PETER GORDON, a member of the family that owns Glenfiddich whisky, has a distinct memory of the workers lined up as he walked into the Scottish distillery in the 1970s. They were waiting for a dram of day-old whisky — the equivalent of a double shot. If they didn’t drink it, they rubbed it into their hands, in the belief that it toughened calluses.
Mr. Gordon was 17 at the time and had just started working at the plant on school holidays and summers. He couldn’t always drink his dram, he said this week in New York, particularly if he was given whisky made the day before as opposed to one that had been bottled the previous day, after mellowing in an oak cask for years.
“It was incredibly strong,” he said. “I couldn’t finish it all.”