Speyside Trip

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Speyside. It was a truly amazing trip. I was a guest of Chivas, so we were really looking at the heart of their blending and single malt empire. Glenburgie to start with (the heart of Ballantine’s), then the Glenlivet (the heart of their Single Malt empire) and Strathisla (the heart of Chivas).

I recorded quite a bit of the trip, and there are some really interesting interviews to come from this trip (including a real insight into blending with Sandy Hislop), an appearance from Bono/Shane Mcgowan, a fantastic tribute performance of Lola by the Kinks and much much more.

But the first thing I want to show you, is something that I think is very, very cool. We try to get cool exclusives for our cool, exclusive readers. This picture was taken in one of The Glenlivet warehouses. It is of some 25 litre, American oak casks that are maturing Glenlivet that was distilled in a very unusual pot still 6 years ago. The folks at Glenlivet have a working mock up of one of the little smugglers stills that would have been used in the 17 and 1800′s. They distill with it once a year. Lucas and I drank out of it last year. It was a beautiful spirit. 6 years ago, they took that spirit and barrelled it in these tiny casks. Imagine what it will taste like! The copper contact from such a small still  makes such a sweet whisky. The tiny casks will influence it in ways I can’t even fathom. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. For now, we can only look at the picture and wait. Sigh.




  1. Hi Chris,

    There are only 2 of the casks filled at present and the first one has just passed its 3rd birthday in Febuary. The still itself give 4-5lt of heart from every run so you can appreciate it can take quite some time to fill a cask, especially as much of it will be drank on the day by guests eager to taste it.
    A sample from cask no.1 is with Sandy at the moment for analysis, hopefully I will have some feedback when I see you at Glenlivet later this week.


  2. Hi Ian,

    I look forward to finding out more about them on Thursday. Thanks for clarifying the information.



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