Ep 40 - Bruichladdich's Production Manager Allan Logan

DISTILLERY HISTORY // A stranger knocks at the door of a mothballed distillery and history happens.

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Show Notes

NOTE: Octomore has been delayed in the US. I'm on the launch team, so follow Whiskey Lore on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates!

If you're a fan of Port Charlotte, Bruichladdich, and Octomore, have I got a conversation for you.

My guest is Bruichladdich's production manager Allan Logan, and Allan has seen the entire revival of the Bruichladdich distillery, from its mothballed days in 2001 to it great succcess today as a global phenomena. Any one who has seen the Water of Life film or the Scotch The Golden Dram documentary is familiar with Jim McEwan, the long time master distiller.

Well, there is so much of the story that couldn't be told in those two films, so we're going to dive into the history of the distillery, talk about the Victorian era equipment they use, and learn a bit about the culture surrounding whisky from the island of Islay.

And if you don't know it already, we will introduce you to the World's Peatiest Whisky called Octomore. Released each October with a new set of editions, I'll do a tasting with samples provided by the distillery, we'll help you better understand what phenols and PPM mean when discussing peaty whiskies, and find out why the whisky is so smoky.

I've had the great pleasure of visiting the distillery and doing two tours there, the warehouse tour, where I got to taste Octomore straight from the cask, and the standard tour, which gives you a great opportunity to pick whatever style you want from Bruichladdich's selection of peated and unpeated whiskies as well as their very popular Botinist Gin. And one of my favorite parts of the distillery tour was hearing the story of how Mark Rainer discovered the distillery, and the surprise reception he received when he inquired about looking around it.

So much to talk about:

  • Allan's family history in Islay distilling
  • Knowing Jim McEwan
  • The whisky support network
  • Which Islay distillery should you visit?
  • Bruichladdich in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Keeping up the Victorian equipment
  • Being transparent and educational
  • The fun story of how Bruichladdich came out of mothballs
  • The invaluable help of Duncan McGillivray
  • What to do with all of the mothballed spirits
  • Rebarrelling whisky from lifeless casks
  • Jim McEwan's creativity
  • A pink whisky called Flirtation
  • Using more than just sherry and bourbon casks
  • The Introduction of Octomore "The Beast"
  • The differences between Octomore .1, .2, .3, and .4
  • Understanding PPM and Phenols
  • The origins of Bruichladdich's peat
  • Why Octomore's higher PPM doesn't always translate to more smoky
  • Finding the smoke and the elegance
  • Nosing and tasting the new release 12.1, 12.2, and 12.3
  • Develping an interest in peated whisky
  • Bere barley from Orkney

Listen to the full episode with the player above or find it on your favorite podcast app under "Whiskey Lore: The Interviews." The full transcript is available on the tab above.

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Drew (00:00:14):
Welcome to Whiskey Lore, the interviews. I'm your host, drew Hamish, the Amazon bestselling author of Whiskey LO's Travel Guide to Experience in Kentucky Bourbon. And if you're a fan of Port Charlotte, bro, Claude or Octa more, then this conversation is for you because my guest is Bro Clare's production manager Alan Logan. And Alan has actually seen the entire revival of Brook LA's Distillery from the days when it was mothballed in 2001, all the way up until the great success that it has today as a global phenomena. And anybody who has seen the Water of Life film or the scotch, the Golden DRAM documentary is very familiar with Jim McEwen, who was their longtime master distiller. Well, there's a whole lot more to the story than just what was covered in those films. And so we're going to dive into some of the history of the distillery, talk about the Victorian era equipment that they use, and also learn a little bit about the culture surrounding whiskey from the aisle of Isla.

Drew (00:01:21):
And if you don't already know it, we're going to introduce you to the world's pious whiskey, a whiskey called Octa More. It's released each OK October with a new set of additions. I'm going to do a little tasting of those during the episode, help you understand a little bit more about what phenols are in PPM when people talk about PD whiskeys, and find out why the whiskey is so smoky. Now, I've had the great pleasure of actually visiting the distillery. The two tours there, the Warehouse tour got a chance to taste Octa more straight from the cask. And a standard tour where got an opportunity to pick whatever style brook laude that I wanted to taste from ped to Unpeated, and also got a chance to taste their very popular botanist gin. And one of my favorite parts of the tour is when of the tour guides starts telling you the story about the chance meeting of Mark Rainier when he came to be interested in buying the distillery. And he stopped by the distillery for a little visit. He had quite the surprise reception. So I'm going to go ahead and let Alan tell that story as well. Lots to talk about. Let's jump right in. It's time to welcome Alan Logan, production manager of Brook Laude Distillery.

Allan (00:02:41):
Pleasure. Yeah, pleasure to join you, drew.

Drew (00:02:43):
So you've been with Brook Lare now for 20 years?

Allan (00:02:49):
Yeah, that's correct. Yeah, I joined in January, 2001. So just at the very beginning. Well, when Brook Laude was brought back to life under the hand of Jim McEwen when he came and the coroners of Mark Ringer and Simon Kauflin, when they came to highlight to Bylar, I started with the team just then.

Drew (00:03:12):
Your family actually has been in the distilling industry for quite a while.

Allan (00:03:19):
Yeah, yeah. So I've, well, an introduction to the whiskey industry. My father worked at the Frog Distillery, so he worked there for about 30 odd years, just over 30 years. And before that he worked our bag distillery. And when I was growing up, we lived at the Frog Distillery, so I was very familiar with the whiskey making process of growing up. And as I was growing up, I was very clear that I wanted to get into the whiskey industry, but it was quite challenging somebody young with no experience. It was very difficult to get into the risk industry because at that time there wasn't many opportunities to get a start. And if you did, they were looking for somebody that had more experience, more knowledge in terms of the process, but also in terms of maturity to be reliable and dependable for the whiskey making process.

Allan (00:04:17):
So it was quite a challenge. And I was very fortunate when Tati reopened in 2001 because Jim mc and I knew Jim when I was growing up. Jim coincidentally was my soccer coach. So he was the coach at the football team, and he obviously managed Boor at that time. And then when Brook Cloud reopened, he left Boor the route to come to Brook Cloud. So it was all good fortune. I already knew him. I was looking for a start, and he was keen to pass in on his knowledge to the next generation, so before he retired. So the good fortune of obviously getting the start and working 15 years with Jim. So yeah, my father worked at Lare, my grandfather Al also worked at Lare. All my uncles worked in various distilleries between our bag, lack of bour. So yeah, so it's very much in the family blood. My brother works in Boor Distillery. So yeah, there's a bit of friendly rivalry between family just in terms of all the distilleries and who works where and who makes the best whiskey. But yeah, it's all in good nature. Yeah,

Drew (00:05:29):
So it's fun looking out your window there because I see the,

Allan (00:05:34):
Yeah, I've got a nice realtime backdrop here. Yeah, you can see the seat. Yeah. That's literally how close we are today, see,

Drew (00:05:42):
So it, are the distilleries there competitive with each other or is it kind of a friendly rivalry,

Allan (00:05:49):
Very friendly on the island? Yeah, and I mean, to be honest, in the industry as a whole, not just even an island in Scotland, everybody, everybody's very supportive of one another. And I think we have huge respect and admiration for what each, all the other distilleries do. There's not such a thing as a bad whiskey. Everybody's making great whiskey and all unique in their own way. I think locally here in Isla, I think because we're a small island, the population of Isla is only 3000 people. So we tend to know one another if not related them, or you've been to school with 'em or you know, they're connected through a family friend or such thing. So it, it's very supportive. We are all very supportive of each other down to the fact that we all do make the same process. So if we have a piece of machinery breakdown, we can phone another distillery, and likewise, they can call us and we can help each other out.

