Vienna to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, that's 9,395 kilometres. Let's do this!

Join our a new journey with this very special "remote Masterclass". Ian is about to start his very own Bar-rel Drinks Cabinet using a Hogshead Cask from the Glenrothes distillery.

Part 1: The Barrel

I had a feeling that Pierre was up to something. But I had no idea what it was.

Pierre and I have many shared passions. Mountaineering, woodworking, food, family... but most of all, whisky. We spent many fun evenings during five years in Vienna exploring different whiskys and working on projects big and small in the Fait Maiz workshop. And I often lamented the fact that I wouldn't have space to take one of Pierre's Bar-rel's with me when my temporary assignment in Vienna came to an end.

But as the date of my move to Malaysia approached there was a twinkle in Pierre's eye that I couldn't quite fathom. Then on moving day itself came a cryptic message:

"I left something in your garage - see if it fits". And there it was. A hogshead barrel, from Glenrothes distillery in Speyside. An amazing piece of history that started life as a bourbon cask, and then spent many years maturing one of my all-time favourite whiskys.

I would have happily sacrificed just about any item of furniture to be able to take it with me, but luck was on my side and it squeezed into the shipping container and was on its way to Kuala Lumpur.

For those who haven't worked with Pierre yet, you should know that he runs a "Masterclass", where he guides you through the process of making your own Bar-rel in his workshop (alongside much whisky drinking, barbequing and general amusement). And Pierre's idea was simple - he would do a remote masterclass with me, via Facetime, once I arrived in KL.

I know for a fact that there is no way I will match Pierre's creations. But I know that with Pierre's endless good humour and patience it will be a lot of fun trying, and I'll be telling the story here on Pierre's blog as it unfolds.

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