|Knockdhu circa 1959|
Recently Chip Tate from Balcones created a whisky called Brimstone Resurrection and I quote Chip in a blog from www.Smokybeast.com: "in the case of this one barrel, we messed up. We burnt the corn to the bottom of the still while distilling it. Badly burnt it ... very badly ... hammer and chisels badly... I couldn't just throw it out so I put it aside. The result is a wonderfully powerful and subtle Brimstone whisky. Sun grown corn, then roasted, burned, twice boiled and then "raised up" in a heavily charred barrel to be released as Brimstone Resurrection!"
People make whiskies, even if using modern machines with bells and whistles. People... So when I contacted a few distilleries to see if I could do an exposé on what makes them "tick", Alasdair Reid from Knockdhu gladly started sending me biographies, photos and lovely stories of the people that work there. For those of you who don't know it's where one of my favorite scotches comes from: AnCnoc. www.ancnoc.com
This week I will be presenting you with one of the six shift operators who works there: Mr. Alex Elrick.
|POSING FOR THE CAMERA...|
His interests outside the distillery are his car, the gym and on weekends off going out with his mates in his hometown of Huntly looking for that special young lady (He’s single at the moment!)
Alex started at Knockdhu in July 2011, coming from a mechanical background (time served motor mechanic) which can come in handy at the distillery when things go wrong. After a few couple of weeks of training from the other guys he was soon flying solo.
At Knockdhu each operator works single man shifts so that means they are responsible for all aspects of the production of the whisky from: Taking delivery of the malt at one end through the process of grinding, mashing, distilling and all the way to filling casks at the other. AND to some people's surprise this is all still done manually, no computers!
Right, confession time, when I said no computers that’s not strictly true as they did invest in a new fangled computer thingy to help the lads out a wee bit:
Each shift operator also keeps the place clean and polished. Its quite a busy shift with all this going on.
So to sum Alex up: He is young, free and single and the rest of the Knockdhu employees are quite jealous!!!
Thanks to Alex, Alasdair and Knockdhu for allowing me the opportunity to showcase the hands/hearts and souls of this lovely distillery.
|UP YOUR BOTTOM!|