Introducing Guest Blogger Kathi Kamleitner
kathi Kamleitner, writer of watch me see, photographer and videographer shares her love for Scotland and new found love for whisky.
Whisky and I have had a bumpy ride.
I moved to Glasgow six years ago in order to pursue a postgraduate degree at the University of Glasgow. I knew very little about the city – and indeed about Scotland and its culture – but was up for the challenge of relocating to a foreign country. It did not take long for me to hopelessly fall in love with the city and its people and quickly what was supposed to be a one-year stint at the university, turned into the open-ended adventure of building my life in Scotland. I travelled to the different corners of the country and loved it so much, that I even started an entire travel blog about it. Now, I share pictures and stories from my trips around Scotland online with thousands of people who also dream of visiting or moving here one day. Glasgow and me – it was a match made in heaven.
Kathi Enjoying a Dram on the Beach
Now, the same thing cannot be said about whisky and me. Back when I lived in Vienna, I worked in a bar that had a handful of single malt whiskies on offer. And I hated every single one of them. I had always been a beer drinker and would choose a gin over any other spirit if I had to, but whisky just didn't suit my palette.
Oh the irony of a whisky-hater moving to Scotland, the land of haggis and whisky.
For the first few years of my new life in Scotland, I stuck by my guns. I visited several whisky distilleries in those days, partly because I was travelling with people who actually enjoyed a dram themselves, and partly, because whisky is such an important part of Scottish culture, that I could not just ignore it. I even tried a few whiskies during tours – I was never one to decline a drink. Maybe I was a little Scottish after all! But I sure did not enjoy them. People kept saying to me, that I just had not found the right whisky for me yet, and so I kept trying.
And then something clicked. I cannot remember if it was a certain whisky or a specific place that changed my mind, but after about three years in Scotland, whisky started to taste different to me.
All of a sudden, I could hold a dram up to my nose and take in the notes without making a tortured face. I could smell and taste the difference between different whiskies – before it was either peaty or not peaty to my senses. I even started to be able to finish a whole dram by myself. It had taken me years to get to this point and but finally it seemed that I had found “my” whisky.
It started with Speyside whiskies – now my favourite region to recommend to whisky sceptics like myself – but quickly I also developed a taste for smokier and peatier whiskies from the Highlands and Islay. Nowadays, I keep a list in my mind of different whiskies I want to try next. I seek out distilleries and whisky bars when I travel, bring back small bottles or special editions from my journeys and order a new-to-me whisky whenever I get the chance.
When I first heard about the Clydeside Distillery and the plans to open a new distillery in the heart of Glasgow, I was delighted. Finally, there would be a distillery in the city again, making it easier for people to learn about the water of life before they head out further north into the Highlands.
I look forward to be a guest blogger for the Clydeside Distillery and share my whisky-infused stories with you!