Allan (00:06:44):
Or even if it's borrowing yeast or barrels or bunks with the casks, we tend to share each other out in times they need. So it's one big family, but we all do different things and we often find, you mentioned you came to ILA before, and I think one of the common things when we meet people who come to ILA to make that pilgrimage, to come to ILA and travel and visit the distilleries, we always get asked what distilleries we would recommend to go to. And the truth is, we recommend them all. If you've got time, we would say try and get round them all, because they're all great. They've all got great stories and they've all got great whiskeys. Yeah.

Drew (00:07:22):
Yeah. So there's nine has Port Ellen, come on yet.

Allan (00:07:28):
So Ellen, I think they've just restarted the building work. So I think was they started the construction just before, before lockdown started, and then it got put on hold and then they've just recommend the work just of this month? I think so, yeah. Okay. It's already started, and I think the groundwork for the new Fark in Distillery on the other side of port has just started as well, so Wow. Yeah, there's two distilleries getting built on this south side at the moment.

Drew (00:07:56):
So if somebody's wanting to plan a trip to is now and they want experience all of it, pretty soon they're going to need a week

Allan (00:08:04):
Press. Well, yeah. And a weekend a bet. Yeah, I think, yeah, because there's now nine, there'll be soon be 11 if these do these three, and then I think there's potentially on two in the planning stages of two more distilleries that are going to be planned. So yeah, you might need the two week. Yeah. But yeah, it's all good. Yeah.

Drew (00:08:25):
So because when you were growing up, Brook Lotti was probably either, I know it was owned by White Mackay for a while, so it was basically making whiskeys for blends, I guess. Yeah,

Allan (00:08:41):
That's correct. Yeah. Yeah.

Drew (00:08:42):
So was it kind of just the odd man out distillery that everybody knew it was there but nobody really paid attention to it?

Allan (00:08:48):
Yeah, I think in that era between the eighties and nineties when I was growing up on Ivo, I think the distillers were quite different to what they are today on ila. I think it was in the 1990s, probably mid 1990s, but more with the first distillery to have a visitor center to actually welcome visitors. So up until then, the distilleries were more factories where they were big buildings, nobody really seen inside, nobody really understood what they were. Obviously I did, I had a more of appreciation because I grew up in one. I grew up at the Freud, but at that time there was no visitors. It was just basically a factory there were making whiskey.

Allan (00:09:32):
And I think it slowly started to change, I think after, but more started some of the other discoveries started to see the value in opening visitor centers and actually welcoming people in and showing them the process and educating 'em on the brands. And it suddenly started to see the change. And I think Barclay was no exception. I think in that era in the early 1990s, it was just like all the other S where it was just producing spirit and a lot of it was put into tankers and then shipped off to the mainland for filling into cat. They were put off to the central warehouses on the mainland, and the battles were filled for Blend, just as you said. So a lot of the whiskey was traded for BU into Blend, and a small percentage of production would go into single mall, and that was quite common. So I think I do remember the story when it was operating, and as I said, I don't think we thought of any differently from any of the other distill, but certainly from what it was then to what it is today, it's completely different in terms of still the same location, but totally different business model altogether. Yeah,

Drew (00:10:44):
Yeah. I sometimes get the impression, especially through your branding, that this is kind of the hip new distillery, but it actually has a history that goes way back to 19th century.

Allan (00:10:57):
Yeah, we're got quite a contrast because the one thing that, so when I reopened Brola in 2001, what we had was our Victorian distillery that had all this Victorian equipment, some of it dating back to when the distillery was originally built, and some of them early 19 hundreds. And because the previous owners hadn't really invested in Brola the way that some of the other distilleries had expanded over the time, they increased the production capacities and they made the process more efficient and more modern equipment. Bcla was one of these distill that didn't have that rejuvenation. So we actually found it as a US P. When we opened the distill, we found that we were quite unique because we still had the open top mash to the old roller mill, the Bobby Mill and the wooden wash backs. And there was no automation in our process.

Allan (00:11:55):
And we know that a lot of our competitors in the industry today have advanced their process to bring in automation. So we had the guys that worked at the distillery before that hadn't retired through the shutdown, had came back to, they had the skill of how the story ran. So they came back and they were the guys that were teaching people like myself to pass on that knowledge. But one thing that we tried to protect, and today we still protect it, is that we don't have automation in the process. We still work on the fact that we're still using traditional methods, we're still using the traditional equipment, and it's all made by hand and made by the skill. It's the knowledge. It's not relying on any automation to make the whiskey and even more so we do everything in our power to protect the original equipment.

Allan (00:12:43):
So there's a bit of a story that goes with that, the mash ton, which was the original mash ton. It's over a, we about over 140 years old, about seven, eight years ago, we had to do a repair. And because of the outer cast of the mash to the shell of the mash ton is cast iron. So we had to do a repair and we were advised by all the specialists that we should condemn the marton and have it replaced with a new stainless steel. It could be built in Germany, it could be here in six weeks. And it was super fast for repair, but having to make a decision, it was myself, I had to make the decision was I going to condemn a piece of equipment, had worked for 130 years and capable of doing another 130 if you make that repair or you condemn it and replace it.

Allan (00:13:42):
And then that history came over. So it wasn't, well to be honest, it wasn't a difficult decision because we just had to go back to what our values, and actually we want to keep this traditional, so we need to make the repair. So we had to convince the specialist that we had to make the repair. It did cost us, we actually had to stop distilling for four months because it was such a complex repair and it cost us a lot more than probably what it would cost to buy a new mash to. But at the end of the day, we've restored the mash to into a workable condition, it'll go on and continue to work. So I think we are very committed to try and retaining that tradition. And we quite often get challenged with, there's opportunity to advance and bring in something, a new technology that would make the process more efficient or make it easier for the workers.

