Craft distilling is all about small stills, small batch whisky and hence is also referred to as micro distilling. Generally speaking any distillery that produces less than 500 barrels of spirit a year would be classed as a Micro Distillery. What does small batch whisky offer? Well it is obviously limited therefore rare and each batch is likely to be unique.
Craft distilling is also about using alternative grains Oats, Millet, Sorghum, Quinoa, Spelt, Buckwheat as well as Maize, Wheat and Rye. Why? Well each different type of grain produces a different profile of flavours and mouthfeel in the resulting spirit.
It is also fair to say that craft distilling divides opinion, as small and unique does not always equate to exceptional quality.
What craft distilling most certainly does offer is innovation, the opportunity to offer product diversity and dare I say it…
Aye, alternatives to Whisky made only from malted barley. Over the last few years the craft distillery movement has been gathering pace in the USA, Western Canada, Europe, England and Wales but as yet not in Scotland. There is a great deal of regulation in Scotland, rightly in place to preserve the production, quality and origin of Scotch Whisky.
I have had many discussions with Alan Wolstenholme about building a craft distillery and I must admit his advice has also been start small.
After out last road trip to look at a potential site for a distillery, and the in depth discussions that followed, Alan sent me the photograph above. You have to admit it is definitely starting small and it does bring to mind my favourite quote so far was which was from Ian Buxton “Ah… you’re thinking about building a distillery, best go and lie down in a darkened room until the notion wears off”.