Choosing to ignore the negative images of hillbilly moonshiners, small-batch liquor distilleries have been cropping up faster than ticks on a coonhound. The locavore movement has clearly hit the bottle.
Want to run a still without rigging one in the woods behind your house? Take the high road to Scotland and learn from master whisky makers at Glenrothes.
Glenrothes, a maker of well-regarded single malt Scotch whisky, has launched an online contest to find four new whisky makers. Submit your qualifications (in 50 words or less)—then hope your compelling argument piques their discerning palates. Four winners will be chosen to take part in a whirlwind whisky-making week at the 130-year-old company in Speyside.
The lucky four fly to Scotland on May 8 and spend the next seven days learning the art of whisky distilling—from testing water to mashing grain to determining when a cask has matured. Time off can be spent walking the moors and fishing in the local streams (that clear, cold water is good for more than just making whisky). Each winner will head home with a bottle of his or her own hooch, labeled with their own tasting notes.
If you’d like to learn your new craft at the knee of a master, and you’re over 21, belly up to the Glenrothes website and tell them why you’re the next great whisky maker. You may get lucky and become just that.
(If you’d like to try your hand at whisky making in a way that doesn’t require luck or pithy eloquence, check out the distillery schools explored in our 2007 story, Making Scottish Single Malt Whisky.)
Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.