The past week saw two more arrivals to Glenfiddich. Tania Candiani, from Mexico City and Chetnaa Verma, of New Delhi. Winner of the third annual Glenfiddich/Bestcollegeart Emerging Indian Artist of the Year Award, Chetnaa's paper based practice takes a highly geometric approach to the mapping out of her experiences.
Tania becomes our second Mexican artist in residence, her works combine audio with sculpture and is looking forward to identifying new and interesting sounds to record for later use. She is already imagining ways that a still might be used as a trumpet.
With Tania and Chetnaa having now joined the programme we are now at maximum capacity with nine residency places currently filled. So before things start getting really hectic - with preparations for the first exhibition opening in less than two weeks. It seemed like a good time for our annual day out with Mr Ian Miller.
Ian is our Global brand Ambassador and former distillery manager at Glenfiddich. Originally a Perthshire loon, Ian has also worked at a number of other distilleries over the years including a stint at Mortlach Distillery where William Grant learnt his trade as a distiller. In fact Mortlach was one of the stop off points on his 'history and heritage' tour. We also visited the site of the Robbie Dhu spring, which is the source of the water used to make our spirit. The house where William Grant was born. Where he lived with his family while building Glenfiddich. And finally Balvenie House where he passed away in 1923. We also took a trip up the Cabrach to visit Reekimlane where the family of William Grant's future son in law, Charles Gordon, once lived.
As we drove over the high moorlands to the house, we managed to spot a group of red grouse in the rough grazing close to the road. Hugh had never seen grouse in the wild, so we stopped the car and he launched himself in the direction of the birds, phone camera in hand. As an attempt at wildlife filming goes it was perhaps not the way David Attenbourgh might have gone about it, but still.....
I am happy to report that neither grouse or artist was harmed. Hugh failed to break his leg in the drainage ditches hidden beneath the heathers and the birds simply flew away....
After lunch Ian took the group through the core Glenfiddich range with a tutored nosing and tasting. This was held in the rather formal setting of the Robbie Dhu Centre. However as a final treat to the day the group were blindfolded and lead to a secret bothy deep in the heart of the distillery, that only a select few know of. It is here Mr Miller keeps his most special whiskies, not just from Glenfiddich but our Balvenie and Kininvie distilleries as well. And so on offer were a 38 year old Glenfiddich only available in China, the very first batch of Kininvie to be released, but only in Taiwan and a very special 50 year old Balvenie. Not a bad end to the day really.