Just a few days after writing about how long it had been since I was properly on Skye, I was back again! On Friday myself and Eilean, our Business Development Officer, popped over to Talisker Distillery to see the launch of their new ‘Game of Thrones’ whiskies. These are a series of special bottlings of various Diageo malts and Johnny Walker blends to line up with the major houses and factions of the Song of Fire and Ice series, all to coincide with the final Games of Thrones season this April. There is some very respectable and by all accounts enjoyable malts in there, with Talisker representing the Iron Islands, Royal Lochinvar for the Baratheons etc. I know that really these are more bait for GoT fans and collectors looking to buy up the complete ‘set’, and that the value of them probably isn’t all that much but hey, what is whisky if not a fun indulgence? Certainly a better tie-in than the awful Fallout ‘Nuka-Rum’ that came out to coincide with the disastrous Fallout 76 launch. I ended up buying one of the most expensive of the releases, the ‘Nights Watch’ Oban Bay Reserve, a NAS Oban single malt, unique in the set with nice black colouring and the Nights Watch creed emblazoned on the bottle and tube. On closer inspection, the apparent black bottle is, in fact, a cheaper to produce green bottle with a black wrap. I’m slightly disappointed by that but to be honest, I didn’t buy this as a high-quality collectable, I just want something fun to bring ou if we end up having a watch party for the season finale. It seems Talisker has been very busy with people wanting to buy the complete set, and I see they’re almost completely sold out on the more popular whisky sites.

The Oban clearly stands out as the best looking.

After that little jaunt out to civilisation and to meet our dastardly rivals at Talisker, I had a weekend lined up that was relatively free of work and decided to put one thing square in my sights: The workshop!

One of my various White Whales

Seanair’s old garage is close to being the cleanest and emptiest it’s ever been, and from 8 until 5 I worked at clearing and tidying everything I could. The dust and rust was everywhere, but my plan was to essentially remove everything so I could put it back in again neater and (hopefully) cleaner. I swept the worst of it up, between cobwebs, junk, leaking cement bags and rusty old engines, but my plan will be to hoover it and eventually paint the floor to make it easier to clean and work in. The big problem that had really been a hurdle to getting the place functioning has been the doors:

The wood frame is solid, but a few gales catching the doors over the years and some soft, saturated wood at the base had ripped out and bent both of the hinges. Dad and I removed the door in the morning, but the hinges would need moving and bent straight in a vice.

Luckily of me that day Colina (Seanairs niece) and her son Calum were up visiting and with him being a joiner we quickly reeled him into our plan to help us fix the doors with, for once, some expertise. Overseeing such a job would be a third Calum, joining the mix as foreman and local garage historian:

The two Calum’s got to work fixing up the hinges, strengthening the door and measuring out new spaces to put it all back together while the third Calum (me) carried on with my effort to remove 50 years of accumulated junk from the place.

The doors are now back, fully working and the garage is, I reckon, about one full day away from being actually clear and ready to be filled with my own gear! Incredibly exciting. I’m going to perhaps need a sign about the door saying “Calum, Calum & Calum Industries”.

We also had some time on Friday to film some fun. I have this idea for making some videos all about whisky tasting in weird and bizarre locations, and so myself and Mary loaded up with some gear and did some test footage:

A story for another time perhaps. I did say I was only mostly not doing anything work-related this weekend, and that was only one part of it. As I type this, Mary and I are busy working into the wee hours on another distillery project. more to follow…

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