n Dialog With Dennis McBain Cooperman at Home of Hazelwood
Dennis McBain has devoted his total profession to the ‘water of life’. As one of many industries longest serving Coppersmiths having began working in 1958, he has seen the whisky business evolve immensely over the past 65 years.
His function as Coppersmith and Guardian is one among 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 present often known 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 shall be repeated once more.
On this Q&A Dennis shares with us his personal classes alongside business insights, from his lifetime profession as a real craftsman within the age-old business. 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 solution to faculty every day I’d 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 in a position to 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 tools, I jumped on the likelihood. I used to be additionally supplied a 1Penny increase in pay which was a good deal.
Not solely did your father work on this however your son does too – did you encourage this determination?
My father inspired me to hunt work with the corporate due to its good popularity with its staff, so when one among my sons was within the business, he had my full backing as I informed him that it was an awesome business to be a part of.
Please inform us the most effective recommendation your father gave to you and what you handed on to your individual son.
The most effective recommendation that I obtained from my father was to respect the corporate that you simply work for and do your finest and you’ll be taken care of.
You joined the business in 1958 – you will need to 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 present?
Fashionable know-how has been the massive change within the business in contrast with the previous hands-on methodology of distilling which has helped the corporate to develop however the household stay the identical all the way down to Earth folks.
Your function as an in-house Coppersmith was an business first. Please inform us extra about this progressive determination and its affect not solely on the enterprise however the business.
It was an awesome concept of Charles Gordon to make use of his personal tradesmen to take care of his distilleries as he not needed to depend on outdoors contractors to maintain the whisky operating and that’s nonetheless the case at present.
Though you’re retired now you continue to work on choose tasks. How do you resolve that are these you’d wish to be concerned with?
I nonetheless take pleasure in going to the distillery to meet up with what’s going on and to maintain my hand in doing a little small copper objects to assist the corporate in some small method. I nonetheless take pleasure in 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 take pleasure in whiskies of all ages and kinds, however I do have a gentle spot for the First Drop as that was the 12 months that I obtained married and it’s such a novel whisky.
Lastly, please inform us your life motto (in case you have one)
To at all times attempt to be the most effective person who I could be.