Allan (00:14:35):
But we then come back to st, but we've managed for 140 years without it, so we can go continue to do this because we're making whiskey, we're not changing the process. The process is still the same. Yeah. So I think that part of it we enjoy. But just to go on, finish that comment, I think on the distilling side, we really respect edition and we try and do everything to maintain that. I think on our packaging and our marketing, I think that we look at it very in a different lens where we want to be more modern and challenging convention in terms of just the way that we market our product and do that. We don't really, I think in, and this goes back 20 years, it's not just couldn't thinking it was 20 years ago when we revived the distillery and the time Mark Rainier and Simon Coughlin and Jim McEwen had all come from different walks of life.

Allan (00:15:34):
Jim had come from the whiskey industry. Mark and Simon had come from the wine industry, but knew had they handled spirits and they had a good in understanding of the spirits industry, but they felt that the industry was like there was full of tartan and kind of old myths and things that were, so we wanted to be more real, more authentic and be more transparent about what we do in the process and more educational. So we wanted to do that, but also do it with a fresh lens who says it has, we can't use a coated bottle or who says it has to be clear and it has to be tall with a screw cap. We can use different ways of doing things. So I think that that was fresh and it revived in terms of thinking actually we can do this differently because we're a new business. We're not, because at that time we really brought Bri Cloudi, we revived Briad and brought it back it to life as a brand as well, because as a single malt, it didn't really known, a lot of people didn't really know it existed. So it was a new beginning. So yeah, I think it would be different today if you were reopening a distillery and it already had everybody had a global presence, it would be a big and bold move to go and change the packaging and the marketing.

Drew (00:16:58):

Allan (00:16:58):
Back then it was quite an easy decision to make. Well,

Drew (00:17:00):
That's what I love when I look at your packaging because it pretty much, it's very straightforward and really gives you a lot of the detail that you're just now starting to see on other distilleries bottles. I mean, yeah, non chill filtered. That's not something that a lot of people have talked about or pushed out there. And some are promoting it now. Others are kind of still hiding it. And for us as whiskey consumers, it kind of gives us the ability to choose and as you say, learn a little bit more about what may make this whiskey better or not. Even if I don't understand what until filtered means, it gets me to ask questions.

Allan (00:17:49):
Absolutely. Yeah. And that's exactly what we wanted because when we were using these things as our talking points, so that when we were building the brand of Be Clai or Port, or is putting these statements on the bottle allowed people to, if they didn't understand what it means, ask the question and we would happily tell them what it means. Because again, we wanted to be more transparent because before that, I think one of Jim's frustrations and Mark's frustrations, they had the experience that people didn't talk about this in the industry before in the eighties and nineties, all this was all, it wasn't really open and transparent. People didn't talk about these points. Whereas now every brand talks about it. They talk about it openly because it's not so much a big deal. I think consistency once upon a time, I think when you're making a blend that you're selling as a brand, yes, you want consistency.

Allan (00:18:47):
But I think nowadays in single malt, people want variety. They want different, you want to be able to taste the nuances and understand why they taste different. So we can educate them on, if it's down to the maturation, if it's down to the influence of the casks or the smokiness of the whiskey, the multi barley that we make to the whiskey worth, or if it's a nus to do with the climate that's made in all these different things, we can educate them on that. And I think that's, to me, where I think it is so interesting. The whole single malt category is so interesting because there's so much information and you've got to remember it's on, it's, well, certainly in Scotch biscuits, it's very basic. We're only allowed to use malted barley, yeast water, and the only other ingredient you can use is peak to just to dry the barley. So we're very restricted to what we can do, but there's such an array of different flavors. I think a lot of it does get well. I know a lot of it, the majority of it comes from the cask, and we can use a wide variety of different casks for aging and all these things. But yeah, I mean it's so fascinating. But yeah, certainly talking about all these things now, it's more common than it was 20 years ago

Drew (00:20:01):
For sure. So when I was at the distillery and doing the tour, I got to hear the story of how the distillery was rediscovered. It actually had been mothballed for, what, six years or so? Six

Allan (00:20:16):
Years, yeah.

Drew (00:20:17):
And so you just had these casks sitting there sleeping with a couple of security guards, I guess, or the two employees that were still working there. Yes. So can you go into the story of how Mark discovered the distillery and went about purchasing it?

Allan (00:20:36):
Yeah, yeah. So it is quite an interesting story. I think Mark had worked in, he was a wine merchant in London and he worked in his family's business and he had a couple of shops in London, and Simon was his business partner, and they worked together. And at that point, Jim, they never met, Jim worked in Bour, and through that time they set up this an independent spirits business called Money David. And they were buying spirits with casks, offspring, bank and other these threes and selling them. And I think Mark was, at some event, there was a raffle, a tum, I dunno if you know the kambo. So he threw a tum bottle of whiskey and he went to collect it, and it was a bottle of Bri, 15 year old. And he had never really heard of it, and he just thought, it's another scotch whiskey he'd never heard of he there.

Allan (00:21:34):
So at one point, not long after that, he opened the bottle to take a drink and was blown away by the, just the elegance of the whiskey. It was just a perfect ram. So he wanted to discover more about this whiskey and started to do a bit of research into do only to discover. This was in about 96, I think 95, 96, just shortly after it was closed to discover that the story had been closed by white Mackin. So I think this was around about the same time as him and Simon were starting to build this spirits business that they were buying and selling whiskey and ro in their own branding. And they wanted to discover more. And they were basically trying to understand why the disturb was closed. And at that time you weren't the internet, there wasn't all this data on the internet or anything.

Allan (00:22:35):
So it was all he had to speak to people. He didn't really know a lot of people. But through time he started to discover that they shot, it was Mothball, it was owned by white Mackay. And then white Mackay had actually sold out to Jim Beam brand. So I think Mark then started to write to them the owners of Jim Beam Brands to understand why they were not doing anything with this distillery. And well understand if they were going to do anything with the distillery. And then if they were going to, if they weren't, would they consider selling it? And it took quite a while. This was well done by letters back and forward. And I think quite of often Mark would he anything for a long time and they write to them again, and then somebody else would maybe respond. And it was back and forth, but not really making much progress.

Allan (00:23:21):
But then out the blue, I think maybe 19 98, 19 99, I think out the blue, he received a letter to say that they were interest in selling the Dec distillery. So he had to then start putting a business plan together to get investors. And there is a story of when Mark and his brother during this time, just before the only distillery Mark was pursuing trying to buy it, and him and his brother took a holiday in Scotland and they decided to cycle around the West coast playing golf. And they were cycling around the islands and playing some golf. And because he came to Ida to play golf, he decided that when he was here, he wanted to cycle to, because he knew and he wanted to be there in person to go to the distiller in person, not really knowing, understanding what he wanted to see. So he remembers, well, he tells the story of him cycling to the distillery and coming into the village and cycling up to the main gate and the gates were closed, there were chains on the gate and there was a sign saying close to visitors, and he was standing at the gate looking through the railings, looking in, and he seen one of the caretakers walking past the courtyards.

