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21 December 2020 11:26

Well aged: armchair tour of distillery for care home users

Whisky for the virtual tour

Virtual visit to whisky venue helps keep pensioners Scotch & spry

WHISKY-loving residents at a care home have been amongst the first to set foot ‘virtually’ inside the recently transformed Glenkinchie Distillery.

Upmarket Cramond Residence laid on the visit for its pensioners as part of a programme of virtual tours around some of Scotland’s best visitor attractions, to help brighten up lockdown.

Dubbed the home’s “Grand Tour of Scotland”, it was kicked off with the armchair tour of Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian. It has recently been revamped as part of a £185m investment in Scotch whisky experiences by Johnnie Walker’s parent company, Diageo.

As well as enjoying a specially-recorded video tour of the distillery to watch on the care home’s cinema screen, residents were also presented with glasses and samples of Glenkinchie’s 12 year old whisky to enjoy.

Christian Daraio, Client Liaison Manager and Registered Nurse at Cramond Residence in Edinburgh said: “The past few months have been pretty challenging for many of our residents and having the virtual tours arranged gave them something to look forward to.

“During the sampling of whisky, many of our residents claimed it was ‘the best scotch they have ever had’ which is great to hear and tells how much enjoyment everyone got out of the tour, which is what it’s all about.

“Everyone at Cramond Residence appreciated the kind donations from Glenkinchie and it really put a smile on the faces of our residents.”

The Glenkinchie tour is one of eight different virtual visits the care home has laid on after joining forces with the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, which put out an appeal to its hundreds of members to take part.

Rhona Paisley, Glenkinchie Brand Home Manager said “It was a pleasure to be able to share the new Distillery Experience at Glenkinchie virtually with the residents at Cramond Residence during this difficult time.  The live tasting was a great success with many questions asked and a couple of drams enjoyed by all!”

Participating attractions have all worked with the home to give its residents as close as possible to the experience of a real visit. Those involved include the National Galleries of Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian and the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline.

Resident drinking whisky from virtual tour

Glenkinchie distillery was originally founded in 1837, but recently has undergone a multi-million-pound transformation as part of Diageo’s investment in Scotch whisky tourism. Glenkinchie forms part of the “Four Corners of Scotland”. The four distilleries representing the regional variations of Lowland (Glenkinchie), Speyside (Cardhu), Islay (Caol Ila) and Highland (Clynelish) crucial to the art of whisky blending at the heart of Johnnie Walker.

During the virtual tour of Glenkinchie, the care home residents were also treated to a live Q&A with distillery staff, who answered questions. Christian Daraio said that added to the sense that participants were actually in the tasting room on an interactive flavour experience.

Since the bulk of the distillery tour was specially pre-recorded for Cramond Residence, it means the home can show the tour whenever it wants, so that future residents can also benefit.

Christian added: “We have to say a huge thank you to Glenkinchie for the amount of work and effort they have put into making this experience possible.

“The team’s enthusiasm has been incredible and we will always be truly grateful for their help bringing an amazing experience to our residents to lift spirits during a difficult time.

“It has been a delight to work with Glenkinchie and all of the other attractions as part of this project. We can’t wait to see it continue to grow, hopefully expanding to other care homes across the country.”

All tours will be broadcast in the Cramond Residence cinema room on a 100-inch screen as well as being accessible from individual laptops, tablets and TV’s around the care home, allowing residents to participate from different areas in the building.

Cramond Residence offers high quality care for up to 74 residents utilising a small-group living concept in nine houses, with all residents enjoying an exceptional range of amenities and activities, delicious food and bespoke care from our highly-trained team.

Each resident enjoys a luxury room with en-suite bathroom facilities. The Care Home maintains a minimum ratio of 1:4 of care staff to residents during the day.

To find out more, call 0131 341 4037