Scottish Malts 2023 | A Return to Tradition for Spring Event
Biennial Rally Returns to April Date and Gleneagles as its Base
Wonderful array of distilleries to visit, in true Malts Tradition
In just under a week the starters flag will wave off 46 crews on the 18th edition of the Scottish Malts Endurance Rally, for five days and 950 miles of rallying around Bonnie Scotland. Whilst the event isn’t as difficult to master as some of HERO-ERA’s other rallies, there are a number of experienced entrants in the ranks, including current HERO Cup champion Stephen Owens, and anyone wishing to revel in the glory of a victorious dram will have to remain sharp across the 25 regularities and 10 tests that will be contested across five days of adventure in bonnie Scotland.
This year the rally starts and ends at Gleneagles, in a return to a Malts tradition that will provide such a special event with the perfect beginning and end. The route heads to the west coast initially, an area the Malts hasn’t visited for a while, before completing a clockwise loop that will take in some new locations as well as visiting some Malts stalwarts, all basking in the beauty of idyllic Scottish countryside.
West will turn to the north, as the map book steers the cars from the coast up to Inverness, before heading back south again, in a 950-mile loop through national parks and over mountains, and with 34 million less cars on the road in Scotland than in England, they will likely be traffic free as well. Chief route planner and Clerk of the Course Nick Reeves had this to say on the subject, “Competitors can expect a mixture of fantastic scenery and great driving roads and basing ourselves in Inverness for two evenings allows us to push further north than we would usually as well.”
A treat for sure, but the Malts rally has always been about more than just the competition and the driving, there are of course the Distilleries that join the dots of the route together, and this year is no exception, with plenty of visits planned to engage with Scotland’s most famous export. It must be stressed however, that whilst the competition will be in high spirits, the spirits and competition will not be mixed. Nick again, “This event is about fun, it isn’t a ‘hole in the hedge rally’ and the distillery visits are a big part of that, and we’ve built in time to ensure people can go in and see what’s on offer, so please take the time to do so!”
So, a vintage year is in the offing for the evergreen Malts, with tremendous roads and a superb array of distilleries playing host to an event that retains its popularity year on year. Nick is certainly excited to get going and hopes that everyone finishes each day with a smile on their face. Add into the mix a fine selection of classic rally cars, including Porsches, Alfa Romeos and Aston Martin, and some vintage entries from marques such as Bentley as well, it promises to be a rally to remember. So, raise a wee dram and toast the beginning of a week of wonderful competition and tremendous driving, as Scotland beckons.