We landed at the Edinburgh airport in the late morning, and feeling reasonably energetic, we decided to make a side trip to Stirling instead of heading straight to Glasgow. The rental car took about an hour because Sixt didn’t have the exact car class we reserved and after much back and forth we needed to upgrade to an SUV so all of the luggage would fit. The only one available was a Volvo XC 60 which was by far the best rental car we’ve ever had the pleasure of driving.
So, after a brief detour to the Falkirk Wheel we arrived in Stirling in time for a late lunch at Brea, the same restaurant we had visited on our previous trip. Our server was an experience, as he changed a drink order for Kimberly (espresso martini rather than her standby captain and coke) and Drew (out of his selected beer so just chose a different for him). Eric ordered the chicken sandwich which was rather plain, but Leandra liked her mussels (naturally). We split a Grozet, a Williams Bros lager made with gooseberries that was a light and tasty saison-like beer.
After lunch we walked up the road to cemetery around the Holy Rude, then views of the castle and surrounding countryside. The weather was beautiful!
Walking back into town we stopped in at the Curly Coo for our first whisky of the trip. Mandy, the owner and bartender, was quite hospitable and we enjoyed a chat about what she had available. Eric and Drew each ordered Kilchoman, one a sherry single cask release (only available at distillery), the other a cask strength.
Both were very nice, but Eric liked the single cask better, which had a deep golden color, a raisin and intense smoke flavor. The original cask strength was lighter, still quite smokey. Leandra ordered The Glendronach original 12 year aged in sherry cask that had a maple and floral nose, and a fruity aftertaste. We really enjoyed our experience at this little whisky bar and wish we could have returned again on our trip. Maybe next time!