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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Challenge Alfred!!



No, not Challenge Anneka, although i'm sure some of you out there would love to see a picture of Ms Rice again, in her well fitting catsuit.... oh go on then... here you go:




Anyway, last weekend, saw the launch of a wonderful adventure, with a superb cause at its heart and naturally, we wanted to be the first to bring it to your attention. It is 125 years since the fabled whisky writer Alfred Barnard set out to visit every distillery  - 162 - in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. It took him three years to do it and the result was the most important book ever published about whisky- the monumental Whisky Distilleries of Great Britain and Ireland.


   

Now an actor, a comedian, a journalist and a broadcaster will attempt to equal his feat - starting this June with visits to 50 of the distilleries currently operating (out of 106) including an epic motorcycle trip taking in the most northerly and southerly Scottish distilleries, along with one each in England, Ireland and Wales. The 2010 leg will conclude at the Tartan Heart Festival, Belladrum, near Beauly (6 and 7 August), followed by a charity auction of special whiskies, signed by all the participants, from each distillery visited.

It is the beginning of The Barnard Challenge, and the main beneficiary will be a charity set up and run by the Scottish actor David Hayman, Spirit Aid.

You may have seen David in Trial and Retribution, as well as many big screen epics such as The Jackal with Bruce Willis, and The Tailor of Panama, starring Pierce Brosnan. He is also the operations director for Spirit Aid,  which is dedicated to children whose lives have been devastated by war, genocide, poverty, abuse or lack of opportunity at home and abroad.

Our good friend and motorcyclist extraordinaire Rob Allanson, Editor of Whisky Magazine will be joined by writer and broadcaster Tom Morton on the epic journey, which will see the team collecting a number of special bottlings for auction specifically for the charity Spirit Aid.

There will also be a special whisky tasting masterclass at the Belladrum Festival, held in honour of The Barnard Challenge by none other than the maestro himself- Mr Richard Paterson.  

For more information on the Barnard Challenge, Spirit Aid or the tasting, please visit the following site: www.spiritaid.org.uk