†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Latest update: October 21st 2010
†GIRVAN DISTILLERY PICTURES
When you are invited to visit Girvan distillery, you donít think twice. Sadly enough I couldnít accept it straight away. As I asked after 3 years if the offer still was valid, I was pleased to hear that I was still welcome.
Finally getting up to Girvan, you can see already how huge the plant is from the train. On arrival, I am told the programm: Girvan grain distillery, Girvan cooperage, Ailsa Bay malt distillery and the Hendrickís gin distillery. The Ailsa Bay distillery is to be found in a separate section.
The Girvan grain plant is a huge operation and is producing grain whisky for William Grantís own Grantís whisky and also for other companies. The operation makes millions of liters per year and is automated. Although hugely automated, part of the operation still has to be arranged by hand. As the stills are outside, the temperature has to be controlled. The distillery has over 40 warehouses and is still building new ones. The use racked and palletized warehouses.
Just as William Grantís Dufftown operation (Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie), Girvan has its own cooperage. A range of excellent coopers with one of the gentlemen, being a cooper at the company for 40 years.
Stranger in all of this is† Hendrickís gin. Where I had the general idea that the Girvan spirit would be used for the production of the gin, I was surprised to see that it was a production facility on its own. The hall contains 2 stills, operating separately and looking impressive. When you enter the hall you see a range of boxes with herbs and the most important product juniper berries. On the larger of the 2 stills, the herbs are put in top. At the bottom the spirit and water are added. When they are heated up and the steam comes to the top it takes up the herbs and takes it taste. On the smaller still the herbs are put on the bottom and the spirit and water are put in, so the herbs can soak in them. Everything is heated up and distilled. The spirit of these 2 stills is added together to make Hendrickís gin. All of this is done by hand, which makes all of this even more special.
The Girvan plant offers work to about 150 people, and also works for the environment. The draff is, of course, used for cattlefeed. But they also produce their own energy and the access of their production is sold to the national grid.