When Dayan Yehuda Osher Steiner was told during a kashrus inspection at a leading Scottish distillery that he would be introduced to its latest recruit, little did he realise it would be a four-legged friend whose new role has brought him fame across the globe.
Rocco is a one-year-old cocker spaniel who has landed a dream job as the official sniffer dog at the Grant’s Whisky distillery in Girvan, South Ayrshire. News of his appointment was covered by media outlets across five continents.
His role is to sniff out the quality of the oak casks at the cooperage. If he picks up the scent of anything that needs attention as the whisky matures, it gets reported to Grant’s top dog, associate global brand director Chris Wooff.
Rocco underwent six months of intensive training before taking up his role. He is cared for at the distillery by team leader Lianne Noble, who prepares his daily work schedule and keeps him fed and exercised.
Dayan Steiner, senior Rabbi of Manchester Beis Din, a leading kashrus authority, was one of the first outsiders to be introduced to Rocco.
The Dayan was at the distillery to audit a range of drinks produced there which are certified by Manchester Beis Din for sale in the UK, United States, France, Canada and Israel.
These include Grant’s, Ailsa Bay and Monkey Shoulder whiskies and Hendrick’s gin.
Dayan Steiner said: “When I was told that I would be introduced to the newest employee at the distillery, I never dreamed it would be a dog!
“I’m not an avid dog-lover but it was a pleasure to meet Rocco. He is a very friendly little fellow and very clever. He’s clearly been very well-trained.”
Manchester Beth Din is among the leading Kashrus authorities in Europe. Its range of certified products includes breakfast cereals, confectionery, sauces, condiments and spreads, fish and vegetarian foods as well as alcoholic beverages.
William Grant & Sons founded in 1887, owns some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Grant’s and Monkey Shoulder, as well as Hendrick’s gin and Drambuie.