Working day at Bruichladdich

Dear Mabel,

Working day today.  Early this morning we drove empty french wine casks up to Bunnahabhain.  We delivered just shy of about 70 french oak barrels.  The road to Bunnahaiban is a narrow and windy one, and it was raining pretty hard all morning.  The truck we were driving had a lot of character, meaning it’s a bloody piece of shit.  But it’s a tough old truck and handled the job just fine.  We only had to stop just after one of the wee hills to add water to the radiator.

Once we were back, I got to spend some time with Duncan MacGillivray, distillery manager at Bruichladdich.  I’d love to say I learned all there was to distilling– but what I learned was that a distillery manager isn’t just running stills and blending barrels.  He’s everywhere, all the time, doing everything.  Today all we wanted to do was build a railing in the new but old warehouse.  (The Bruichladdich warehouse is an original warehouse built in 1881, same year as the distillery, but it’s just recently undergone some updating.  We were building a railing for the fire exit, more or less a hand rail).    We ended up in the workshop trying to figure out why the pump from the heat exchanger in the still house kept seizing up.  While working on the pump, Duncan was called upon at least 4 times, sometimes needed elsewhere for an hour at a time.  Thomas the electrician and I did what we could on the pump– but we ended up having to leave the pump, and the railing, for morning as we were already an hour past quitting time.
The whisky tonight was Bruichladdich “Waves,”  a lightly peated whisky aged in both bourbon and madeira casks.  On the nose it’s subtle floral and spice but it finishes with toffee, cocoa, and a touch of peat.  A great way to end the day.  It’s the “Rock’s” you want to start your day with.
Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 4:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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