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Issue 42 - Fortynotout:

Whisky Magazine Issue 42
September 2004

 

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Fortynotout:

Girvanisn'tyournormalrunofthe…er…milldistillery.IanBuxtonpaiditavisit

Here'sacuriosity.Thisarticlecelebratesadistilleryyou'veprobablyneverheardof;whosewhiskyyou'veneverconsciouslydrunkandwhichyoucan'tvisit.It'samere40yearsold,locatedinaregionwithoutanyrecogniseddistillingtraditionandit'sveryproudoftheprecisionofitscomputercontrolsystems.

However,it'salsoacriticalelementintheworldwidesuccessstoryofScotchwhiskyandoneofthekeystothesurvivalandprosperityofoneoftheindustry'smostruggedlyindependentfamilyconcerns.

Giveup?

Thisissuewe'reatWilliamGrant&SonsgraindistilleryatGirvaninAyrshire,justdownthecoastfromthatshrinetogolf,Turnberry.

Everywhiskylovershouldexperienceagraindistilleryatleastonceintheirlives.

It'sessentialtounderstandingthemodernindustryandaveryworthwhileandinterestingwaytospendsometimetoboot.

WithoutgrainwhiskyScotchwouldneverhavecapturedworldmarketsfromthemiddleofthe19thcenturyand,withoutthat,it'sverydoubtfulindeedifthewidevarietyofsinglemaltsweenjoysokeenlytodaywouldhaveeversurvivedthisfar.

Soweowethegraindistillersseveralvotesofthanks,notleastfortheirvitalcontributiontoblendingandthemanysubtleandbeguilingdramsconjuredupbythemagicoftheblender'salchemy.

ButwheredoesGirvanfitintoallthis,andwhyisitlocatedsofarfromGrants'traditionalhomeonSpeyside?Afterall,thiscompany'spracticehasbeentogroupitsdistillinginterests,withGlenfiddich,TheBalvenieandKininvieallclusteredtogether,surroundedbythefamily'sextensivefarmingoperations.

Well,inacuriousway,wehavetheoldDistillersCompany(nowpartofDiageo)tothankforthis.Backinthe1960sitsuppliedmuchofth...

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