Silent season is traditionally a period observed by all whisky distilleries. It dates back hundreds of years when farmers themselves set about making whisky right after the barley harvest in September. The distilling season would then go on until late spring. While the barley was busy blowing in the wind during the summer, they’d turn their intention to maintenance of their whisky-making machinery. This was known as the ‘silent season’.
Glengoyne, is a traditional working distillery practising time-honoured production methods that date back as far as 1833. While their stills aren’t quite that old, some of the equipment in their stillhouse has been there for generations. They continue with the tradition of silent season, and stop production every summer to allow time for rest and repair.
Time for a spruce up.
This year, they’re tackling some big jobs. The roof of the still house has reached the end of its lifespan and is being replaced. Whilst the roof is getting some attention, the stills will be removed, checked, and a coat of specialist paint applied to their base to allow heat to be retained more efficiently. The mash tuns will be serviced, defunct pipework removed, and ageing valves upgraded. All vital jobs when you consider that each one has been working hard to make Glengoyne the best it can be.
The malt mill MOT
Master millwright Ronnie Lee will also be onsite to conduct the annual service of their 104-year-old mill. Without the mill to grind the barley grains in its rollers there would be no grist for the mash tun. Old machines, like their mill, may have been built before obsolescence was even invented, but they still need careful handling. It’s not a job to be hurried as you can imagine.
A unique opportunity for visitors
Silent season at the distillery will run from 28 June until 10 August. During that time the Still Room and Warehouse will be closed. However, it’s the ideal opportunity to show you the other side of distillery life, their unique setting and natural assets in all their full summer glory. Join them at this time of year and you’ll also hear stories they don’t normally have time to tell about the families who lived and worked here for generations. Finishing off of course with a taste of our award-winning whisky.
From 28th June to 10th August, they are offering tours that do not require access to the still house and warehouse. A Glenside Tour and Tasting, which takes in the secrets of the Old Cooperage and Distillery House, together with a guided tasting of two specially selected whiskies in the comfort of Burnfoot Lodge. New for this year is the Teapot Tour & Tasting. A nod back to the days when distillery workers used to take a daily dram, and a special opportunity to try Teapot Dram No. 9 before it sells out.
These special tours are only available for a short period of time. From the 10 August, tour routes will return to normal, with the work completed and the equipment buff and ready for action again.
To find out more about the Silent Season tours – Silent Season – 28th June to 10th August – Glengoyne
Distillery tours available after 10th August – Visit Us | Whisky Tours | Glengoyne Distillery