Yesterday I got an Email from Ana, the mother of the girl I used to give private classes. She wanted to invite me on a trip with her, Tamara and Maria from Austria. I nearly missed the trip but made it to our rendezvous point and was the first to arrive.
We all hopped in her orange hatchback and headed out of the city into windy mountain roads to Palazuelos de Eresma. The big arrow next to the grain silo made me think we needed to turn but Ana drove on, having to U-turn at the bottom of the hill.
The day had a misty rain hanging around and in my rush I left my jacket but luckily it hasn’t been too cold lately, but slightly chilly. We waited for our guide to finish her call and joined another couple from Madrid. We started by seeing the original building from somewhere around 1700s, immediately entering the property you are hit with strange but appetizing aromas.
This company has unintentionally chosen a horrible name for themselves “Whiskey D.Y.C.” the acronym is for Distillery and Aging. The company was started in the 1950s but had little success and still suffers a bad reputation to this day. The Spaniards think that it is an inferior whiskey but through marketing they are breaking this idea. In the 90’s the owners daughter didn’t want the company and sold it to Beam… like Jim Beam
We went into a little theater but the projector wasn’t working so we continued into the actual factory and saw huge swimming pool sized area where they germinate some grains to help break the sugars free. Continued to where corn was being milled. Since we were a small group she said she didn’t mind me having my camera out but that I should take caution and not take pictures in areas with a certain symbol that meant possibility of explosion; the area with corn dust was one of them.
We followed the process to the some vats where the fermentation process begins, it smelt like beer… well that’s basically what it was at that point; The guide opened the vat so we could see the bubbly, frothy mixture. The next room was enormous they house 6 main copper stills, two of which aren’t used regularly. Each holds about 500 gallons and is over 25 feet tall. They are heated with thermal energy from an engine meant to power a ocean liner. The distillery consumes 10 percent of the energy the engine makes and sells the remainder to Segovia. Besides co generation of energy the company also holds the highest environmental certificate available due to a filtration system that returns the water borrowed from the Eresma River in a cleaner state than when it entered.
After the tour was over we went for a tasting there were many different bottles to choose from including two types of Gin which they also make. I went with what they call “Pure Malt Whiskey” I’m no fan of alcohol but I give it a try; it wasn’t terrible.