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Kunal Kapoor treks through Scotland to trace the history of single malt

The Spirit of Scotland is a five-episode documentary series that is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and YouTube

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 03.10.22, 09:32 AM
 Kunal Kapoor in the series Spirit of Scotland.

Kunal Kapoor in the series Spirit of Scotland. YouTube

The docu-series The Spirit of Scotland hosted by actor Kunal Kapoor is no less than a visual treat for whisky lovers. The informative, easy-to-understand five-episode docu-series — streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and YouTube — takes us back to the history of Scotland’s oldest and the most picturesque distilleries that have become a pillar for the Scottish economy.

Directed by Sanjana Jain, the series also explores the historical castles and Scottish cuisine. Here we take a look at what you can expect from the series and episode-wise details.

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Ep 1: Revel in the moment

With Scottish travel photographer James Wright by his side, Kunal explores the enigmatic Glamis Castle in the pilot episode. He then travels through the Cairngorms National Park’s highlands with anthropologist Ghillie Basan in search of the Northern Lights before arriving at The Glenlivet Distillery, the birthplace of single malt whisky. This episode is a must-watch for single malt lovers who want to know their drink.

Ep 2: Savour the artisanal spirit

Kunal travels the length and breadth of Scotland in search of the fabled Scottish taste, stopping in Glasgow for some delectable haggis — a Scottish dish made with sheep offal and oatmeal — and then the Aberlour village to learn about the crucial component of malt whisky: barley. A food and whisky pairing session at the historical Aberlour distillery is the icing on the cake.

Ep 3: Sip of luxury

Kunal visits Cromlix, an opulent hotel made from a castle owned by tennis legend Andy Murray. He then meets modern kilt-maker Howie Nicholsby in his Edinburgh studio. Howie makes the famed Scottish kilts — the traditional skirt-like attire for men — with modern twists in design. But all of Kunal’s stops are merely stepping stones leading to Strathisla, the oldest operational distillery in Speyside and the home to Chivas Regal.

Ep 4: A Toast to the unswayed

Kunal interacts with those who have contributed to the development of Scottish culture. Each person he meets, right from golfing champion Gemma Batty to modern artist Gordon Wilson, reveals a different side of the Scottish soul. The most intriguing revelations come from Glenburgie Distillery’s Sandy Hyslop, who is Ballantine’s legendary Master Blender.

Ep 5: Blend of new royalty

In the finale, Kunal encounters the contemporary equivalents of Scottish royalty as he meets the Duke of Argyll at his lavish Inveraray Castle estate. However, it is the Royal Salute Vault which offers him a truly royal experience. The vault is where the rarest whiskies are kept in reserve. He also visits the resplendent Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, a symbol of the British monarchy.

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