Bonnie, Bonnie Banks

Despite several misgivings, John Bruce visits Loch Lomond and comes away (mostly) impressed.

The above is not a headline that has been seen much in recent times, particularly in a financial centre like Hong Kong. Unfortunately for Diamond, Dimon, Goodwin and their ilk this does not represent a seismic shift in public perception but rather the reality that last month I attended a wedding at The Cruin Inn on the banks of Loch Lomond, and it was indeed a bonnie setting with the first sunshine for many weeks, a gorgeous bride and free miniatures of single malt to along with the wedding supper.

I thought that my good friend Gillian’s nuptials would also provide me with the opportunity to visit the nearby Loch Lomond Distillery but slightly more efficient research would have informed me that it is one of the few distilleries in Scotland that doesn't put on tours for the public. I had to satisfy myself with a wee drive around the building and a couple of purchases in the adjacent shop. No matter – and the distillery's website provides this wonderfully apposite quote:

“Whisky is a mystery, a magic of locality. The foreigner may import not only Scottish barley, but Scottish water, Scottish distilling apparatus and set a Scot to work on them, but the glory evaporates; it will not travel.”

It is a commonly held view that the location, be it Island, Speyside, Highlands or Lowlands can be tasted in the final product. Anyone who samples an Islay malt will know that this is indeed true as the combination of ocean salt and strong peat produces something that is similar to a Highland malt in the way that both blackcurrants and oranges can be called fruits.