Allan (00:24:38):
And there was nobody else about, he shouted to him, oh I can, is it okay to come in? And the caretaker says, no, you can F off. And he thought, how rude. And I think that kind of memory stuck with him. And ironically, after Mark bought the place, the caretaker kept his job. Oh,

Drew (00:24:59):
Nice. It didn't affect him too much. Yeah. So

Allan (00:25:04):
Yeah, then the business plan, getting investors, and then I think in the year 2000, the deal was done and then that was the case. That was when it was restarted. And we officially kind of started the work in the project in two January, 2001.

Drew (00:25:23):
So you were on board in January, 2001?

Allan (00:25:25):
Yeah, yeah. Very just at the very beginning. Yeah. Just fortunate, as I say, I wanted to start my career in the whiskey industry. I knew Jim, it was all good fortune just at the time that this was all happening where Jim was in taking the lead in, bringing this through back to life. He had to try and do recruit some of the guys that worked here. But what happened during the six years at close, there was about three or four of the guys who worked here had actually reached retirement age. So they decided not to come back to employment. And the ones that were still below retirement age and were still willing, decided they left, they'd gone off and got other jobs, but then decided to come back to the distillery, they had to know how. And so it was all quite exciting at the time, reforming a new team.

Allan (00:26:10):
I mean the first six months we didn't make whiskey. We were basically restoring the distillery and bringing it back to life because no maintenance, nothing had been done for six years. So things had seized, some of the machinery needed over hope, plate needed, cleaned and painted. There was birds nesting and everything. So it was a mess. Yeah, we did think at beginning it was hard to imagine will we ever make whiskey because it was like wasn't in a really bad state, but it was hard to see that there was life in it because the equipment so old, there was a lot of rust. Everything was just like, and it was hard to believe that make whiskey. And even if you look at the contrast today, go back my memory, come back to what necessarily looked like. It's just unbelievable that we turned around to what it is today.

Drew (00:27:00):
Was there ever a discussion about that old equipment saying, do we really want to go forward with this? Or was it always, no, we got to make this work?

Allan (00:27:09):
Yeah, I think it was always, we've got to make it work. I think twofold, I think E, that everything they had into buying the distillery, but b, I think we recognized that it was a USP at the beginning was that we've got a Victorian distiller, we've got something that's very special here that we're still making whiskey the traditional way, the traditional equipment, which is quite unique today. And even 20 years ago it was still quite unique and it was something that we took pride in and it was just something magical about the distillery had that great history that it still had the original mash on the mill was 115 years old, it was still very old. And they stills had such a great history. I think that it just had something about it that we had to restore it and use, try and keep it. So I don't think there were ever really a point where we felt that yeah, we've to need to change this equipment cause it wouldn't do what we needed to do. The equipment here has worked perfectly for the last 20 years, so

Drew (00:28:17):
Yeah. Now you had someone who had had a lot of experience there, the late Duncan McGilvry. McGilvery, yeah. And how valuable was that in having somebody who knew

Allan (00:28:27):
That equipment? Yeah, I mean invaluable today, I don't think we would've ever got off the ground in 2001 if it hadn't been for Duncan, because Duncan McGilvery had worked at the distillery before, its close closure. In 1996, he had worked for about 20 ish, 20, just over 20 odd years in the distillery. And he was an engineer, so he knew every nut and bolt, he knew every sound and everything about the process. So he came back on board When the distillery was revived, he knew everything. He managed to get, he knew everything that needed to get the distillery back up on his feet. And he was the one that was telling Mark and Simon and Gem, this will work, this distill will work again. So they put their faith in him and we all joined and we followed in terms of done what needed to be done to get the Discipl distillery running again.

Allan (00:29:22):
And in the early days, I mean I learned so much of Duncan just not the way that he understood the equipment, but also the process and the way he was in life. He had a very much cando attitude. So it was never like, this is broken, it can't be fixed, we need to replace it. He always had the attitude that this can be prepared, this we will get this going again and we will. It was always a positive attitude to things. And I think that to me, and he led by example because he wasn't one of these people who would talk and then not do anything. He was always followed through. And I think that gave me huge inspiration in my career that learning along these ways of working with somebody that's so positive and willing to just mend and make do. And I mean, don't be wrong.

Allan (00:30:17):
There is points where you've got to give up and say, look, this will never work again. Or something's at the end of his life. But he came from a generation where it wasn't a throwaway society. It wasn't just like, we'll go and buy a new one or we'll have two spares sitting there. He was one that was, he always repaired and very creative in terms of the way that he would could make things work. So he was a bit of a genius. So again, he played a vital part in the Renix fund. So bringing Proti back to life. And I think just in terms of the ethos of what actually happens in today, in the early days, German and Duncan were both so, they were both born and bred on island and they have a huge kind of respect for the community and what Ila life is about.

Allan (00:31:15):
So I think that had a big influence on Briad as a business because it wasn't just a business we were opening just to make whiskey, to make lots of whiskey to sell and internationally, and it was like bra cloudi just going to be a postcode that we made the whiskey at. And it didn't actually creating jobs without the community, giving opportunities for people on the island, whether it's in the farming community, to grow barley for the distillery or whether it was local contractors or Colliers or to get work and to build that community around the distillery, which we still have today. And it's growing over time. And it's so important to us because we are a community based distillery. We all island people, we all live on the island. We all want it to be sustainable. So you want to kind of support in other places. So when Lardy was closed, the hotel in Port Charlotte was closed because there was no train. But now it's reopened and actually there's more hotels and there's more guest house because we bring, there's people that come to the island to visit the distillery. So it's, it generates huge sport economy for the island, which is great.

Drew (00:32:34):
So what did you do once you had all of these old casks sitting there and you're not producing for some time? Were those casks usable? Did you end up putting those in bottles and selling those first? Yeah.

Allan (00:32:51):
Yeah. So that was one of the things. So when we started in 2001, there was a lot of casks When it had been closed, the whiskey was still maturing in the warehouses. And when the purchase was done, we purchased the stock that was sitting in the warehouses and Duncan and myself and a team of people were working, getting the distillery up and running. And while we were doing this, Jim was working with another team, going through all the stocks, evaluating the quality of the stocks that we had had inherited. Now there was probably about two or three different grades. What would happen was a lot of the casks that were in the warehouses were filled in the eighties and nineties, seventies, eighties and nineties predominantly. And a lot of the casts were old casks that had been filled that maybe third fill cast, second, third, sometimes fourth fill casts that had no life in it.

