We stayed at the huge and impressive Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, but I didn't spend more than 20 minutes awake in the room. I had bars to see! My drinking pal for the day was Bill Dowd, and we stopped into about 7 venues in three hours. Not bad. I'll have to reserve the write-up on those for a future story, but I loved Oloroso and Tonic most of all.
Back in the room for a quick change into the first suit jacket I've owned since First Communion (50 bucks at H&M), I was ready for a private dinner in Edinburgh Castle. Several of the distillers and blenders from earlier in the week joined us, and it was like everything else in the week: ultra-fancy. The people at Old Pulteney were kind enough to contribute some 31 year-old scotch for us to drink at dinner and at the after-party at the Balmoral Hotel.
It was almost a beautiful ending to a fantastic (and educational) trip, but alas, the trip home was not-so-fab. The combination of Delta and JFK airport caused delays, a missed connection, a night in New York, sleeping on a friend's floor, and an early next-day flight 15 hours later than I was supposed to be home.
Luckily when I arrived there, there was a bottle of scotch that had been delivered waiting for me.