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The Whiskey Word

Whiskey World News & Commentary
The BenRiach Distillery

BenRiach Returns to Its Own Floor Maltings

Peat Reek is Back   The process of malting is the first stage in turning a field of barley into a bottle of whisky. During malting, barley is soaked in water to induce germination and thereby release enzymes that will modify starches into fermentable sugars, before being dried to halt the germination process.
Mark Tayburn Distillery Owner

Abhainn Dearg Distillery

Wild West Whisky Abhainn Dearg is Scotland’s westernmost distillery, situated on the ruggedly beautiful Atlantic coast of the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis. As the name would suggest, this is one of the remaining heartlands of the Gaelic language, with Abhainn Dearg translating as ‘Red River.’
The range of cheeses from Loch Arthur, including Criffel

Cheese With That Whisky?

ForWhiskeyLovers Cannot Live On Spirit Alone!  We have wine with meals; wine with cheeses. Some of us have fun arranging whisky dinners for groups of consumers to illustrate how versatile whisky can be matching food, either on its own or with mixers or in cocktails. Whisky with cheeses is a new one to some but a reasonable option to others, either as part of a whisky dinner or on its own. It’s a niche area growing in enthusiasts and encouraged by people like myself, the renowned whisky writer Charles MacLean, John Glaser of Compass Box, a few whisky companies and some dedicated souls in the hospitality industry.
Rachel Barrie in her lab

Rachel Barrie – A Woman on the Move

“I wasn’t looking, but somehow you found me” sang Carly Simon and that seems to be the way Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD) achieved the Scotch Whisky coup of last year, recruiting Glenmorangie’s Rachel Barrie to the post of Master Blender – a newly created post. It came as stunning news to many in and around Scotch Whisky in late 2011 to learn that Rachel had skipped cities to work at MBD, owners of Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch. Rachel had been at Glenmorangie over 16 years and has been responsible for some of the wonderful expressions from there.
The Cooperage Apprentice School

21st Century Coopering

November saw the official opening of Diageo’s Cambus Cooperage, part of a multi-million pound set of improvements and new projects the company has been undertaking in recent years. In the company of other whisky writers and some leading Scotch Whisky retailers I was invited to go and see the new plant, much of it computer controlled and with some tasks manned by robots. More than a passing resemblance to Number 5 and Wall-E there, but on a bigger scale. No worries that they are replacing craftsmen though – the opposite is the case.
Glenfarclas 175 anniversary bottle

Independent Family 175 Not Out!

It was a great pleasure back in May to be able to attend the ceilidh and dinner that marked Glenfarclas’ 175th anniversary as an independent distillery. It’s unusual for any distillery to survive so long, and really remarkable that it should remain independent, in family ownership and concentrating solely on single malt whisky. In an age of consolidation, globalisation and portfolio management, Glenfarclas’ determinedly old-fashioned approach is to be commended and celebrated.

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