As 2011 closed, Don Ramsay, the Head Cooper for William Grant & Sons, makers of Glenfiddich and The Balvenie single malt Scotch whiskies retired. He is the longest-serving cooper in Scotland. The company said he has created more than 200,000 casks during his 50-year career.
In 2004, the distillery honored him by releasing a limited bottling of Glenfiddich 1991 Vintage Reserve – the only time the company has created a whisky carrying the name and story of one of its employees.
I had the pleasure of working with Don at a Whisky Live show in London in 2006, where he captivated audiences with his deft assembly and deconstruction of whisky barrels. During his employ, Don played an important role in inspiring a new generation of coopers by demonstrating the importance of craftsmanship in barrel-making.