This is indeed what Misako Udo says in her book. This is also stated to be the case in the MaltWhiskyYearbook 2006.
But I've recently heard tell that "Craigduff" was actually a Glen Keith distillate.
Can anyone help please ?
"Chivas owns two distilleries next door to one another in the town of Keith, on the river Isla. One simply takes the name of the district, Strathisla, the other is Glen Keith...."
As they are next door and owned by the same company, maybe that's where some confusion came from?
There is no reference that I can find in MJ to Craigduff.
This is from the website of Loch Fyne Whiskies:
I eventually managed to catch up with Hugh Thompson (retired distillery manager at Glen Keith & Strathisla) to query him about Craigduff whisky.
Craigduff was made at Strathisla Distillery and was made with heavily peated malt - probably from Glendronach Distillery.
Peated whisky was also made at Glen Keith, but always under the 'Glen Keith' name. At Glen Keith the peating came from peat smoked water which was produced in Stornoway - until the plant there eventually blew up. They then started making a peat smoked water at Glen Keith which was used in the Distillery. Some of this was also sent to Japan (not from Strathisla as thought).
I hope this helps to clarify some of the stories going around. And thanks for the wee sample of Craigduff at Toronto - very pleasant.
Yours in spirit
I hope it will help..
Craigduff was said to have come from Strathisla distillery in the little booklet Jim Murray wrote as acompanyment to the 100 malts blend from Chivas. Here the Craigduff was mentioned the first time and I always thought that Chivas and Murray could not err here.
Signatory got a little confused about where the Craigduff came from. After getting it right the first time they corrected wrongly it seems and now Mr Thompson confirmed that it was distilled at Strathisla.
The Glen Keith experimental malts seem never to have had names of their own.
"At time of bottling our first cask of Craigduff 1973, we believed, based on information available to us, that Craigduff was a peated malt from Strathisla Distillery.
Based on our own more detailed research, we have now established that Craigduff was, in fact, distilled at the nearby Glen Keith distillery.
Since first releasing Craigduff, there has been considerable “chatter” on how the whisky was peated etc. In this regard our own understanding is now as follows;-
Lightly peated barley from Glen Keith maltings was used in conjunction with controlled amounts of concentrated peated water, being added to each wash charge.
Peated water was brought in 45 gallon drums from Stornaway, on fishing boats into the port of Buckie. The peated water was run through the small still at Glen Keith, which was coupled to an angled condenser and water driven off to concentrate the peatiness in the remaining water. It is understood that 10 gallons of the concentrated peated water was added to each wash charge.
We understand the drive behind the experimental distillation came from a sister company in Japan. Apparently, during the course of the experiment, a sample of the concentrated peated water, whilst en route to Japan, was intercepted at Heathrow airport by Customs Officials who were convinced it was whisky in disguise, and decanted a fair bit of the drum before realising, too late, that it was in fact just water.
We apologise for any inconvenience that our wrongly associating Craigduff with Strathisla Distillery may have caused and would be grateful if you could update your web site and any other product descriptors to reflect the fact that Craigduff was actually made at Glen Keith.
The statement from the Loch Fyne Whiskies website is taken from an email of Alan Greig, Chivas's Heritage Director directed to Richard Joynson to clearify the issue and dated November 29th 2005, nearly 2 month after Andrew Symington's letter.
After that, Signatory announced it was a Strathisla, then later thought it was Glen Keith and issued a open letter about it, then Pernod Ricard released the info as is on LFW's site, which was also sent to me in private.
It really, really, really is a Strathisla
Anyway, this discussion is notinteresting at all, what the real interetsing discussion is, is the whole discussions wether peated water makes any difference or not :p (which was partly why this whole experiement was setup in the first place)
The Fachan wrote:Bamber,
Glen Isla was the peated malt that was made at Glen Keith at around the same time as Craigduff was being produced at Strathisla.
There, I have just confused everyone again.
I know I thought it would be funny to confuse things .....
I really did think he told me it (Craigduff) was Glen Keith, but I was 2/3 cut at that point.
Excellent whisky by the way.
Jeroen Kloppenburg wrote:Anyway, this discussion is notinteresting at all, what the real interetsing discussion is, is the whole discussions wether peated water makes any difference or not :p (which was partly why this whole experiement was setup in the first place)
That is a good question. I have long believed that the effect of (naturally) peaty water is pretty much insignificant, despite what some will tell you. This experiment with concentrated peaty water would certainly be a major step in resolving the question. Inquiring minds want to know!
Distillery: Signatory Score: 7.3 ABV: 49.4
Expression: Craigduff 1973 32 year Date: oct 2005
Nose: Peat over a fruity base (yellow fruits).
Palate: Very fruity.
Finish: Med Long - Peat surfaces here.
Comments: A malt with lots of controversy. Was said to be distilled at Strathisla with water brought in from Stornoway, to test the influence of water on the final spirit. Later Signatory released a press release that said it was distilled at Glen Keith, and also that the peating levls was adjusted. A brand ambassador explained me a few weeks before that only the water for the mashes was different, and this could be seen as proof that water does make a difference in the final spirit... Ian Henderson explained me that Laphroiag's water is 2 PPM, and that 60% of the water inlfuence is lost in the process. 60% of 2PPM is not much ...
Interesting words from a man who rana distillery praised for its peatiness which for a long time was acclaimed to Islay's brown peaty waters!
For the Craigduff however, also peated malt was used ... Also note this was written before the final word from Pernod Ricard came out
This is probably a dumb question (I know, not my first...). But what on earth were Chivas folk doing smoking peaty water on Lewis?!
They didn't have a distillery outside of Speyside in those days. I wonder why they didn't just "smoke" some local peaty water, and save all the costs of sending people to the island, and shipping casks of water back to Speyside?
And how exactly (and why) would you want to smoke water??
And then we learn that the plant exploded!
This sounds like a plot for a comedy. You could have John Cleese in the role of a mad whisky scientist obsessed with the secrets of peatieness...
Cranking up the smoking machine to higher and higher levels, until it explodes in his face...
ok, I'll stop there, before I get carried away.
But my fellow old guys know exactly which Deep Purple song would provide the perfect soundtrack...
Iain wrote:This is probably a dumb question (I know, not my first...). But what on earth were Chivas folk doing smoking peaty water on Lewis?!
There's your answer...they were smoking too much peaty water!
Iain wrote:But my fellow old guys know exactly which Deep Purple song would provide the perfect soundtrack...
Replace "on" with "in"!
smoked salmon ok, smoked haddock ok, but how do you smoke water? Kind of hard to hang it into a smoking chamber and keep the fire smoldering.
But somehow it just sounds better that the peatiness of a malt comes from the water instead of telling people that the malt was grilled over peat enhanced fire till it was the way it was supposed to be.
And the image of using brown water coloured by its journey through the wild and wiley moor is so much more romantic and much more useable in marketing because in the case of Islay it reflects the rugged character of the island. And so on.
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