Grant’s Whisky distillery: Ayrshire whisky maker employs full-time sniffer dog – and his boss is called Mr Wooff

An Ayrshire whisky distillery has employed a full-time sniffer dog to help with quality control – and the K9 will report back to an appropriately named boss.

Rocco, a one-year-old cocker spaniel, is being used to sniff out any imperfections in wood used to make the barrels at the distillery in Girvan in Ayrshire.

And should he detect any issues with the casks at the cooperage, they will be reported to associate global brand director Chris Wooff

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Mr Wooff said: “Wood is a natural material, and the distilling of whisky is an organic process, so our job for Grant’s Whisky is to make sure that everything is perfect as the whisky ages in the oak casks.

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“The sense of smell of a dog like Rocco is 40 times stronger than a human’s, and we’ve specially selected and trained Rocco to pick up the scent of anything that’s not quite right as the whisky matures.”

Rocco was trained for the role for six months in Pembrokeshire by dog expert Stuart Phillips.

Mr Phillips said: “A dog like Rocco has such a powerful natural sense of smell that my job was to help him focus on identifying specific scents in the wood, and then communicating what he’s found to the Grant’s team.”

Rocco, a newly employed sniffer dog helping with quality control at a whisky who will report back to appropriately named boss, Mr Chris Wooff.

Although Rocco’s findings will be sent to Mr Wooff, his day-to-day care at the distillery – where staff have made him a special kennel – will be looked after by team leader Lianne Noble.

She said that while Rocco’s primary function is to help maintain the quality of the whisky, his presence is having a secondary benefit.

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