10 December 2014


 Christmas has always been a special time at Glenfiddich. It was after all on a Christmas day morning in 1887 that the first drop of spirit ran from our stills. So for the past few years we have always tried to do something a little different to mark the occasion. We have already had a Christmas tree made from three hundred and sixty five Glenfiddich bottles, and seen curled shavings of cask staves transformed into angel wings. But for 2014 the idea was to encompass the joy of giving by gift wrapping something precious, a cask of pure Glenfiddich spirit!

Now there is an old saying, if a job is worth doing well, it is worth forcing someone else to do it.   Luckily at the time Rhonda Weppler was back living on site.

Although she and her husband Richard had already extended their stay by an extra month before leaving the first time at end of August they were crazy enough to return in early October for another four weeks. It would seem that Canadians just can’t get enough of Dufftown with previous residents Myfawny Mcleod and Daminan Moppett both making return visits since their time in residence here. However Jillian Mc Donald still holds the record for the longest stay of just under 10 months between taking up her residence in July 2012 and finally departing in April of the following year with only a three week break away.

Given Rhonda’s use of metallic foil in her art practice she was the obvious choice for the cask project. With the tradition of wrapping presents in front of a roaring fire maintained, Rhonda set to work in the Robbie Dhu Centre capturing every surface detail of a cask quite appropriately in copper foil.

The use of the foil not only reflected the importance of cooper in the distilling process but it’s warm glow brought to mind foil covered chocolate coins hanging from a tree on Christmas eve. And just as the foil replicates the surface of the molded chocolate that lies beneath each and every stave, hoop and rivet of the cask was faithfully reproduced in Rhonda’s work.

Once the cask was completely covered it was carefully moved to Warehouse 1 where the delicate task of peeling back the foil enough to allow the cask to be removed was carried out. Leaving a hollow, but perfect replica of copper foil in its place.


Like many of these free standing three dimensional sculptural works gravity will take its toll over time and it will eventually collapse in on itself. Till then though it will remain on view as part of the distillery tour until the visitor center closes for the Christmas break on the 19th of December.


Merry Christmas