Distillery Struggles to Find Local Artisans Worthy of its Attention

A Scotch whisky distillery's effort to promote its craftsmanship by honoring talented craftsmen in various cities is threatening to peter out in Dallas, apparently for lack of qualified artisans.

The Balvenie Distillery this month launched its "Rare Craft Roadshow," in which two photogenic brand ambassadors will spend a year traveling the country in a Morgan car. The gentlemen plan to call on milliners, printers and cabinet makers, chronicling their adventures online and in a documentary film.

The road show will stop in Dallas next Wednesday for a private tasting, an event that was supposed to have been supplemented by more workshop visits.

"While in Dallas, Andy and Nic will seek out and honor local craftsman in a variety of trades," spokesperson Ashley Wallace emailed.

But Dallas craftsmen have apparently been hard to come by. The only example of a local craftsman on the pair's itinerary Wallace could provide was "Luddy's Boot and Saddle," presumably a reference to M.L. Leddy's Boots & Saddlery, the 90-year-old Fort Worth institution.

In an internal email inadvertently forwarded to City of Ate, Wallace told her team coverage by the Observer "might also serve as an opportunity to attract interest from additional craftsmen, so I wanted to spin the quote that way."

Wallace confirmed the distillery's ambassadors are still seeking participating artisans.

"They are speaking with several Dallas based crafts right now, but nothing else has been 100 percent confirmed for next week yet -- it should be by the end of the week!" Wallace emails. "Hopefully one of your readers will have an interesting story to tell and contact us!"

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Hanna Raskin
Contact: Hanna Raskin