Glenfiddich Welcomes UK Agri Food Girls
The group toured the entire production process from the initial malting of the barley, right through to bottling and some tasty sampling!!
The tour started with some background information about the business. With William Grant’s ambition to produce the ‘best dram in the valley’, he and his 8 children built the distillery stone by stone to form Glenfiddich in 1886. Glenfiddich is one of the few remaining distilleries to remain entirely family owned and claims the title of the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
The tour showed the group the unique processes carried out on site. The spirit stills were specific shapes to allow different qualities to be produced. The pot belly stills made it harder for alcoholic vapour to escape the still, producing a stronger alcoholic flavour, compared to the teardrop stills which produced a smoother drink.
“It was great to relate what we have learned in class and apply it in conversation with the business. What I found most interesting was their dedication to maintaining traditional methods, although it may not always be the cheapest option.” – Claire Rhind, BA Rural Business Management.
Throughout the tour it was evident that traditional methods were always respected and maintained. Traditional underfloor fires were used to heat the stills and wooden washbacks were kept to maintain the distillery’s founding characteristics. The group got to see 100s of casks, some dating back more than 50 years. A tiny box was pointed out, roughly the size of a large Amazon delivery box, which originally held the spirit produced. Now the company stores and matures over 140,000 litres of alcohol at any time!
Through nose and taste sampling, students were taught how to identify flavours influenced by their wood casks. Ex-American Bourbon casks infused flavours of honey and vanilla, which was combined with apples, cinnamon and berry flavours produced within ex-Spanish Sherry casks. The process of unique marriage chambers were explained in how Glenfiddich produces their finished product. The group had an exciting sampling session, tasting whiskies of several age ranges.