Allan (00:33:53):
So Jim had to go through and basically inspect every battle to say, to check the quality, to see if the casp was performing or not, so that he could then understand. So there was casks that were actively working well and the whiskey was great and it was kind of ready to sell. There was tasks that were okay and maybe given a bit of time would develop and there was tasks that were just, nothing was happening cause there was no life left in the wood. So what we had to then do is start to buy new wood to then start transferring the whiskey that wasn't maturing into the new, and then start a program of reviving that whiskey and bringing it back to life. So that started a program of bringing reviving all that whiskey. And we started using she casks and using wine casts, a lot of European casts.

Allan (00:34:47):
And I think the reason that, well, a couple of reasons availability of getting European cast was there was a lot of availability. But also it helped because European oak is a lot more, well, it's a bit more porous than the American Oak. The grain of the wood is a bit more open. So what you find is that you get quicker influence from a European oak than you will from American Oak. So the reason of the reason was we needed to speed up the maturation a little bit because some of this whiskey had been already been aging for minimum sex, but some of it was like 10, 15 year olds. So we wanted to to not fast track, but bring it back and try and recover it quickly. So using European ca help. But then that what that was actually open up because Mark and Simon's connection coming from the wine industry, it gave us a great insight into, they had great contacts into you, some of the great chats from Bordeaux from all over the world really, but mainly France.

Allan (00:35:52):
But we got access to some amazing wine cast that were really enhancing the flavor of the whiskey and started to give a whole new profile of whiskey that it was mind boggling in terms of the standard type of whiskey that you're used to trying and then trying all these amazing whiskeys that have been finished and things. So what quickly started to become, what was a reaction to the situation of the whiskey was dead and we needed to revive, it suddenly opened this opportunity of creating a library of different flavors because we were using such a wide range of different casks to try and enhance it. And suddenly Jim was starting to get really excited in the early years because he worked in and he worked as a kind distiller and a blender, but he was always in that ear. He was always given a recipe to work through to create.

Allan (00:36:50):
But whereas he was now in a playing field where he had all these different flavors and there was no recipe he could create what he wanted. So all of a sudden he got very creative and Lardy quickly became renowned for having lots of products because Jim time into the warehouse, he would come up as something new and we thought, well, we'll just release tests and a new limited bottling. So I think quite quickly we became renowned for doing lots of limited releases. We're weirding good things in terms of, it was some of the, I remember the very first 20 year old that we released, it was called Flirtation and the whiskey was almost pink ravino. It was very pink and dark and it was just something that was totally, I think me and Jim had came up with this name flirtation for it. It was released about the Valentine's Day.

Allan (00:37:48):
And I was trying to imagine it would attract for a Valentine's Day and it was pink and romantic, but it was just all these things started to evolve very, very quickly off the back of trying to revive the stop that hadn't been really maturing now. It was good times. And we, we've continued that journey of terms of being very explorational in terms of the casts that we use. So we don't tend to just stick to a ratio of the battles we fill. And for these core products, we we're very experimental in terms of the wood that we use. And we've got a huge variety of different types of work in the warehouses maturing away. And for us, it's like I often explain to people when you come in, if you go into the warehouses, we didn't control of what we are. We're making all these different types of spirit and we didn't control of the wood that we buy.

Allan (00:38:48):
And if we were just picking a couple of bar, if we were just picking eggs, bourbon casks and egg sherry casks, and we would have them and then that would be your tolerance to play with. You would've your bourbon style whiskey and you'd have your Shelly Cat style whiskey. And that's what happened once upon a time back many years ago, Jim told me that that was common in the industry. It was quite common. It was just bourbon and cherry cast. There was not a great selection and the quality was up and down. Sometimes there were good cast and sometimes there were bad. But now, because what we do is we are actually selecting cast from all over the world and looking at the quality of the spirit that's been in it before. And actually what this is doing is creating an array of different flavors for us.

Allan (00:39:39):
And as I say, I often explain to people it's a bit like your spice racket home or your covered, if the more spices and ingredients you have, the more creative you can be with what you're preparing. Whereas if you only have a limited amount of options, you're limited to what you can do. So for us, our kind of philosophy in terms of with purchasing is keep being creative, trying different things. We have the good fortune that we're making different three different types of spirits. So we're making Lar, which is Unpeated or Charlotte, which is medium ped, it is a bit 40 pm and then the Okta work, which is really super heavily ped. And then using these different battle types, you get all sorts of different flavors, which is again, gives us lots of options. And you can see that you know are using really smoky whiskeys like Okta Moore and then using really sweet sit wine casks or Bordeaux wine cask that are really giving different dimensions to the flavor that you would get from. And to be honest, I'm not putting down bourbon cast are amazing. Shelly cast are amazing. We buy a lot of bourbon cast. I mean the most cats we buy are bourbon. Actually we buy more than half is definitely bourbon that we buy.

Drew (00:41:02):
You almost think it's going to get to a point where cherry cast is going to get very hard to find because so many people are focused on them.

Allan (00:41:10):
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. And it's funny because I've seen in the 20 years there was an era where she cast were, they're really struggling to get rid of them. They were basically, there was a period where you could buy them really cheap and there was a huge selection of them available. It's gone the opposite way now. It's very difficult to get cherry cast. The price has got very expensive cause there's such a huge demand for 'em. I think those who can buy them are very fortunate to get them. And we know that cherry production for a while was on the decline because not many people are consuming cherry. So it's difficult to get authentic sherry casks. A lot of the sherry casts that are being used today are almost seasoned or they are seasoned in terms of there's a process for seasoning the wood with Sherry just to get them ready for maturing whiskey rather than actually Sherry casts that have been maturing sherry for X a number of years.

Drew (00:42:13):
Wow. So you came out with Okta Moore, how now, what was the first release of Okta Moore? When was that?

Allan (00:42:22):
So the first release was about 2006, 2007 I think. Yeah. And first optimal we done was called the Beast just because it was a bit of an animal in terms of the smokiness that was really, really different to the style of whiskey that we were bring. So it was kind of nicknamed the beast in terms of just its style. And it was 80 parts per a million. So that was the first ever Optum more that we distilled at the distillery. And then from there, then we started to create the Optum More series, which was Optum one. And then we went on to Optum two, and then it was Optum two that we decided to do a second edition. So when we'd done TUM two, actually this, we had been laid down Okta more in some wine casks, red wine casks. And we decided that actually it would be interesting to put a parallel.

Allan (00:43:19):
So you've got Okta more two, which was the five years old in bourbon cask. And in Okta 2.2 was Okta Moore, five year old in this red white cast. So you had a parallel to taste side. And then it really evolved from there that it made sense to always have a parallel. So you always have 0.1 would be the standard Okta more in bourbon cast, so that's your kind of core, your bench. And then you would always have a variation of Okta more in a different type of cask, which would be the 0.2. And then the 0.3 system can later in when we start where we were growing local barley locally here and Okta Farm, which the whiskey's named after, which is less than two miles from the distillery, was they started growing barley for us. So we kept their barley separate and we made it in Okta more.

