The Whisky Tasting Club

Glenrothes Whisky Maker Competition

 Glenrothes has launched a competition to find four candidates who could become The Glenrothes Whisky Makers

If I were drawing up a list of distilleries I’d love to learn whisky making in, Glenrothes would be very near the top of it.

It’s not the prettiest – far from it, and at the moment it looks like a building site as they work to protect it from flooding. Nor is the coolest. oldest, newest, smallest, biggest, weirdest, creepiest… it’s none of these things. In fact it’s possible none of these things even within the town of Rothes.

But say the words ‘do you want to visit Glenrothes?’ to me and it passes the heartbeat test – that sudden surge of excitement which could be a heart attack but is actually a metaphorical bodily nod of approval.

I’m really not sure why. Perhaps it’s the awesome still room, definitely one of the world’s most impressive, a cathedral of distillation; perhaps it’s the warehouses, which produce as wide a range of spirits as any distillery has the right to ask for, varying from truly amazing thick and rich berried  whiskies to truly amazing light citrus and grapefruit marmalade delights. It might be the newly added inner sanctum, where guests can come and sample the vintages in a stylishly designed room complete with oak furnishings made with Scottish oak.

Here you can experience everything fine in whisky, from serious investigation in to the aromas and flavours of good malt through to the fun and frivolity that genial host Ronnie Cox brings to any occasion. Or it might be Rothes House, where I’ve been fortunate to stay now on four occasions; a throwback to another era where good food, whisky and conversation, sometimes feisty and fierce debate and my sort of inebriated irreverent indulgence are served up in spade loads.

But I think it’s a combination of all of these, but particularly held together by the people. You can tell if people are happy and proud in their work, whether they feel like employees or part of a team, and at every turn you feel the goodness that is Glenrothes.

What a place to make whisky, and now you have a chance to. The Glenrothes team have released the press release below and they’re offering the ultimate prize. Competitions don’t get better than this. It’s a truly priceless  opportunity.

So much so that I’m entering under a pseudonym. So if the winner’s Donny Foxfeathers, hard luck. I suspect, though, they’ll rumble me before I start…

 ‘GLENROTHES WHISKY MAKER’ NOW LIVE! Four consumers will be appointed The Glenrothes Whisky Maker for a week following a worldwide competition launched yesterday. The successful candidates will be recruited to work as The Glenrothes Whisky Makers in the heart of single malt production, Speyside, Scotland.As part of this opportunity, the successful candidates will learn the time-honoured art of making The Glenrothes and the time-honoured skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. The winners will spend time working at each stage of the whisky-making process: testing the purity of the water source at the distillery’s two springs; milling the malt to achieve the golden proportions of husk, grits and flour; mashing to ensure maximum extraction of sugars in the wort; adding yeast to the washbacks and overseeing fermentation; slowly and carefully distilling new make spirit in our tall copper pot stills. From there our Whisky Makers will be involved in making casks at the cooperage, laying down casks for maturation and rolling casks to the warehouse. The Whisky Makers will nose single malt from maturing casks to assess whether the contents are of sufficiently exceptional quality and maturity; only the top 2% of the distillery’s output is bottled as The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt Whisky. Finally, the Whisky Makers will have the opportunity to create their very own selection of The Glenrothes – a unique bottle with their own hand-written tasting notes on the label.

After work, our Whisky Makers will enjoy the simple pleasures that Speyside has to offer; a spot of fishing, dining in the local Highland restaurants or perhaps a picnic in the hills surrounding the distillery. The Whisky Makers will stay in Rothes House, a private home belonging to the family that owns The Glenrothes. As with the distillery, Rothes House is not open to the public but is reserved for VIP visits. After making their own bottle of The Glenrothes, our whisky makers will spend their final day of the trip in Edinburgh, visiting The Scotch Whisky Experience and having dinner with Scotland’s pre-eminent whisky writer, Charles MacLean.

Entry will be simple: entrants will supply their name and personal details and then be invited to answer in 50 words or fewer why they are the perfect candidate for the job. Hundreds of runners-up prizes will be offered too. Entries will be accepted in English, Spanish and Chinese.

The competition will run from 4th October 2010 to 31st January 2011 and can be entered at

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  • Who do i have to bribe for this opportunity, ok, i will do it the right way and apply, Glenrothes ask for 50 words to describe why i would like this great task, this will be the difficult part, but then again they are distillers

  • sorry DG, as you said on face books seems to exclude the US. Not Glenrothes fault I think, just a result of the bizarre international laws about Alcohol (he says as we is trying to work out how to legally send tastings to the rest of the EU)

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