By Andrew Mcvie

Glenweevil an everyday story of distilling folk 5

The story so far: Kevin accidentally stole a lorryload of Glenweenvil, and had to hide it at the distillery. The stolen whisky was passed off by Ruth as a newly-discovered stash of pre-war Glenweevil. After suitable doctoring withother malots it was sold as Glenweevil Limited Releaese. Kevin was subsequently arrested by Sergeant Maclean, and his release has been engineered by Ruth. Now read on...
Andrew here. Young Kevin slouched into my office this morning. I observed that there was no need for him to knock, but I fear the comment was wasted on him.'You're pleased to be out, I daresay,' I said, referring to his recent period as a guest of Sergeant MacLean at the station. He kicked the filing cabinet.'Would have got out anyway, wouldn't I? Effing stupid.' He flung himself into a chair and tilted it on to its back legs.'There seemed to be some fairly substantial evidence against you,' I observed. He grinned nastily. 'Didn't look so good for you, either, did it? Gave you a bit of a fright,did I?'
'You made me doubt the wisdom of having you on the premises, certainly. If you should pass Jock on your way out, would you tell him I need to have a word with him?''Jock's busy,' he said. 'He's doing something for me. Me and my mate Eddie. Eddie who you call Sergeant MacLean, that is. Yeah, we're in business together. Did me mam not tell you? Oh dear, I see she didn't. You gotta train your staff better, Andrew. Communications is the secret of the successful company. Yeah, right.''Oh, for Heaven's sake. I've got to write a report explaining away the extremely expensive purchase of some stinking old anchovy and balsamic vinegar casks. Now run away, there's a good chap.' He'd hardly gone when Jock himself turned up. 'I was waiting till the coast was clear,' he said.'Is it ever?' I said.'So how, in your humble opinion, would you make a red whisky?''A what?''A red whisky. For the Chinese. They like red. So, anyway, says Sergeant MacLean, who we will have to get used to addressing as Eddie. And so says yon Kevin, who is now Sergeant MacLean's partner. They're going to be brokers. They're currently deciding, says yon Kevin, if they can do business with us.''Brokers.'
'So says yon Kevin.' Jock seemed to be staring fixedly at the corner of my desk. I opened the drawer and took out the bottle. 'Aye,' he said. 'I don't mind if I do. Yes, they're going to be brokers. Eddie, says Kevin, has something on every distillery in the county. Doing deals, says Kevin, will be like falling off a log.'Ruth put her head round the door. 'Jock,' she said, 'got any rusty nails? Sorry, Andrew. Didn't see you.''Ah, Ruth. Come in. Didn't you tell me not long ago that Sergeant MacLean was incorruptible?'She fixed me with one of her looks. 'Andrew, we all owe a lot to Sergeant MacLean.''I seem to owe a lot to a lot of people at the moment. I've just paid out enough to keep me in anchovies and balsamic vinegar for the rest of my life.''Rusty nails won't colour yon whisky red,' said Jock.'Andrew, I hope you're not ungrateful. Roger is very excited about our wood finishing experiments. He's going to market our anchovy-finished and balsamic vinegar-finished malts as 'The malts for the Mediterranean diet'. Oh, that's given me an idea. The Chinese like chillies, don't they? Those small, hot red ones? Do you think they come in barrels? Well, they could do, I daresay.''Chillies won't colour yon whisky red,' said Jock.'I don't see why they shouldn't,' said Ruth.'The law won't like it,' said Jock, folding his arms.'Jock, Eddie is the law,' said Ruth.'Not at Glenweevil, he's not.'
'Only one barrel, for God's sake. That's all we need.'

'Och, why didn't you say?' said Jock. 'I've got that much at home. Only you mustn't ask where it's from, mind.''Where is it from?' I asked.'Didn't I say you mustn't ask? It's from a wee hole in the pipe just before the spirit safe. And one day I had to stopper my dram with my red spotted handkerchief. The colour ran that badly my wife took it back to the shop. Mrs MacPherson's in Station Road. Closed now, of course. Shame,' he said thoughtfully. 'I was fond of that handkerchief.'