Glenfarclas Distillery in Scotland
The only thing that has changed in 165 years is the label – this is the proud claim about the fine single malt whisky produced at Glenfarclas. It is made by the Grant family who has owned the distillery for six generations. One of the few independent family owned distilleries functioning in Scotland today, the Grant family has owned Glenfarclas since 1865.
Glenfarclas means Valley of the Green Grassland and the distillery is located in picturesque surroundings in Speyside. The distillery was established in 1836 by a farmer Robert Hay who was a tenant on Rechlerich Farm on the Ballindalloch Estate. Its wee dram was popular with farmers of the surrounding areas who stopped at this half way point on their way with their cattle to the market at Elgin. The farm was bought by a prosperous farmer from the neighborhood, John Grant for his growing family in 1865. He initially let his son run the farm and his nephew the distillery and later took it over himself. The distillery has been with his descendants ever since.
The owners are proud of having maintained the quality of their whisky mainly because of their strict adherence to tradition and quality. The distillery has ample supply of the three essential ingredients for distilling a great whisky: pure spring water, malted barley and yeast. The melting snows on the hills surrounding their valley feed a pure spring near by. The water seeps through the peat and granite layers of the spring bed to re-emerge as crystal clear water with the unique flavors to make a great whisky.
The finest malted barley is malted locally by specialist maltsters who have done the job of malting for generations. These finest of ingredients are combined in traditional vessels. Glenfarclas has gleaming copper pot stills that are unique in size and shape. These direct fired stills are the largest pot stills in Speyside. The spirit is distilled twice in the six traditional direct-fired pot stills. There are three wash stills for the first distillation and three spirit stills for the second.
Only the lightest and the best fractions of alcohol are collected. The middle cut is made at the precise moment, a skill and training that has been passed down for generations. The end result is the glorious new spirit worthy of the Glenfarclas name.
The spirit is matured in oak casks from Seville in Spain have previously held Oloroso and Fino Sherry. The casks are specially selected by the present Chairman, just like his ancestors did. They are stored lying horizontally in the traditional dunnage warehouses for at least ten years. The Spanish oak casks give Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch its rich amber color and mellow, slightly sweet flavor.