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Issue 71 - Walk the line

Whisky Magazine Issue 71
April 2008


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Walk the line

What happens on the bottling line is often overlooked when discussing the production process. But there's far more to it than just pressing a button,says Ian Wisniewski.

Bottling whisky may seem an entirely practical process, being automated and computerised.But just as with each stage of the production process, there are various options in terms of methods and technology.

Moreover, running a bottling line is a significant feat in terms of co-ordination, to ensure that everything required is in the right place at the right time, so that orders can be filled.

“We like to bottle to order, so we gather all the orders together, put them all into a bottling programme, then place our orders for supplies in parallel.That way we can plan a co-ordinated programme to run our bottling lines as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.We need to look at line availability,people availability to run the line,and material availability.We monitor all orders to ensure that they are in line or reasonably close to our forecast,”says The Edrington Group's Mike Rose.

Once the whisky is ready for bottling it is conducted to the bottling vat, from where it can be piped to the bottling line.But quality control is rigorously applied throughout the process.

“Each cask is individually checked by the sample room.

Casks that do not meet the required standard are not used.

There are a substantial number of quality checks at every stage,and once we have final approval from the sampling room the product in the bottling vat is then passed through an inert food grade filter as a safety measure to ensure that our product meets the most demanding standards,”sa...

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