Woven Whisky co-founder, Peter Allison, shares his day of distilling in Edinburgh
My daughter clambers into our bed and gives a detailed account of her dreams. We eventually manage to get downstairs to make a coffee (Cairngorm Coffee’s Gisanga Roast) and get breakfast sorted. For her, that’ll be a bowl of whichever cereal has the brightest picture on the box, and, for me, whatever she doesn’t eat.
I wish that I didn’t have a pathological need to check my emails and messages first thing, but usually will before my first coffee. I’ll make a mental note of what needs replied to, and add it to the ever-expanding list of things to do.
After everyone’s dressed, I’ll take Poppy to nursery then jump in the car to make my way into Leith. We live in Gullane, about a 40 minute commute from The Biscuit Factory. I like to listen to podcasts en route, though nothing work-related, so it’s an episode of My Dad Wrote A Porno, or The Adam Buxton Show.
Once I’m in, I check the orders and get them sorted for the UPS guy to collect. Then I sit down and reply to urgent emails.
It’s a blending day. I start by taking a selection of cask samples, pipette a small measure into a nosing glass and reduce it down to 20 per cent ABV to open up the aromas. I then familiarise myself with each and jot down a couple of descriptive words and notes that summarise the component parts. Today I’m putting together a new blend using some ‘world whiskies’ as well as Scotch. It’s interesting to see how whiskies from other parts of the world interact and augment traditional Scotch profiles.
I’ve put together three variations of one blend, and two of another. These are first versions of a blend that will come out later in the year, but for now, they’re rudimentary combinations that work well together as a direction of travel when honing it down to a finished whisky. The blends go into a sonic bath that agitates the whisky at a high frequency and emulates the marrying period in cask.
Lunch. Today I’m going to the Leith institution, Chums, for a Scotch pie and beans, with a fellow Biscuit Factory drinks founder, Aaron Jones (Powderkeg Productions).
Back to the studio and ready to nose the blends which have had a bit of time to come together. One is standing out more than the others, with heady notes of green apple. I write some more notes and check the volumes we have available to make it. After blending another sample, I tidy up, make a pot of Pekoetea rooibos and grab some Jelly Babies for a sugar fix.
A later finish than I’d like, but reasonably common just now. Lights off, lock up, and into the car for the drive home. BBC Radio 4 has become a staple, and I catch up with the news.
Manage to get a goodnight kiss and cuddle before my daughter’s bedtime, and I’m on cooking duty. I make a simple prawn, lemon, and chili spaghetti with a green salad while we catch up on the last season of Killing Eve.
Bedtime with too much looking at social media.