It was with a break in the weather that my brother in law, Andy and I were able to strike out for the distinctively proud crag, Roseberry Topping. It may be considered but a nipple amongst more ample mounts, but at just over 1000 feet, this challenging edifice gave superb views over the Tees Valley in the North East of England.
We were holidaying with friends and family and had decided that a Men only ‘Whisky Walk’ was well and truly needed! So with great anticipation and slight anxiety about the weather, we prepared our day sacks. Andy packed pasties and a cagoule; I packed whisky.
Roseberry Topping was once well known to a young Captain James Cook. It was on this hill that he played as a young boy, developing a thirst for exploration and adventure. It was in the same vain that we, the self proclaimed dynamic duo, headed for the top!
Our path to the summit took us first through shaded bluebell woods. Then a quick and spritely shimmy up a steep shingle bank and out onto a stoney trail up to the top. The views from the peak were breathtaking. Clouds were rolling over the Tees Valley and the sun was pouring over the landscape. Beautiful. England at it’s best!
We had indeed worked up a thirst and while we took leave to enjoy the views across the valley, we also settled down for a whisky or two…
As the clouds thickened, I poured out a generous measure of the luxuriously rich Glenlivet 18. It rested invitingly in our glasses giving wafts of honey, oak and a majestic deep richness.
The whisky, deep in colourand luscious like golden syrup, danced in the sunlight. As we gazed out over the beautiful English countryside, succulent scents of orange and dark chocolate rose up mixing with the natural vapours, giving over to a deep woody fragrance and delicate hints of smoke. This is a big whisky, and was in no way dwarfed by the epic surroundings in which we sat.
The palate was heavenly, luxurious and rich. A velvety mouth feel with dark chocolate, orange rind and satisfying treacle toffee. There were sensations of sweet desert wine too. The finish was long and dry, with a slightly bitter dark chocolate, oily orange peel and subtle fruity spices. In a word… delicious!
This superb dram was a wonderful way to toast the summit of Roseberry Topping. The English countryside and a Speyside single malt proving equally satisfying, and well worth the effort. We loved our ‘Whisky Walk’, and would highly recommend packing a dram or two the next time you head out into the ‘wilds’!
[The featured image is kindly provided by Royal Mile Whiskies]