Dream Life Vol II Chapter 69.1: “The Value of the Distiller”

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 After leaving Bertram’s workshop, I guide Beatrice through the village.


 Although it has only been a year, the village has grown remarkably, and a second tavern/inn has been established in the center of the village. This seems to be another effect of the scotch purchases from Ars, and astute merchants are now visiting the village of Rathmore, interested in the liquor that the dwarves are seeking.


 As a result, the number of guests has increased, and the only inn, Black Pond Pavilion, is no longer able to provide for all the guests.


 This is compounded by the fact that people are coming from Kilnarc due to the recent construction boom.


 I was slightly concerned.



(As expected, it’s not on a highway, so it won’t be urbanized all at once, but I hope it will only change for the better. …It seems there is a bubble of special demand for scotch, so the current atmosphere of the village may be destroyed. Maybe…) (Zack)



 I think I am being selfish, but I still hoped that this idyllic atmosphere would not change.



 We came to see Scott’s distillery along the Finn River, which runs along the west side of the village.


 Here, too, construction was underway to rebuild the distillery, and many men were working there. As I approached, some of them noticed me and bowed to me, but others looked doubtful, since they did not know me.


 Originally, the only carpenters in the village of Rathmore were the Craig family of woodworkers, but a craftsman from Kilnarc had come to support them and probably did not recognize me. I heard later that this craftsman was about to settle down in the booming village of Rathmore.



 Entering the distillery for the first time in a long time, the distinctive sweet malt aroma hit my nose, and I felt nostalgic for the days when I used to frequent this place.


 A craftsman working as Scott’s assistant noticed me immediately.


 Then, after bowing, he ran off to call Scott.



 All but Beatrice had been here many times before and didn’t seem to feel anything in particular, but Beatrice was more excited than ever.



“I wondered if this was where they made that liquor. It’s a very disproportionate brewery for the size of the village.” (Beatrice)



 I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of her looking around so restlessly, as she usually does when she is so poised and composed.


 It is true that such a large brewery can only be found in a large city, and this is the only place with distillation equipment.


 Watching Beatrice, I was reminded of the first time I toured a distillery myself.



(How many years ago was it…? That time, I had looked into the mash tuns–the tanks where the milled malt is saccharified–the distillery washback–the fermentation tanks and vats–and I had seen the distillery’s first distillery–I would smell the distinctive odor near the fermentation tanks and vats. …Finally, the new pots–the alcohol distilled in the distiller–I never got tired of watching the distilled alcohol come out of the distiller. Come to think of it, I think the assistant was shocked, but I know how he felt…) (Zack)



 As I was thinking this, Scott, the man in charge, came running over.



 As I am the son of the sponsor lord and godfather of “scotch,” he always treats me with the same respect.


 I am the biggest “investor” in this distillery.


 Nominally, everything produced at the distillery belongs to the Lockhart family, but everything is kept in my name except for the items to be sold in the short term.


 It would be strange to have it in my name since it is the Lockhart family’s property, but once, when we were talking about keeping it for long-term aging, I jokingly said that I wanted to sell it as a series called “Zack Label” after my name. My father didn’t say anything at the time, but he told Nicholas, and before I knew it, it was in my name on the books.


 Not only that but the barrels for long-term aging are branded with “ZL,” which is not found on other barrels. That’s right, my initials are stamped on them.


 Incidentally, all barrels bear the Lockhart family crest–a rising lion–as well as the date of cask filling, the ingredients–wheat or grapes, and if grapes, whether they were made into wine or not, the type of distiller used for distillation–lantern head, straight head, etc.–The name of the person in charge of distillation is to be determined in the future.


 For this, I would be willing to include the name of the person responsible for distillation in the future.


 I really want to include the flavors, but at the moment I don’t think the peat aroma–the smoky aroma given off by coal–is very effective, perhaps because the drying is done with coal. This may not be due to the coal, but I have not yet verified this. But I’m hoping to properly reproduce that distinctive smoky aroma.


 Speaking of flavors, there are some things I would like to improve in the barrels we use. Some wine barrels are used now, but most are fresh oak barrels. Perhaps because of this, I feel that the overall flavor is uniform and lacks individuality.


 Naturally, we don’t have bourbon or sherry casks, so we need to come up with something better.



 Scott comes up to us and greets us with a smile and says, “Welcome.”


 I introduce Beatrice to him and tell him I’d like to give him a tour, and he takes it upon himself to show me around. He already knew that she was my guardian and responded in a polite tone as if he was talking to our squires.



 We will follow along on the impromptu tour for Beatrice.


 As we proceeded through the facility, we saw that there were more than ten employees, whereas before there were only about five working there.


 The second and third sons of the village’s farmers were working there, but even so, there was still a shortage of workers, and everyone was moving about in a hurry.



 The tour continued with the malting area, mashing area, fermentation area, and distillation area.


 Naturally, there is no automated automation at all; it is all done by hand, and the work of transporting the wheat, mashing tins, and stirring the washbags is quite hard.


 However, the workers seem to be having a lot of fun, wiping off their sweat and smiling constantly. Especially in the distilling process, I could see the early members of the team sharing their various opinions.



(I guess they must be happy that what they made is selling like hotcakes. It’s a great place to work, there’s motivation for doing something worthwhile.) (Zack)



 As I watched them, I was beginning to think this kind of work was good too.



(They really seem to enjoy it. It’s nice to see around the world, but this kind of work sounds fun too. Maybe in the future, I could build a real Zack Label with my own little distiller…) (Zack)



 Beatrice, by the way, nodded repeatedly as she listened to Scott’s explanation. Furthermore, she was allowed to taste the new pot that came out of the distiller and smiled with satisfaction. She must be really enjoying herself because her tiger tail was also shaking.



 The sun was already well into the evening when we finished our tour.


 We thanked Scott and headed back up the hill.



 I went over to Nicholas and asked him about the apple cider.



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