By Rob Allanson

Welcome to Whisky Magazine

It has been a passion of mine for quite a while escaping on two wheels. Sometimes breaking free to anywhere, and other times making a concerted effort to get from A to B covering as much ground as possible.During my university days my mate Murray and I used to pack rucksacks and head out from Glasgow to the hills, either the Trossachs, the Campsie Fells or the Kilpatricks (which were a particular favourite), with a map and just see where we would end up – occasionally totally lost.But what has this got to do with whisky I hear you cry. Well...I took my big motorbike test last year and have been trundling around on a 650cc since then. Being back on two wheels, albeit petrol powered rather than the acoustic version, has reignited my passion for long distance travel, well that and reading Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon. The joy of packing up the beast and heading out to see where you end up. I am sure there are a lot of car drivers who look on in envy as a fully laden motorbike glides past, the rider fully immersed in nature and the road rather than being a passive observer through a window.So in June myself and BBC Scotland presenter, whisky writer and motorbike nut Tom Morton (let’s not forget he travelled to every distillery in Scotland using an ancient sidecar outfit) are heading out on a bit of a epic long distance whisky trip – entitled Journey’s Blend. To help out and document the trip a photographer and mechanic will complete the two wheeled entourage.The idea will be to travel the compass points visiting the more extreme distilleries and selecting whisky that will be shipped to the hub of the circle to create a blended malt.So starting at Highland Park, we head to Kilchoman, then Bladnoch and Glen Garioch before finishing at Glenturret – taking about five days to do it.At Glenturret, Edrington’s master blender and whisky creator supreme John Ramsay has agreed to pull the blend together. The result, just 50 bottles in all, which will be presented in a bespoke engraved Glencairn Crystal bottle, will be unveiled at Whisky Live Glasgow, and some of the proceeds will go to the Parkinson’s Disease Society in honour of Michael Jackson.Also to lend the project an air of sophistication, British bike manufacturer Triumph has agreed to lend a couple of modern classics. I have to say I cannot wait to ride a Bonneville. It’s a bike I have always wanted to ride, the essence of British motorbiking and engineering. With its wonderful burbling exhaust note, I know it will be hard to part with it after so many miles. Mind you the trip is also a dream come true – it’s all about the bikes and whisky, both taken very responsibly obviously.