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TITLE
George Grant on Heating the Whisky Still
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_GEORGEGRANT_14
PLACENAME
Ballindalloch
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
George S. Grant
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1651
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 changing techniques for heating the whisky stills.

Interviewer: Tell me about the heating of the still. Has that changed in any way over the years?

Oh but yes. Of course. Pre-war days the stills were all coal fired by hand where, as far as we were concerned, we used to put in about twenty-five hundredweights of coal beneath the wash still before we set it alight. And we started the fire with a shovelful of blowing coals from the boiler. Now to set twenty-five hundredweights of coal alight took something like two hours. The next innovation after that were - was underfeed stokers, where you had a - not quite [?] grate but a blast like a blacksmith's forge, and the coal was fed in from underneath. There your coal became alight in something like fifteen minutes after you'd turned on the blast, and that alone cut the running time of the still by about an hour and a half. And again, the coal there was mechanically handled. The ash of course was still handled by the stillmen who had to rake it out and take it away in a barrel. We now are gas-fired, where of course we have no handling at all. And of course we have no ash or anything else to dispose of. It's merely a case of turning knobs

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George Grant on Heating the Whisky Still

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 changing techniques for heating the whisky stills.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Tell me about the heating of the still. Has that changed in any way over the years?<br /> <br /> Oh but yes. Of course. Pre-war days the stills were all coal fired by hand where, as far as we were concerned, we used to put in about twenty-five hundredweights of coal beneath the wash still before we set it alight. And we started the fire with a shovelful of blowing coals from the boiler. Now to set twenty-five hundredweights of coal alight took something like two hours. The next innovation after that were - was underfeed stokers, where you had a - not quite [?] grate but a blast like a blacksmith's forge, and the coal was fed in from underneath. There your coal became alight in something like fifteen minutes after you'd turned on the blast, and that alone cut the running time of the still by about an hour and a half. And again, the coal there was mechanically handled. The ash of course was still handled by the stillmen who had to rake it out and take it away in a barrel. We now are gas-fired, where of course we have no handling at all. And of course we have no ash or anything else to dispose of. It's merely a case of turning knobs