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Issue 94 - The Still Man

Whisky Magazine Issue 94
March 2011

 

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The Still Man

Find a new distillery installing Forsyth pot stills and you know it's serious about distilling. The company represents quality. Dominic Roskrow reports

Malt whisky has many evocative images to reflect its uniqueness and quality. Golden fields of barley, pagodas, oak barrels, even the Porteus mill...but none is quite as powerful and iconic as the copper pot still.

Pot stills are malt whisky's totem poles, the very heart of the magic distillation process, the towers of ingenuity which ensure malt whisky's consistently high standards on the one hand, and permit individuality and diversity of the spirit on the other.

Speyside-based Forsyths has become synonymous with the very finest copper stills. Across the world, from South America to the Far East, companies preparing to make whisky have turned to Forsyths for its technology, its craftsmanship, its expertise and its advice.

There has been a coppersmiths based in Rothes since the mid 1800s, originally owned by a man called Robert Baillie. But the Forsyth family began its association with the whisky industry when coppersmith Alexander Forsyth bought the Morayshire Copperworks in Rothes in the 1930s from his employer, who had no family to take over from him. The business is situated in the heart of the Speyside malt distilling industry and has, for decades, serviced all of its needs.

For the last 80 years or so various Forsyth family members have worked in the business, most recently two Richards: Richard senior, who is the company's chairman, and his son Richard, who joined three years ago.

“While whisky stills are what we most associate the company with, it has diversifi...

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