Meet Graham Logie, our Distillery Team Leader

24 October 2013

Whisky has always been a part of my life. In fact, you might say it's in the blood. I followed my father into the whisky industry, starting off as a warehouseman before becoming an engineer and finally a manager. But after 30 years, I decided to call it a day and take early retirement at 55. It didn't take me long to realise that retirement didn't suit me. So three weeks later I came straight back, and that's how I found myself working at Glenfiddich.

I've been the Process Team Leader here for the past year. Before that, I'd worked at the Balvenie distillery just up the road. My day starts early. I always get in for 7am so I'm in before the phones and emails start. I go for a quick walk around the site and speak to everybody, make sure I know what's happened on the night shift. Distilling is a 24 hour process and as the day starts, it's important to make sure everything's running smoothly. 

Most days are the same, but that's how we like it - it means we're doing our jobs right. The art of distilling is all about consistency, keeping things the same. That's the way to create a quality product. Our founder, William Grant embodied this approach, and because we're still family-owned it's a philosophy that we're able to continue to this day.

I'd say the most challenging part of the job is to keep on making improvements to the plant to save energy and be more environmentally conscious, while still producing exactly the same product day in, day out. We have to be sure that any changes we make don't affect the liquid we produce. It's also very important that every part of the process be carried out safely.

I've worked at a few big name distilleries over the years and Glenfiddich is of course right there with the best of them, so there's obviously a huge prestige that comes from being in charge of the Glenfiddich process. Everyone is given a lot of independence here and with that comes a real responsibility, to each other as well as to our customers.

When visitors come to the distillery they see the mashing, the copper stills, the spirit safes. It's all beautiful but there's still a huge amount of work to be done behind the scenes. Attention to detail is everything and there's a lot of legislation and health and safety work that needs to be done. I spend a large part of my day sitting behind a desk so when I get home, the best part of my day is taking my collies Skye and Nel for a walk.

Without a doubt, my favourite expression is the 18 Year Old and it always has been since the day I started here. I just love the smoothness and the sweetness. If I could share a dram with anyone it would be my father, who worked in the business and was my inspiration for following in his footsteps. He only survived for a couple of years to see me become a manager. Once when I was working in Skye he came to visit and I took him around, it was a very emotional moment.

If I could give you any one piece of advice, it would be to lighten up and enjoy your dram for whatever it is, if there aren't twenty different flavours in it, don't look for them. Just sit back and enjoy it, but more than that, enjoy the company you're with. That's what really makes a drink.

The most important thing about your dram is that you enjoy it.