After a tasting, we headed off on one of the new Smuggler's Trails. These were set up as nature walks meant to be historically accurate trails that smugglers would take to get the whisky out in the days when distilling was illegal (without paying taxes, anyway). And due to our three hour walk, I actually came home from Scotland with a sunburn!
We drove over to our hotel for the night, the Linn House. It's the property of Pernod-Ricard, owners of Chivas, and it's pretty darn fabulous. After a quick walk around the grounds and building, it was time for dinner. We walked over to the Strathisla Distillery, where the Chivas visitor center is. The distillery itself is gorgeous with the double pagoda roof and stone front. Inside, the visitor's center is themed like an old grocery store, which is how the Chivas brothers started off.
We were treated to access to the Chivas archives, where there were some great old product catalogs, then treated to dinner in a modern part of the distillery where they hold corporate meetings. For the afterparty, we returned to the Linn House's Garden Bar, which is like a little club house in the gardens behind the house equipped with a pool table, jukebox, and a fully stocked bar. I stayed up to a sensible 2AM, unlike some of the less responsible writers who tried to re-rouse me for the after-after party in the living room.