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Issue 135 - Cut to the Point

Whisky Magazine Issue 135
April 2016


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Cut to the Point

Zak Shenfield from Strathearn Distillery

In the first of a regular interview feature, Joel Harrison seeks out some people working in the industry that you don't necessarily hear about. He will be asking a mixture of set questions in each issue as well as drilling down to find the true ‘spirit' of the person, the passion and the product.

The first interviewee is Zak Shenfield who works at Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire, which is probably Scotland's smallest whisky and gin distillery. The distillery produces hand-crafted, artisan single cask single malt whisky using traditional methods and ideas.

Zak Shenfield, 22 years old, was awarded Scotland's ‘Young Distiller of the Year', and he oversees, designs and distills all the spirits produced.

Zak, tell us, what job do you do and where do you do it?
I'm the distiller at Strathearn Distillery, based near Perth.

How long have you been doing that particular job?
It will be two years in March.

What does this entail on a daily basis? What does the 9-5 look like for you?
On a day-to-day basis, I'm in charge of production mainly from the gin we produce through to the Scotch whisky spirit, the cask choice, and then when it comes to that time, selecting which casks are to be released as well. Plus, there is an awful lot of ‘R&D' here too, looking at new products which we do as a team of three.

Describe your journey into the Scotch whisky industry.
It was probably how most good jobs come about. It was purely by luck. I didn't know I wanted to work in the Scotch indu...

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