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TITLE
George Grant on the Unique Taste of Whisky
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_GEORGEGRANT_10
PLACENAME
Ballindalloch
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
George S. Grant
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1645
KEYWORDS
distillers
distilleries
Grants of Glenfarclas
audio

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George S Grant (1923-2002) was chairman of Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside for fifty-two years. His ancestor, John Grant, had purchased the distillery back in 1865 and it has remained in the Grant family ever since. George's son, John LS Grant, is the current chairman. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, George talks to Sam Marshall about the unique taste of whisky.

Interviewer: George, one of the things about whisky and whisky making that's always intrigued me is how every distillery seems to distill a whisky that tastes unique to that place. Have you any ideas how that might come about?

You know, several years ago I would have said this was the sixty-four thousand dollar question. With inflation, I presume it's now the sixty-four million dollar question, and I'm still glad to say I don't know the answer, because as soon as anyone does find out the answer can you imagine what's going to happen to all the malt distilleries in Scotland? They'll all be concentrated in one huge laboratory between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with people turning a different knob to make Glenfarclas, and another knob to make another whisky, and a third knob to make the fourth one.

Interviewer: One would have thought, that mind you, that technology would have advanced so much in the last forty, fifty, sixty years, that one could almost do that with gas chromatographs and sophisticated chemical techniques like that.

Yes, but then nobody has yet duplicated the human nose or the human palette, have they? You might as well start telling me that we should all be eating little pills instead of grilled steaks.

Interviewer: Well, it could come to that, I suppose.

Yes, but you wouldn't enjoy it, would you?

Interviewer: That's the whole point I think.

Yes, and you'd still your dram of malt whisky to wash it down.

Interviewer: Do you think it's the water, or the peat, or - Where do you think the solution might lie? We're not saying what it is but -

Oh, it undoubtedly lies in, not only the water and the peat, but I - the size and of the utensils that are used. The location of the distillery must come into it because distilleries are located from sea level up to about a thousand feet. It's bound to make a difference to distillation. The warehouses the whisky is maturing in is going to make a difference. The type of cask the whisky's matured in; they all make a difference to the eventual product that's turned out

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George Grant on the Unique Taste of Whisky

1980s

distillers; distilleries; Grants of Glenfarclas; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: George Grant, Glenfarclas Distillery

George S Grant (1923-2002) was chairman of Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside for fifty-two years. His ancestor, John Grant, had purchased the distillery back in 1865 and it has remained in the Grant family ever since. George's son, John LS Grant, is the current chairman. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, George talks to Sam Marshall about the unique taste of whisky.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: George, one of the things about whisky and whisky making that's always intrigued me is how every distillery seems to distill a whisky that tastes unique to that place. Have you any ideas how that might come about? <br /> <br /> You know, several years ago I would have said this was the sixty-four thousand dollar question. With inflation, I presume it's now the sixty-four million dollar question, and I'm still glad to say I don't know the answer, because as soon as anyone does find out the answer can you imagine what's going to happen to all the malt distilleries in Scotland? They'll all be concentrated in one huge laboratory between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with people turning a different knob to make Glenfarclas, and another knob to make another whisky, and a third knob to make the fourth one.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: One would have thought, that mind you, that technology would have advanced so much in the last forty, fifty, sixty years, that one could almost do that with gas chromatographs and sophisticated chemical techniques like that.<br /> <br /> Yes, but then nobody has yet duplicated the human nose or the human palette, have they? You might as well start telling me that we should all be eating little pills instead of grilled steaks.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well, it could come to that, I suppose.<br /> <br /> Yes, but you wouldn't enjoy it, would you?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: That's the whole point I think.<br /> <br /> Yes, and you'd still your dram of malt whisky to wash it down.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Do you think it's the water, or the peat, or - Where do you think the solution might lie? We're not saying what it is but - <br /> <br /> Oh, it undoubtedly lies in, not only the water and the peat, but I - the size and of the utensils that are used. The location of the distillery must come into it because distilleries are located from sea level up to about a thousand feet. It's bound to make a difference to distillation. The warehouses the whisky is maturing in is going to make a difference. The type of cask the whisky's matured in; they all make a difference to the eventual product that's turned out