Whisky Festival places a Distillery Orientation Plaque on Whisky Mountain
On Sunday 3rd May whisky writer Dave Broom led over 30 enthusiasts, including some distillery managers, to the summit of Ben Rinnes for the unveiling of a toposcope [or orientation plaque] which indicates the location of Speyside’s’ distilleries, many of which can be seen from the summit.
The brass toposcope, engraved with the names of the distilleries, the neighbouring towns and prominent features in the landscape including the River Spey sits unobtrusively on top of the now redundant trig point which belongs to the Ordnance Survey which gave its permission for it to be used in this way.
"It was overwhelming to see finally what started as a crazy idea, hatched on this summit years ago, become a physical reality” said Dave Broom.
“Now all walkers on the Ben can see why this is truly Scotland's whisky mountain and the nexus point of Speyside. Standing on that wind-blasted summit where streams of whisky were flying horizontally in the air we could see in every direction evidence of whisky making: distilleries, cooperages, dark grains plants, fields of barley, peat moors and the houses of the people of Speyside who for generations have dedicated their lives to the creation of our national spirit."
The costs of the project were supported by the income from the tastings which Dave conducted afterwards at the Benrinnes Distillery and by contributions made by the walkers themselves. The Festival Directors are grateful for the support and advice of the Friends of Ben Rinnes and plan to give them a donation towards the upkeep of the path.
The toposcope bears an inscription highlighting the importance of Ben Rinnes to local wildlife as well as a source of water for distilling.
“Ben Rinnes is the important source of pure spring water for many of the neighbouring distilleries which can be seen from the summit.
It is an example of a well-managed moor providing enhancements to the habitat of red grouse and other montane species such as ptarmigan, golden plover and short eared owl.”
The Festival hopes that the toposcope will enhance the experience of those who reach the summit and draw the attention their attention to the many of the local distilleries and their water sources in the Speyside area. At a fraction of an inch thick, placed on the surface of the trig point, the toposcope does not intrude on the environment of one of Moray’s significant landmarks.
The installation of the toposcope on top of the trig point was accomplished with minimal disruption to the local wildlife and with the permission of landowner Rinnes Brown.
For more pictures of the gathering click HERE