Allan (00:44:13):
So it was quite a nice story. The barley growing an Okta more farm became Okta more whiskey nice. So we decided to create that 0.3 series so that every year the farm was growing barley, it was the evolution of the ALA growing. So 0.3 is always using the local barley coming from Optum or farm. So it's kind of uber prominence in terms of it's grown an Optum farm, it's distilled as Optum whiskey, certainly it's just another dimension. So yeah, we continued that. And then lastly there, maybe a bit four or five years ago through innovation, we decided that it would be quite cool, some of the whiskey that we'd been trialing, like I was talking about earlier, exploring with the cast types. We had started trialing upward in Virgin Oak. So battles had no previous content and the results were amazing and we thought, well, it would be great to bring this to the market. So we created the 0.4 CDs square up to more 0.4 in any of these CDs. If there's a 0.4, it's generally with Virgin Oak.

Drew (00:45:19):
Okay. And before I dive into this next question, let's talk about PPM for people who may not understand that in phenols as a measurement for the amount of Pete smoke, and maybe a description of how it affects the whiskey, because some people will, I've heard say this one is lower PPM than the other, but it tastes a whole lot more smoky than another whiskey does.

Allan (00:45:50):
Yeah, it's interesting because it's such a big, big topic. I mean there's different measurements of the PPM that's used in the industry. The standard that we try maintain is that the measurement is done in the malt, not in the whiskey. So it's common when they make the malt, you measure the ppm, that's, that's a specification that we, with Port Charlotte, we give a specification to the ster for Okta Moore, we don't specify, we ask them to make it as PTs, as smokey as they can. So it's a variability with Okta Moore. One batch could be 80, the next one could be a hundred, it could be 120, it could be hundred 29, it could be 220. So there's a variability there. But that's what we like about Optor, that it's got no parameters in terms of the phen content. Now the, there's a couple of different methods.

Allan (00:46:38):
One of the old traditional methods is Colormetric method of measuring it. And that was one thing that was commonly used, but through time has been a bit more advanced. And the malt things that make the malt for us, they send it to a lab and they use HLC to measure the malt. So it's quite an advanced process of measuring it. So we get the phen content measured by a laboratory and we get a certificate of analysis that tells you the phen content of the malt before you distill it. Now during the distillation process, mainly through distillation, your phs are breaking down. And actually if you measure remeasure the phenal content in the whiskey, you would find it, it would be a lot less than what you have in the original malt because you've lost phenols through the process. But there's an unwritten rule, it's not anybody's, no, no law or anybody says it.

Allan (00:47:34):
But I think it's just a understanding in the industry that everybody that talks about phenols talks about in the malt, not in the spirit. Because it would confuse things if you were saying we could say in the spirit might be, I don't know, 60 or 70 parts per a million, but the malt is something else. So yeah, we talk about the malt and what we find, and you mentioned it there, is that when people taste it, they often describe it or I thought it would be more smokier than this. Or if you taste different whiskeys that are maybe the same BPMs, but they're totally different styles or characters and the smoke is more pronounced than one than is on the other. But I'm led to believe in paper they're both the same now. Absolutely, that happens because there's a lot of factors. So as I say through distillation, you lose fennels.

Allan (00:48:30):
The origin of the Pete also has a big impact. So the style of Pete or the character of Pete that is used to dry. So the best way of describing myself, probably, I'll use an example. So our peak that we use at the moment, we have explored with using ilae, but actually our peak open honestly comes from the northeast of Scotland. So we are not using using peak that's coming from the northeast because that's where our body's malted. And there's a peak source that's quite close to it, hence the old Caledonian forest. And there's a lot of broken down decade of the ice age. I think the forest had all kind of broken down and it was covered over, but they through years and years, like hundreds of years of the peat that is there has got a lot of forest tree roots and all sorts of things in the peat.

Allan (00:49:27):
And the peat that we use to dry our barley gives us water of a Whittier. It's like a campfire. So when you taste ome mor, you taste for chocolate. You can resemble that wood flavor if you're burning wood in a bonfire or if you're sometimes a bit more barbecue because you get that kind of charcoal barbecue flavor coming through. But it resembles the, I dunno if you're burning wood and it's a smoke that we're all familiar with because you're used to, most people are used to that smell. Now if you use iope, which is totally different origin, and the peat here is more kind of saturated in iodine and salt and stuff from the sea, and you've got that penetration from the salt, the sea, the salt water, you find that you get a totally different style of more iodine, more medicinal flavor coming through.

Allan (00:50:25):
So that's one thing. These are two things that will create different styles of smokey whiskey. But then the next factor is in the distillation, the speed and the shape you're still in. The way that you distill will have a factor and the cut points in distillation will have a factor on how smokey you get. Now one of the common debates or discussions, not debates, sorry, discussions that we have is that between Port and Okta Moore we have very slightly different cut points. And sometimes we get the, if you, if you have a glass of port and a glass of Okta, more on some of our Okta Moore expressions setting beside Plet, you smoke, you smell the P, and it's more smokier than the Octa normal. And that happens. And then on the pallet it's a different style. You get different flavors and the smokey is there and sometimes it's really strong and sometimes Plet is really pronounced.

Allan (00:51:21):
Well, the pat against Ome Moore is really pronounced and people say, I thought Okta Moore was not that PT compared to Pat. Get that conversation a lot. The truth of it is that's exactly what happens because we change the cut points and we still really, really slowly to try and get up to more and more elegant because we know the phs are high. And when Jim, the very first time we distilled up to more, we were on, we weren't sure what was going to happen because this was malt a specification that was really, really high. And when it was running through the distillation, the smoke was really pronounced, but it was really, really smoky. There was no other flavor to it. And it was just one dimensional. And Jim wrestled with it a lot. And Jim's mind was thinking, I remember I was on the stools, I was at this, the Syrian and we were working to there and he was standing by the, they're still measuring it and trying to get the different cuts and tasting and nosing.

Allan (00:52:25):
And he said he wanted Dr. Moore to be three-dimensional. He wanted the peak to be there, but he wanted the sweetness to come through from the malted barley and the floral flavors from the fermentation. He wanted that flavor to be present, but also wanted the elegance of the cloudy style because we've long neck stills and we've got long tall, tall neck stills. So by distilling slowly we get the elegance. And it also means that you get the purification because you're, the slower you distill, the more copper contact you get, the more eleg elegant and the more flavor that's coming through from your base spirit is coming through. So we are actually sacrificing some of the phenols through the distillation to get some of that other flavor coming into the Octa more so that you get that more three-dimensional flavor from Octa, more that you would get from another petered whiskey that is a bit more really pronounced.

