Walking & Whisky No3 ~ Conquering England (well…kind of) ~ 23.04.2016
So TJ’s recent fame of being announced as our official mascot has gone to his head and he refused to go on this weekend’s walk because he still hasn’t been paid in bones and dog treats yet…but DramVenturers Bill and Kirsty got stuck into a few mountains in the beautiful Lake District in Englandshire anyway…
Slight Slide – 762m
Scafell – 964
Scafell Pike – 978
Range: Lake District Southern Fells
Distance 17.8 kms total 1270 metres of ascent.
OS Map 90 (Landranger) 06 (Explorer)
On Saturday I set off on my first Lake District Dramventure, in the absence of our mascot TJ I recruited some trainee Dramventurers!
We drove from our hostel in Grasmere over the impressive Hardknot & Wyrnose Passes which offered spectacular views of the area. A word of warning – this route includes gradients of up to 30% on single track roads. We parked opposite Wha Farm and easily found the start of the walk, sign posted for Scafell just next to the parking area.
Following a rough path from a starting altitude of 87metres we ascended toward Slight Side and after about 3.5 kms we struck up the the shoulder which lead to the face of Slight Edge, it appeared initially steep but a decent path emerged. We reached the top without issue and were rewarded with great views toward Scafell & Scafell Pike and back toward Eskdale.
From slight edge we skirted round the top and descended southward to follow a fairly decent path toward Scafell arriving about 1pm just under four hours after we set off.
There are a few routes from Scafell to Scafell Pike and all seem to involve a fair bit of scrambling. We chose to descend by a gully and avoid the scramble or climb down broad stand. The scramble down the gully known as Lords Rake was steep but not at all technical however care should be taken. From here we ascended on a rough path to the col between Scafell and Scafell pike before joining the main tourist path marked by large chairs and arriving on Scafell pike. The top of England is a busy place on a sunny afternoon but the views are wonderful.
Talisker Port Ruighe
Age: Non age statement
Distiller: Talisker / Diageo
For this Dramventure I chose the Talisker Port Ruighe. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably confess that I am a Talisker fan and have been since my first visit to Skye in 2012 for a friends wedding. A wonderful occasion at which I was treated to numerous drams of Talisker.
Before I get technical one thing that attracted me to the Port Ruighe is its rich rugby colour which is warm and welcoming. I have a love for all whiskies but probably lean more toward Speyside. The Port Ruighe is finished in port casks hence the sweeter flavour and ruby colouring.
Nose – the nose is initially sweet but you can definitely detect the sea salt and smoke synonymous with Talisker.
Palate – this dram starts off like a sweet port but quickly reveals its smoky Talisker underbelly. There are hints of orange and spices.
Finish – the finish is smooth and the smokiness lingers long enough to remind you of its Talisker heritage.
I already own this bottle but yes I would buy another and I found it to be a great sharing dram with something for everyone. It was certainly enjoyed by all my Dramventure recruits. It retails between £45 / £50 online and is certainly value for money!
All in all, a great adventure away made all the better by a great dram.