n Dialog With Dennis McBain Cooperman at Home of Hazelwood
Dennis McBain has devoted his whole profession to the ‘water of life’. As one of many industries longest serving Coppersmiths having began working in 1958, he has seen the whisky trade evolve immensely over the past 65 years.
His function as Coppersmith and Guardian is considered one of nice significance, overseeing every a part of the method, tending and caring for the distinctive whiskies produced by whisky pioneers, Charles and Sandy Gordon, many expressions of which make up the gathering that’s at this time referred to as Home of Hazelwood.
For nearly 100 years, generations of the Gordons, the famend Scottish household of distillers, rigorously laid down shares of whisky for particular events and private consumption. Spanning seven a long time and each nook of Scotland, the various whiskies held in cask inform tales of exceptional locations, misplaced methods of working, first casks, final casks, the ambitions and achievements of a number of lifetimes – none of which will probably be repeated once more.
On this Q&A Dennis shares with us his personal classes alongside trade insights, from his lifetime profession as a real craftsman within the age-old trade. Learn on to find extra.
Learn extra about Home of Hazelwood right here
Please inform us the way you found that this artisan craft was the profession for you.
On my strategy to faculty every day I might move the Copperworks the place they made the Copper Stills and I used to cease and watch the coppersmiths engaged on these giant sheets of copper and at all times questioned how they had been capable of find yourself with a Pot Nonetheless. When the chance got here alongside after I joined the corporate to work with the coppersmith whom Charles Gordon had head-hunted from the Copperworks to take care of the distillation gear, I jumped on the likelihood. I used to be additionally supplied a 1Penny elevate in pay which was a good deal.
Not solely did your father work on this however your son does too – did you encourage this resolution?
My father inspired me to hunt work with the corporate due to its good fame with its employees, so when considered one of my sons was within the trade, he had my full backing as I informed him that it was an important trade to be a part of.
Please inform us the most effective recommendation your father gave to you and what you handed on to your personal son.
The very best recommendation that I obtained from my father was to respect the corporate that you just work for and do your greatest and you can be taken care of.
You joined the trade in 1958 – you should have seen lots of modifications in that point. Which have been essentially the most vital and if/ how have they impacted the enterprise because it stands at this time?
Fashionable expertise has been the massive change within the trade in contrast with the outdated hands-on technique of distilling which has helped the corporate to develop however the household stay the identical right down to Earth individuals.
Your function as an in-house Coppersmith was an trade first. Please inform us extra about this modern resolution and its affect not solely on the enterprise however the trade.
It was an important thought of Charles Gordon to make use of his personal tradesmen to take care of his distilleries as he now not needed to depend on exterior contractors to maintain the whisky operating and that’s nonetheless the case at this time.
Though you might be retired now you continue to work on choose initiatives. How do you resolve that are these you’d prefer to be concerned with?
I nonetheless get pleasure from going to the distillery to meet up with what’s going on and to maintain my hand in performing some small copper objects to assist the corporate in some small manner. I nonetheless get pleasure from making one thing new out of copper.
Which is your all-time favorite whisky and why?
In my profession with the corporate, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to get pleasure from whiskies of all ages and kinds, however I do have a smooth spot for the First Drop as that was the yr that I obtained married and it’s such a singular whisky.
Lastly, please inform us your life motto (you probably have one)
To at all times try to be the most effective individual that I might be.