Callum A. Fraser joined Glenfarclas Distillery, based in the speyside area in Ballindalloch, Scotland, back in 2012. The distillery is owned and run by the Grant family, with the distillery boasting a production capacity of around 3.2 million litres of spirit per year.
I met up with Callum at this year’s Viking Line Whisky Fair (click here for the Inside the Cask blog post) and had the opportunity to find out more about his work and career to date over 28 years in the drinks industry, as he was kind enough to answer some questions.
Inside the Cask: Hi Callum, you are the Distillery Manager at Glenfarclas Distillery. How did it all start?
I started in Distillery production at Deanston Distillery in 1990 as a Mashman and worked my way through the different areas within the distillery, became Distillery Manager there in 2003, and beforehand I also trained as a Master Baker.
Inside the Cask: Can you tell us more about Glenfarclas Single Malt scotch whisky? How long has the distillery been in place and what makes it special?
The Distillery has been distilling since 1836 using traditional methods ever since, and it is the oldest family run distillery left. We still use Direct Firing under the still for 100% of our production the only one to do so.
Inside the Cask: Can you tell us what a typical day would involve? What is your daily routine?
I would usually arrive at the distillery around 07:30hrs, have a walk around the site to catch up with the operators, speak with my Assistant Manager regarding any production issues that may have happened during the night. I would then deal with email, invoices and HSE.
Many days I have to go into the Warehouse and check casks for future bottlings.
Inside the Cask: What advice would you give to some interested in joining the drinks industry?
It’s a fantastic industry to work in, but I would suggest that hands on experience in all aspects of the job are vital to progress.
Inside the Cask: Any interesting stories or memorable moments to share from your time working in the Scotch whisky industry?
Lots of them but some that cannot be printed!!
Inside the Cask: What is your favourite dram?
21 yr. Glenfarclas for me (pictured below).
Inside the Cask: What surprised you most about working in the drinks industry?
Everyday something else is a little different, so no two days are exactly the same.
Inside the Cask: What is the favourite part of your job? Anything that you would like to share that not many people would know about you?
I love being part of our team here at Glenfarclas and get satisfaction when people taste our product and smile with a look of surprise and satisfaction.
For Reference – Video on Glenfarclas Distillery: