In expressing one of his many thoughts about tools and technology, Steve Jobs said, “What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” In another time and place, Jobs’ words would have been apropos to the skilled craftsmen within the whisky industry and their wonderful accomplishments in Scotland and beyond.
I have been collecting authentic tools used to make Scotch for over twenty years. Some pieces were won at auction or purchased at antique stores in Scotland, some were received as gifts, and some were found on eBay. Combined with actual pieces of peat, stalks of barley, several bungs, and charred barrel staves, the tools bring tangible understanding of the processes of whisky making to audiences during my educational whisky events.
Some of the stars of my collection include:
MALT SHOVEL. In the hands of a maltman, the wide paddle blade is used to aerate the barley, laying about a foot deep on the malting floor, to insure consistent germination of the grain. Trying my hand at wielding a malt shovel on the malting floor was definitely a “hands on” experience. 40” overall, with 13” x 14” blade.