Scotland County

Highland Games

The 2021 Games will be held

Oct. 2, 2021

Below are the highlights from the 2019 Event.  Check back in July for this year's "Tastes"

Whisky Tasting Seminar
“A Friend of a Friend”

We are celebrating the eighth year of the Scotland County Highland Games Whisky Tasting Seminar, with an offering of five whiskies chosen as a favorite by friends of our past whisky tastings. It is interesting to see other whisky lover’s selections, and perhaps hear a story about their choice.

Cragganmore Distillers Edition
Selected by Jim Morgan
Food pairing - Dark Chocolate

Glengoyne 12 Year Old
Selected by Ray Bowen, presented by Noran Sanford
Food pairing - Plum

Highland Park 12 Year
Region-Orkney Islands
Selected by Alan Livingston
Food pairing - Jack’s Shortbread

Talisker 10 Year
Region-Isle of Skye
Selected by Beacham McDougald
Food pairing - Blue Cheese

Lagavulin 16 Year
Selected by Guy McCook
Food pairing - Smoked Salmon

The price this year is $60 dollars per person, buy get your tickets early!

This event has sold out quickly every year.

Special thanks to our generous sponsor, King Fisher Society!!

Cragganmore Distillers Edition (selected by Jim Morgan)

Cragganmore is a Scotch whisky distillery situated in the village of Ballindalloch in Banffshire, Scotland.

The distillery was founded in 1869 by John Smith on land leased from Sir George Macpherson-Grant. The site was chosen by Smith both for its proximity to the waters of the Craggan burn and because it was close to the Strathspey Railway. Smith was an experienced distiller, having already been manager of The Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas and Wishaw distilleries.

The Strathspey Railway is now disused and forms the Speyside Way long-distance walking route.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: with syrupy dark fruit, cured ham and granary toast there’s a dash of winter spices and oily walnuts. Palate: a gorgeously balanced concoction of blackberry jam, iron-rich meat, firewood, fruit cake and nutty oak, joined by more winter spices. Finish: Fizzy oaky tannins and armchair leather simmer in a dry finish.

Glengoyne 12 Year Old (Selected by Ray Bowen)

Glengoyne Distillery is a whisky distillery continuously in operation since its founding in 1833 at Dumgoyne, north of Glasgow, Scotland. Glengoyne is unique in producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. Located upon the Highland Line, the division between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Glengoyne’s stills are in the Highlands while maturing casks of whisky rest across the road in the Lowlands. Unlike many malt whiskies, Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley but instead favours the use of warm air. The clear and bright appearance and distinctive flavour of the Glengoyne single malts are credited to this lack of peat smoke. This rare characteristic is utilized in the marketing of Glengoyne with the use of the promotional slogan "The authentic taste of malt whisky untainted by peat smoke". As a result of the use of unpeated malt Glengoyne has been noted as being stylistically closer to a Lowland single malt as opposed to a Highland single malt.

Completely unpeated (unusual in the highlands), this Glengoyne is soft, fruity and very quaffable.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Toffee apples, a little acacia honey, nectarine in syrup and spice, supported by toasted barley in the background.

Palate: Over-ripe grapes, honeyed with hints of vanilla, coconut milk and oak spice. Light touches of chocolate ice-cream.

Finish: Long, oily finish with lingering coffee notes.

Highland Park 12 Year Old (Selected by Alan Livingston)

Highland Park is Scotland’s northernmost whisky distillery, lying just to the North-east of fellow Orcadian, Scapa. Orkney is a rugged, beautiful island and the Highland Park distillery sits on a hillside near Kirkwall. Not far off, are sweeping plains of barley field and the rocky outcrops which protrude ominously from the ground. The sea beats the coast; her salty air and the island’s geology contribute to the rich character of Highland Park single malts. The distillery draws its water from the mineral rich springs to the east of the distillery as well as the Crantit Spring.

Highland Park was founded in 1798, by David Robertson on what was once the site of Magnus Eunson's cottage. Eunson was not only a beadle at the local church but also a notorious smuggler. Highland Park was officially licensed in 1826. After James Borwick inherited the distillery in 1869, the production at Highland Park was slowed; James was a priest and believed that whisky production contradicted with his religious status. Accordingly, in 1876 Stuart and Mackay moved in and dramatically helped sales through overseas exportation.

In 1895, James Grant of Glenlivet fame acquired the Highland Park distillery. Three years later he installed further stills, bringing the total to four. One of the few Scotch whisky distilleries to operate onsite floor maltings,

Tasting Notes:
Elegant, light and pretty. This amber spirit has a light, briny vanilla scent and a silky feel. A veil of smoke rises through the Scotch (but fades out fast), leaving behind a sweet nutty, vanilla finish.

