Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

147th Scottish Highland Games (Pleasanton, CA)

on September 1, 2012

It’s been a long busy week with lots of working and not much cooking. I’ve missed several days worth of posting because I just haven’t cooked anything worth talking about. I didn’t cook today either but I had a lot of fun at the Scottish Games today.

Jene found out about the games earlier this week and asked me if I wanted to go. I looked it up online and decided the Whiskey Tasting and Master Classes would be fun. I probably should have titled this game “Whiskey” instead because that’s most of what we did today lol. It was a blast though.

So… Scottish games equals Scottish Whiskey. And LOTS of it!  For $39/each we got 12 vouchers to spend on whiskey tasting. Then each master class had six samples and we attended two classes. We’d only planned on one but were offered a chance to attend The Glenlivet class as well. I must admit that we did not actually use all of our vouchers. We did three samples before the master classes and by the end of the classes we were pretty much whiskied out.

I wanted to take the classes because I am always trying to learn new things, especially about flavors that I’m not really a fan of. I’ve never been a whiskey drinker and I’m still not a whiskey drinker lol. However, I did learn rather a lot about how whiskey is made and how to tell good ones from bad ones. I also got to taste a whiskey that I will probably never have a chance to taste other wise. During The Glenlivet class we got to taste their 25 yr old single malt scotch. The bottle retails for around $350-400. Not an amount of money I’m likely to spend on booze lol. It was worth tasting it though.

We took some pictures just because it was such a pretty set up. For the Glenlivet class we sampled the 12, 15, 18, 21, 25 and Nadurra. It’s amazing how much variation you can find in just one brand of scotch. They all start out exactly the same and it’s just a matter of how long they’re aged and in what kind of casks.

In the Classic class we covered six different single malt scottish whiskies. The mildest and sweetest was the Glenkinchie 12. The one with the heaviest smokiness was definitely the Lagavulin. One of the interesting things I learned was the it’s the scotch whiskies made down on the coast or on the islands of Scotland that are the smokiest flavored. The smoke comes from the peat fires used to help dry the barely after malting. Another thing I learned is that “malting” is the process of sprouting grain in water and then drying it before the fermentation process beings. So in the coast/island regions, they use peat fires to help dry the grain 1. because those areas get heavy rain and the grain can’t dry on its own and 2. there’s lots of peat and no wood to burn for the fires. In addition to the Glenkinchie and the Lagavulin we tasted Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Oban, and Cragganmore.

So, I learned a lot about the history of Scotch whiskey, how it’s made and the range of flavors. I also came to the conclusion that I’m just not a whiskey drinker. I like my alcohol sweet and fruity lol. However, I did have a lot of fun and will go back to the games next year although I’ll probably skip the whiskey.

Now that I’ve talked about the whiskey I will mention that we did some shopping, watched the sheep dogs working and I petted a Clydesdale. Jene’s comment was that they were REALLY big horses and I agree lol. It was the first time I’d gotten to be that close to one and it’s amazing to stand next to a horse who’s head is above your’s. And after thinking for some time that Hugh (one of my cats) smells like a horse I was able to say for certain, Yes, my cat smells like a horse. And yes, that’s very weird.

There was also a lot of extremely good music. I know there were dancers (we were too busy drinking to watch), the games (again too busy drinking) and parades (too busy drinking). Next year I want to go again and actually see some of the events lol. So for those of you in the Bay area, it’s worth paying the $20/adult to get in.

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2 responses to “147th Scottish Highland Games (Pleasanton, CA)

  1. Mad Annie says:

    You passed up men in KILTS for the whiskey? I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry about that, my friend!

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