Glengarry Wines‘ Operations Manager, Tonci Jakicevich, was lucky to participate in a tour of distilleries in Scotland and Ireland during February. Here Tonci recounts his experiences of Glenglassaugh, BenRiach, GlenDronach, The Speyside Cooperage, and Slane in a five part series.
The Speyside Cooperage
With our tour of the GlenDronach facilities complete, we again jumped in our convoy of mini-vans heading towards the Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie for a tour and demonstration. Good quality casks can have a lifetime of 60+ years, although that level of longevity often requires careful maintenance often done by the specialised team of Coopers at the Speyside Cooperage. Paid by the completed barrels, not by the hour, watching the team work is tiring in itself. Barrels are examined for faults, stripped down and the guilty staves replaced using the same age and style of oak. It is an impressive process to watch, and the Coopers have a 4 year apprenticeship to learn their trade.
With the tour of the Cooperage, and the pre-requisite crawl through small town pubs our short stay in Scotland was drawing to a close. We now make our way to Ireland, where Whiskey is spelt with an ‘E’ and is said to have been invented!