A new podcast, Knock Tales, from the distillery manager at Knockdhu in Huntly will quiz cheesemaker, Rory Stone, in its second episode.
Does making things for a living make you happy? Is perfection possible? Is the 21st Century really all it’s cracked up to be?
These questions and many more are answered in the second episode of Knock Tales, as Knockdhu Distillery manager Gordon Bruce breaks loose from his beloved whisky world to meet one of the big characters of Scotland’s food scene – Rory Stone.
A second-generation cheesemaker at Highland Fine Cheeses in Tain, with award-winning bries, cheddars, mingers and the legendary Strathdon blue to his name, Rory pulls no punches when it comes to the pros and cons of a life that involves 5am starts at the dairy each day.
Tune in to hear 25 minutes of drams being uncorked and musings on the need for human decision making, Gordon’s take on the world of peat, Rory’s memories of a perfect night eating minger in Boston and why every day should be a school day when you’re making something by hand.
They both may have clocked up the hours over decades perfecting their craft but, as Rory says: “When you say it’s perfect, you’ve just stopped trying.”
The monthly series from the anCnoc whisky makers made its debut last month featuring Texan and fellow distiller Jared Himstedt from Balcones Distillery in Waco.
A dram and some craic
In the podcast, Gordon aims to lift the lid on the passion, process and personalities that go into making some of the world’s most expertly crafted products, as they enjoy a dram and a bit of craic.
Listeners can hear Gordon fire up the mic from his distillery desk in Knock, Aberdeenshire, on the first #WhiskyWednesday of every month, chatting to a different guest in each episode.
Gordon said: “I find it fascinating to talk to people who, like me, are obsessed with the detail of how things are made and what makes a great product that stands the test of time.
“This podcast is all about my curiosity in how that’s done, and the little things that make a difference, and not just when it comes to whisky.
“I’ll be telling my own tales from Knockdhu, and chatting to people who put their heart and soul into making crafted products, whatever they may be, and the people who appreciate and celebrate them around the world.
“Jared was a brilliant first guest, a man who shares so many of my beliefs when it comes to the importance of tradition, technique and the people at the heart of your production community.”
The themes of craft and creativity continue into the artwork anCnoc has commissioned to accompany the new podcast – drawings of Gordon (accompanied by one of his beloved distillery dogs) plus each of his guests, captured by New York-based Scottish illustrator Peter Arkle.
Likewise, the podcast soundtrack features a special track that’s close to Gordon’s heart: “Wet Field Day” by award-winning Scottish indie-folk band Elephant Sessions, in which his son, Mark, plays guitar.
The Knock Tales Whisky Podcast with Gordon Bruce is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.