Mearns Probus Club

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There have been two meetings of the Club during September, both in the Crown Inn Laurencekirk.

The first meeting saw member Bob Blyth, a retired local businessman, talk to club members on agriculture and harvesting in the Ukraine. Bob visited the Ukraine after his retirement in the 1990s along with two farmers with local connections to see how the crops were harvested. Meeting up with Peter Mitchell there, who had previously farmed Castleton of Fordoun with his father and now managing the harvest in the Ukraine with his wife who as a native of the area was fluent in the local language. This had been an interesting talk, well illustrated with a look into agricultural procedures on a much larger scale than in the UK.

The second meeting for September was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk with David Doig from Fettercairn Distillery talking about “Whisky and It’s Production”. Fettercairn Distillery has been in operation since the early 19th century, built on land obtained from Alexander Ramsay, the then owner of Fasque Estate. It lies within the village and has given employment to many over nearly two centuries. Distilleries came about after the Government Customs and Excise regulated the production and applied taxes – and made illicit whisky illegal. David explained the production process using selected barley and malt along with yeast as well as local water to give the finished product a distinctive flavour or taste. Stills, tuns, worts, back-wash and draff were all talked about and then the period of maturity discussed. Sample glasses of coloured whisky from different ages and casks were on display showing the effects on the whisky over various periods.

Tom Fleming from Fettercairn, a club member thanked David for an excellent talk on behalf of the club. The next meeting will be on Monday 7th October in the Crown Inn at 10am.