Allan (00:53:19):
And that to me was part of my learning. And it was very creative with Jim to like that because generally it would be just get as smoke as you can and we really want something to kind of pet the bar. But this was something that was totally different. And I think that's some of the magical about Octa more because on papered it's very strong in terms of high ppm, it's cast strength, it's 60 ppm, it's five years old on paper it you kind of think this is going be undrinkable actually, when you taste it no other spirit it, it's amazing because you get that surprise, that wow moment of discovery of wow, something can taste, it's got the smoke, but it's also got the elegance, it's got the sweetness coming and it's a very, very pleasant discovery on your palette that you're not expecting. You're expecting something.

Allan (00:54:17):
I think because generally if you're told about all these factors and you understand what that means, yeah, you are probably in your mind you're thinking this is going to be unpleasant, but then you're like, wow, this is not unpleasant. This is really, really good. So yeah. Yeah, I mean think it, it's great. And we've always, we've then obviously continued over the years making Optum more in that way of trying to get that balance of the different dimensions coming through. So we often find that you might not on the nose, you might not find Optor as smokey as you would portray it, or another smokey whiskey that's a lower field phen content. But it's to do with the distillation and it's to do with the style that we make it because we want it that way.

Drew (00:55:00):
So just to verify what you just said, when we were doing the warehouse tour and we were being offered the Okta Moore straight from the cask, we were, everybody's eyes were big and we're hearing about it. And I'd never had Okta Moore before at that point. And so I really had no idea what to expect. But I loved smokey whiskeys and so I was expecting this blast of smoke and it was amazing to me. Part of me thought, I wonder if it's the combination of high proof and that smoke that they actually kind of work together to also pull down some of that overwhelming experience, like a distraction.

Allan (00:55:45):

Drew (00:55:45):
One distracts from the other.

Allan (00:55:47):

Drew (00:55:47):

Allan (00:55:48):
Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, I think that's the great thing about it. Yeah, it's, it's very hard to describe the, it's hard to, we've often been, people say to us, what's it? And it's hard to describe it as something because there's nothing like it. Yeah.

Drew (00:56:07):

Allan (00:56:08):
It is difficult cause within whiskey, you could say it, right? Okay. Yeah. It's a smokey whiskey. It's a bit like B, it's a bit one of the other petered, but it's not any of them. Yeah.

Drew (00:56:21):
Well and it's

Allan (00:56:22):
Hard to, yeah,

Drew (00:56:23):
I was going to say, I get the caledonian forest when I smell this, rather than getting that kind of briny smell that I get, and this is the 12.1, I am getting much more of the fruits. And I also get this smell of autumn. It smells like burning leaves to me grasses, toasted almonds, all these kind of little notes that I get in it.

Allan (00:56:51):
Yeah, you do, definitely. It's more a smoke that everybody can resemble to. And I think that's something that we find quite warming that it's, it's something that's quite familiar in terms of that kind of style of smoking. I mean, in my own journey, in terms of my personal journey in drinking whiskey, when I was old enough to drink, or probably actually I wasn't old enough to legally drink, but my first ever experience with whiskey was drinking lare whiskey that my father made. And I thought that had put me off whiskey for life because

Allan (00:57:32):
Honestly, and it not like today I can drink Lare, but back then my palate wasn't used to it. I was very young, inexperienced, and I took a taste of whiskey. I didn't enjoy it because it was so smoky. Just a taste that I could not connect with. But when I started working at Lar, the whiskeys that Jim had been working on in the warehouses were all unpeated whiskeys. So that started my journey on whiskey. Cause I got into drinking on Peter Whiskeys and I developed a connection with drinking that style of whiskey and we were sampling and it wasn't so powerful. And I started to drink that, but I was always a bit skeptical about the Peter Whiskeys because we were making optimal and Pot C and moved taste the new mix for it. And it was like there was no wood influence and it was a bit smoky.

Allan (00:58:23):
I was never really a big fan of it, but always my mind was always going back to that experience with the La Freud. But I was warming to the Unpeated, still whiskeys. But then as Plet started to become more mature and we started to work with it and then was released and also we started with a five year old, actually through time I started to develop this interest and ability to drink it. And I think it was that familiarization of drinking something that it had a smoky flavor to it, but it was more something like I resembled to a bonfire or a campfire or something that I wasn't put off by. And it was more approachable than something that was strong and that medicinal flavor that I didn't really enjoy. But to be honest, and there's no bad reflection on the Freud today, I can drink the Freud and I quite happily drink a glass of fro and Cause my palate is more mature and I can take that flavor. But when I was younger I couldn't. But yeah, I think that journey into petered whiskey is quite interesting because if you've ever had a smoky whiskey and you didn't enjoy it, it's not to say you won't like them all. Yeah. I think that it's finding the right one and even UR is a good approachable whiskey that you can drink that is not going to, it's a different style that is very approachable.

Drew (00:59:50):
I like to say it's a mindset change because the first time I had a Isla whiskey, it was the first time when I said, I can really tell you what this tastes like. It was the first whiskey that I got a flavor note in my head and it was Band-aid.

Allan (01:00:04):
Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah.

Drew (01:00:05):
And it was a cheap ilo whiskey, a blend, and it did set me off on wanting to taste other ped whiskeys, but what I learned is that it's just a frame of mind. If you go in and you drink a ped whiskey thinking it's going to be sweet, yes. Then you're going to get an experience that's not going to match what your mind is thinking. So I always tell people, just forget everything about whiskey and approach this a completely different drink. It's savory, it's smokey, and it's more like dinner than it is dessert.

Allan (01:00:44):
Yeah, that's funny you should say that because that's something that we often say about Okta more as well when you're introducing Okta more to people is forget everything. This is something that you need to clear your mind, not kind of think what it's going to be and just go into this with an open mind because just exactly what you've just described, if you go into it expecting something, I mean a bit slight contradiction because if, as we've said before, I think some of the enjoyment of discovering Okta more is that you think it's going to be this and it ends up being that and you're like, wow, blown away. But we've also been trying to educate people so that they're more open to trying it because I think a lot of people, some people have got the confidence to try it. Some people say, no, I'm not. I don't like Peter Whiskey. I'm not going to try it. I've tried something smokey. I don't like it. That sounds disgusting because it's really going to be really smokey. It's really strong in alcohol and it's really young. I'm not going to enjoy it. And they'll just say, no. That's when you've got to say, forget everything. Actually give this a goal because you might be surprised.

Drew (01:01:55):
Amazing. I feel like when I'm teaching people about scotch, the first thing I have to do is I have to say, they're not all smokey. Yeah, they're not true. They're not all S smokey. Then once I get them off of the ledge and saying, I don't want to taste it because all scotch is smokey, and I get them into a highland or space side, I will then say, okay, now let's go back and have Smokey, but let's change your mindset.

Allan (01:02:23):
Yes. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, no, definitely it's a path and again, I mean I suppose you can't generalize because people will, we've seen people just tasting up to more don't like whiskey in general tasting Okta or tasting per Charlotte, and I like this, but I don't like whiskey. And you're like, wow. So it does, people can go straight into it. But I think my own journey, I started off with quite typical getting into spirits and drinking the lighter unpeated whiskeys first than then getting into the more smokier ones as your pallet de develops and you what to expect and you can appreciate the flavors and the nuances of the smoke that maybe when you're younger you don't really appreciate.

Drew (01:03:15):
Yeah. So in the 12.2 it's, it's got brighter fruits to it. It seems like there's like orange honey, those kind of things coming through. Yeah, I

Allan (01:03:25):
Think she influence there is certainly been interesting with Okta more because it's got that kind of dried fruit coming through and a better sweetness, dried sweetness coming through. So yeah, I think she influence is playing its part there.

Drew (01:03:44):
I get a little bit more of the tannins too from the wood in that one.

Allan (01:03:49):

Drew (01:03:50):
It's amazing how different these two whiskeys are both being an optimal series, but that's part of the charm of these. Yeah,

Allan (01:03:57):
Absolutely. Yeah. That's what we want is to that discussion point about well tried this one, this is this style, tried it in this type of tasks and that experience of seeing the difference. And I think having almost the 0.1 is always the bench, the core that gives you that reference point to always to check back on.

Drew (01:04:22):
And then the 12.3 is this is local barley and I actually, I got into this conversation with Ian McAllister over at Glen Scotia because I did a whole series on Campbelltown whiskey and the origins of scotch and we were talking about bear grain. Yep. Is that the grain that you're using from ILO or is this different?

Allan (01:04:47):
Yeah, not for ILA or for the Optum Moore. So we do grow beer barley, but we actually get it growing in Ory where it's more suited to growing. So we work with the agronomy institute in Ory and they work with three small farms that are growing beer barley and they supply us with the amount every of beer barley every year. So we've been making beer Bali since 2006.

Allan (01:05:11):
Okay. We make a small amount. It's about 1% of our production is very, very small, but it creates an amazing whiskey because the great thing about the beer barley is it creates a different profile of whiskey. It's because of the grain is, it's an old ancient grain. There's a low producer of starch, so it yields lower than more modern conventional barley that you would get today. So there's not a high amount of starchy, a lot more husk from it. So when you, it's to be honest, it's quite suited for milling, for making flour, for making bread or for making biscuits, but it's actually when you distill it, you get a lot of flour and a lot of husk from it, but not a lot of starch. So hence the reason why it doesn't commonly get used today for distilling because it yields low. But what interests us about it, and we make a small amount of effort every year, is that because of that low level of starch and actually high level, it actually brings through different flavors.

Allan (01:06:20):
So you get more pronounced flavors from the fermentation because the fermentation, the ster, there's more flavors coming through that that are left over from the yeast. You get more cereal notes coming because you've got more flavors coming from the actual, the husk and the flour because there's less starch. So actually we find that actually working with beer barley creates this different profile of whiskey that is rewarding enough to keep doing it. Whereas a lot of people would say, actually, no, the yield's terrible. We don't get enough spirit off that, so we'll stop doing it. We're actually working with it. To get that different profile is rewarding enough to say, actually, we like this style of whiskey and it plays leverage into what we believe that we believe that barley plays an influence on the flavor. Not hugely, we're not saying that it's the most predominant flavor, but it plays an influence. It's one of, it's the fundamental ingredient that you use in whiskey making, so it's got tip of an influence and using different varieties, and especially some of these older varieties. You certainly see the difference in the whiskey profile.

Drew (01:07:29):
So on 12.3, this one seems to go more for the darker fruits, the figs, raisins, that sort of thing. So what is the barreling process for this?

Allan (01:07:43):
Yeah, so I'm just trying to remind myself with 0.3. It is generally bourbon cast, but then Adam will use, he'll select a variety of different wine cast just to mix up a little bit, and I think in this one he has used some fortified wine cast and some other wine barrels that can work well with the bourbon casks. So we generally kind of play up a bit. Sometimes we will use more bourbon and less wine or sherry cast, but in this instance, he's used quite a high portion of X wine casts.

Drew (01:08:24):
Interesting. Because it has this minerally character to it and then it has this dark chocolate that came to me right on the finish, which is really nice. Yeah.

Allan (01:08:33):
Yeah. Again, it's one of our favorites. We always, I think the local aspect of it, but we always like the 0.3 because it's got also, I always get this, it's a little bit more drier, but it, it's not briny salty, but it's like a bit more savory than some of the other whiskeys that we produce. It's not as sweet as some of the other whiskeys. And that kind of savory note I think is something that we like. With the 0.3 series,

Drew (01:09:08):
I hear there's a 10 year coming out.

Allan (01:09:12):
Yeah, yeah. We're working on a 10 year old, so we tend to retake, so sometimes it's either a 0.4 or a 10 year old is the fourth release, so we don't have a 0.4 virgin outcast every year or every release. Sometimes we do a 10 year old in the middle just to keep looking at optimal as it develops with age because predominantly they're quite young. But with, we like to then look at the reference point of it being 10. We hope to someday let's start looking at 12 and 15 year old as well. Wow. Just building up the inventory of that to be able to do that.

Drew (01:09:49):
Yeah. I wonder how the smoke fades over time because it seems like the real character is there early on.

Allan (01:09:56):
We've got a few special battles and it's quite interesting. Yeah, it does fade and the more influence from the wood comes and it gets is another the influence on the bottle and the smoking and as it gets more intense. It's quite interesting. We've got a few interesting things working away and hopefully it won't be too long before we can share them.

Drew (01:10:20):
Very nice. Very nice. Well, Alan, I appreciate all your time today and for going through the history and for letting me taste these wonderful whiskeys, and I really look forward to seeing what you guys come up with in the future.

Allan (01:10:36):
Yeah, no, no problem. Drew. It's absolute pleasure to talk to you and hopefully we'll see you night Log in soon,

Drew (01:10:42):
And if you want to learn more about Brook Cloud, just head to brook cloud.com or if you have some trouble spelling that, then just head to whiskey lord.com/interviews and you'll find a link within the show notes page. Also know that Okta Moore's release in the US has been delayed a bit, and so if you want to keep up with when it is going to be in your stores, then make sure to follow me on social media at facebook.com/whiskey lore or instagram.com/whiskey Oh and also twitter.com/whiskey. And in my next interview, I'm going to be heading to Oregon to chat petered whiskey, petered whiskey made in America, actually with Joe Sullivan of Hood River Distillery and Caitlin Bartel May of Clear Creek. We'll talk about their whiskey McCarthy's, Oregon Single Malt. We'll also get into Oregon's distilling history. Make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss it. I'm your host, drew Hamish. Have a great week, and until next time, cheers and SL Ofk Whiskey Lords of Production of Travel Fuels Life, L L C.


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