Awards Ceremony and Choosing Dinner

On Friday 1st March an awards ceremony was held in Trades Hall and we were joined by HRH the Earl of Wessex.  The Earl presented awards to apprentice coopers and to Sea Cadets and the Prince also presented Earl of Wessex awards to pupils from Govan High School and the Boys’ Brigade.

At the Awards Ceremony we received from the National Cooperage Federation a specially commissioned 10L barrel which was made using American oak by a cooper with 40 years’ experience.  It has been filled by ex-Deacon Richard Paterson, Master blender at Whyte and Mackay, with a special blend using 14 different whiskies –  representing the 14 Incorporated Crafts of the Trades House – some of the whiskies are up to 45 and 50 years’ old, recognising our 450th anniversary. The Federation has also commissioned a box in which we will keep mementoes gifted by each Deacon and this will be at each box opening function.

Along with over 200 members and guests, the Earl attended the Choosing Dinner in the evening. The guest speaker Iain Gordon was highly entertaining and he proposed the Toast to the Incorporation of Coopers and to Trades House.  As has become traditional there was a ceilidh after dinner which proved highly successful.

Billy Birse-Stewart on the importance of wood for wine

On 12th February 24 Incorporation of Coopers’ members and their guests attended a fascinating talk by Billy Birse-Stewart on the importance of wood for wine. This year Billy (pictured) is Visitor of the Incorporation of Maltmen and he has spent his entire career in the wine industry.  His address was informative, debunked many myths and was filled with anecdotes.  He provided a history of barrels, talked about the different types of wood that are used and also provided a range of wines to enable everyone to taste the difference between oaked and unoaked wines.

Will Whitehorn extravaganza

On 29th January more than 60 attended a business lecture in Trades Hall, organised to recognise the Coopers’ 450th Anniversary.

The speaker was Will Whitehorn , whose current roles include Chairman of the SECC and Vice Chairman of Stagecoach.  Formerly he effectively acted as Number 2 to Richard Branson and was President of Virgin Gallactic which plans to offer space tourism flights (for $250,000) to the paying public. Will gave a wide-ranging address, providing his thoughts on subjects including the future of space travel, what it is like working for entrepreneurs, and the requirement for companies to adapt quickly to changes. He then answered a number of questions (again on a wide range of topics) from members of the audience.  The photo shows Will with Deacon Alasdair Ronald.

WSET Awards Ceremony 2019

Kyle Jones from East London Liquor Company (centre) receiving his award at the London Guildhall on Monday 21st January 2019 from ex Deacon Richard Paterson (on left of photo) and also Steven Spurrier, Honorary President of The Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

Whisky Tasting at Whyte & Mackay

On the evening of 29th November 18 members of the Craft attended a wonderful whisky tasting at the offices of Whyte and Mackay.  Our host, ex Deacon Richard Paterson (who is the Master Blender there) has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything to do with whisky, including its history and the very significant importance of coopers and barrels to the whisky industry.  Richard also has a phenomenal memory for dates and all present were enthralled by his talk.  The whiskies we tasted were special but all very different and these were:-

  • The Whyte & Mackay 13 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky
  • The Tamnavulin “Tempranillo” Cask Finish Speyside Single Malt
  • The Jura Single Island Malt Rare 18 Years Old finished in a “Premier Grand Cru” Red Wine Finish
  • The Dalmore Highland Single Malt “Quintessence” – A “Five Red” Wine Finish from the Napa & Sonoma Valley – California.

At the end of the tasting everyone was presented with a goodie bag which had a bottle of Jura and a copy of Richard’s book “Goodness Nose – The passionate revelations of a Scotch whisky master blender.”  Richard also presented a beautifully engraved decanter of whisky, recognising our 450th anniversary and this is shown in the attached photograph.