Many aspects of the whisky industry, and indeed the cratur itself, have changed over the past 100 and more years. The industry is bigger. Much of it is owned by foreign firms. Manual labour and human control have been supplanted by automation and computers.
The growing global interest in Scottish single malts is spurring a revival of dormant distilleries, such as Port Ellen, Rosebank and Brora, or the creation of single malts named after distilleries that are long gone, for example Stronachie and the new distillery Glen Wyvis: it was to have been named Ben Wyvis, after a Dingwall distillery closed in 1926, but the firm that owns the name refused to sell it.
For decades Britain was arguably the birthplace and spiritual home of the two-seater sports car.
Anyone who has ever visited a distillery will have noticed how its warehouse walls and beams, especially if they are very old, are coated with what looks like soot.
A recent Amber Lights looked at distillery fires and how today they are a rarity thanks to improved technology and operational safety measures.
After almost two decades of everything flowing Scotch whisky’s way, two big nasty clouds are about to darken the horizon—Brexit and the Trump-imposed 25% tariff on single malt exports to the US.
Distillery fires are a very rare occurrence these days but a century and more ago, they were painfully frequent.
One of my favourite lost whisky distilleries was actually one in Courier Country, namely Stronachie, situated between Milnathort and Path of Condie in the Ochil Hills.
In earlier times, duty free shops at airports and elsewhere were magnets for just about everyone.
If one has the money and the time, one can seek out many wonderful whiskies to be enjoyed, be they single malts or blends or blended malts or (in rare instances) single grains.