93 points, Wine Enthusiast (Dec 2011)

Highland Park 12 Year Old boasts individuality and complexity, thanks in part to the use of Orcadian peat in the distillery floor maltings and the employment of ex-sherry casks for maturation. The nose is fragrant and floral, with hints of heather and some spice. Smooth and honeyed on the palate, with citrus fruits, malt, and distinctive tones of wood smoke in the warm, lengthy, slightly peaty finish.

90 points, Whisky Advocate (Vol. 21, #1)

TALISKER 10 YEAR OLD (Selected by Beacham McDougald)

Talisker distillery is an Island single malt Scotch whisky distillery based in Carbost, Scotland—the only distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, and built in 1831 at Carbost after a number of false starts on other sites when they acquired the lease ofTalisker House from the MacLeod of MacLeod. Talisker’s water comes from springs directly above the distillery via a network of pipes and wells.

The malted barley used in production comes from Muir of Ord. Talisker has an unusual feature—swan neck lye pipes. A loop in the pipes takes the vapour from the stills to the worm tubs so some of the alcohol already condenses before it reaches the cooler. It then runs back in to the stills and is distilled again.

Talisker was the favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and HV Morton. In his poem "The Scotsman's Return From Abroad", Stevenson mentioned "The king o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet."

Tasting Notes:
Fresh, vibrant. Appetizingly briny, with notes of seaweed, fishnets, lemongrass, smoke, and damp peat. A bed of light toffee provides contrast and balance. It finishes with a knockout punch: powerfully peppery and salty. This whisky remains a beautifully dynamic and bold whisky.

90 points, Whisky Advocate (Fall 2005)

Lagavulin 16 Year (Selected by Guy McCook)

The distillery is in the village of Lagavulin on the south of the island of Islay,The distillery of Lagavulin officially dates from 1816, when John Johnston and Archibald Campbell constructed two distilleries on the site. One of them became Lagavulin, taking over the other—which one is not exactly known. Records show illicit distillation in at least ten illegal distilleries on the site as far back as 1742, however. In the 19th century, several legal battles ensued with their neighbor Laphroaig, brought about after the distiller at Lagavulin, Sir Peter Mackie, leased the Laphroaig distillery. It is said that Mackie attempted to copy Laphroaig's style. Since the water and peat at Lagavulin's premises was different from that at Laphroaig's, the result was different. The Lagavulin distillery is located in the village of the same name.

International spirits ratings competitions have generally given Lagavulin's 16-year spirit extremely high scores. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, for instance, gave the 16-year four consecutive double gold medals between 2005 and 2008 and has awarded it gold medals in the years since. Wine Enthusiast Magazine put the 16-year in its 90–95 point interval in 2004. Spirits ratings aggregator, which averages scores from the San Francisco Spirits Competition, Wine Enthusiast, and others, classifies the spirit in its highest ("Tier 1") performance category.

Tasting Notes:
Soy sauce, olive brine, peat, honey, oloroso Sherry, brewer’s yeast, bread dough, barley malt and cigar smoke in the bouquet. The flavor that magically includes the innate intense peatiness of Islay malts and the masterly employment of oak barrels phase defines “classy Islay.” Concludes sweetly, without sacrificing the tangy, astringent peatiness that is inherent. Gorgeous.

90-95 points, Wine Enthusiast (Apr 2004)

* Thanks to and for descriptions of whiskies, and Wikipedia for distillery histories.

Call Alan Livingston at

910-384-3924 for more information.

The 2021 Scotland County Highland Games
Whisky Seminar and Gathering will be held on

Friday, October 1st at 3:00.  

This year's event will be held at

Brick + Mortar Downtown on

Main Street in Laurinburg.  

Cost will be $75.

Please click here to register online.  

This event sells out quickly, so register today!!!!!


Check back in July for a Special Announcement

regarding this event!!


This year we are honored and excited to be auctioning off a special bottle of whisky. The bottle of "Old Teddy" will be auctioned at the whisky tasting to be held Friday afternoon at the King Fisher Society. The minimum accepted bid will be $300, and all funds raised will be contributed to the Scholarship Fund for the annual Laurinburg and Oban Student Exchange.

Three generation of the MacLean family have and are serving as the head distiller at the Oban Distillery since 1953.  "Old Teddy" began working at the Oban Distillery in 1953.  He was followed by his son, "Young Teddy" in 1985, and HE was followed by his son Dereck in 2017. Dereck has a child who will be in Scotland County as a part of the 28th Laurinburg and Oban Student Exchange from October 3 through October 17.

On this trip he will bring with him a specially issued bottle of the commemorative "Old Teddy." Oban Old Teddy has been matured in ex-bodega sherry casks and re-fill oak casks, and is bottled at the cask strength of 51.7% ABV. Just 3,960 bottles have been produced, and are available only in Oban. This is a first for the USA!

Come out and enjoy the tasting and bid on this incredible bottle.

Whisky Seminar