The Distillery Manager who makes the most exciting sherry cask matured Speyside whisky today, openly talks about differences between working for Diageo and working for Ian McLeod Distillers. Also, the ‘tricks’ of the Tamdhu cask management, key to the success, are explained. Meet Sandy McIntyre, the passionate Tamdhu man.
Read the full story here.
To some of us, real people in the whisky industry are critically endangered species. The Spirit Receiver met Balmenach distillery manager Kevin MacPherson, a man made of solid rock. Take a unique look inside the home of InterBev's super-premium white spirit, the Caorunn Gin!
Read the full article
The opinions are divided about the way the whisky world is preserving its traditions. Expressions without an age statement and new approaches to flavor character give rise to strong reactions. Patricia Retson preserves the heritage of Highland Park. We met at the distillery on the Orkneys, just north of Scotland, and took time for a chat. Meet this year’s titleholder of Whisky Visitor Centre Manager of the Year.
The Spirit Receiver is back from Scotland. 23 distillery sites visited, tour reports, interviews, tasting notes, a big bag of data just for you. These ‘Things You May Already Know’ will be released in batches, watch this space for your weekly digest of whisky buffstuff. This is batch number four.
Mortlach. It’s the favourite Dufftown distillery of many whisky enthusiasts, a legend of its own. Established 63 years before Glenfiddich, this is a distillery with some history. Its full bodied whisky plays a big role in Johnnie Walker Black Label. New and expanding markets have raised the demand for this expression significantly. The point is reached where the owner Diageo has decided to build a new still house on the Mortlach site in order to meet production demands. The project was commissioned to the Inverness studio of ARCHIAL architectural master planning. A capacity of 8 million litres is the goal for the summer of 2015.
The Spirit Receiver could take a privileged look at the plans of the new Mortlach distillery, but also at the building site. The terrain is prepared and fenced (see image in slideshow). However, Michelle Myron from Dufftown-based Speyside tours reported that the building was delayed unexpectedly for four months caused by bats on the distillery plant. Bats are a protected species and the appearance of such animals can slow down official building procedures. Furthermore, people in Dufftown are wondering if the building is delayed for an undetermined time because of a possible insufficient water resource. To double the distilling capacity would also mean that the distillery needs a lot more water.
It is very common that distilleries work to the limit of their water supply. According to its tour guide, Glenfarclas closes down a couple of days or even weeks almost every year because of the water source it is depending on. Tobermory suffered severely from drought last year and had to stop production temporarily. Finally, Scapa distillery had to use the water source for the distilling process as cooling water this summer because the level was too low. As a result, it’s not illogical to ask if the doubled capacity of the Mortlach distillery wouldn’t bring the water supply way over its limits.
On the other hand, Diageo will be well aware of the risk. Major investments like these wouldn’t be made if there wouldn’t be water enough for this new distillery. Then again, tests and predictions also have their limits.
At the Mortlach distillery, it is rejected that an ill-estimated water supply capacity is causing the building to delay. Building a distillery is not only construction work. Less visible things have to be done.
The Spirit Receiver is back from Scotland. 23 distillery sites visited, tour reports, interviews, tasting notes, a big bag of data just for you. These ‘Things You May Already Know’ will be released in batches, watch this space for your weekly digest of whisky buffstuff. This is batch three.
The aim of this technology has two main objectives: making the waters from the distillation process called the spent lees ready to be given back to nature and deducting bio-mass energy from that process.
Spent lees can be described as the unwanted residual liquid waste generated during alcohol production, or the waters that contain all the copper residues. Pollution caused by it is a critical environmental issue. Of course this matter is subject to stringent regulations. New technologies emerge to clean or upgrade the lees so they can find their way to watercourses again without diminishing or threatening the water quality. According to J. Hazard Mater of the Indian School of Biosciences, Sardar Patel University, aerobic and anaerobic microbial as well as physicochemical processes as feasible remediation technologies to combat environmental pollution are being explored.
Micro-organisms such as bacterias are producing biogas (CH4 and CO2) while they are cleaning the distillery waters. This gas is being used to produce energy for the distillery. As a result, this whole thing means there’s another fermentation on the contemporary distillery plant.
These wastewater technologies are getting more and more innovative, and have gained ecological and economical relevance in recent years as they are now also focused on renewable energy. Cutting the energy bill is a very big thing in every distillery today. Therefore, Diageo isn’t the only company going for these technologies. ThaiBev’s Pulteney distillery for example, has its IGNIS biomass energy center next door.
The Spirit Receiver is back from Scotland. 23 distillery sites visited, tour reports, interviews, tasting notes, a big bag of data just for you. These ‘Things You May Already Know’ will be released in batches, watch this space for your weekly digest of whisky buffstuff. This is batch two.
Close to Dalmore, situated in the Alness Industrial Estate, Diageo is executing its major plans for the Teaninich distillery site. These plans do not only involve to double the capacity of Teaninich to 9,5 million litres per year (currently running 4,4 million), but also to build a new superdistillery. According to The Malt Whisky Yearbook 2014, this is a £50 million investment in total. This is more than the Roseisle investment and part of Diageo’s 5 year plan of £1 billion investments in Scotch (distilleries and warehousing) as revealed in June 2012. Clynelish Distillery in Sutherland, halfway between Inverness and John o’ Groats, is next with a £30 million expansion.
The Yearbook revealed separate numbers for Teaninich and the new distillery: Teaninich would go from 6 to 12 stills and the adjacent new plant would contain 16 stills, producing 13 million litres per year by itself. However, the new distillery now appears to be architecturally connected with the old one, which makes it technically speaking the same building. This means that the long awaited new name of the superdistillery could just be... Teaninich.
The Spirit Receiver is back from Scotland. 23 distillery sites visited, tour reports, interviews, tasting notes, a big bag of data just for you. These ‘Things You May Already Know’ will be released in batches, watch this space for your weekly digest of whisky buffstuff. This is batch one.
Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, is planning to open a small visitor centre in the building of Scapa distillery, currently not open to visitors. This opening would be around September 2014.
There has been no official announcement yet, but The Spirit Receiver checked this news at the beautifully located distillery on the beaches of the Scapa Flow.
Scapa accepting visitors and organising tours could be a good step forward in creating a more involved and connected attitude towards Scapa single malt from whisky lovers all over the world. Michelle Myron of Speyside Tours is already a fan and acclaims that “Highland Park is for the tourists and Scapa is for the Orcadians”.
As official news will follow most likely, Chivas’ communication manager currently sticks to: “we are unable to comment on rumour or speculation.” Probably the official Scapa website www.scapamalt.com will get an update too, as it still mentions Stuart Pirie as operations manager. According to Chivas’ Rikki Scott, Stuart retired and is living in Speyside.
Scapa was mothballed between 1994 and 2004. The Scapa 16 is expected to be replaced by another, more stock-friendly expression.