for sale in their shop that is literally priced at over 27,000 POUNDS (equivalent to about $42,000). I could pay for almost two years of my college education for the same price as that one bottle of scotch.

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Early history of scotch whisky (6/14/16)
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Giant bottle collection of scotch whisky (6/14/16)
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A 50 year old, 27,500 pound bottle of scotch whisky (6/14/16)

 

In completely unrelated news, it’s the best day of the year. MY BIRTHDAY! Exactly 20 years ago, the most amazing, beautiful baby was born to Ryan and Tamara Villet, and she was named Reagan Elizabeth Villet. I am so happy to be able to celebrate in Scotland, surrounded by my absolutely phenomenal, beautiful, kind, and caring peers.

As the title says, my name means “little ruler” and my middle name is Elizabeth, so basically my name is Queen Elizabeth. Coincidentally, the queen turned 90 this past week (well at least publicly). Being an equally as glamorous lady as I, her birthday was also a big event. We were fortunate enough to attend her birthday parade on the last day we were in London, and I was able to see her, duchess Kate Middleton, Prince William, and my one true love, Prince Harry.

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Queen Elizabeth (6/11/16)
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Prince Harry

Overall, it has been a great week of birthdays, education, and some good ole’ Scottish Whisky.

 

 

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