Glenfiddich from William Grant and Sons
The world’s largest selling single malt, Glenfiddich is the only Highland Scotch whisky to be distilled matured and bottled in its own distillery, William Grant & Sons in Scotland. Single malt whisky is one that has been distilled in only one distillery and is not a blend of whiskies from different sources. One of the few distilleries still owned by the original family, it was founded in 1886 by William Grant. The popularity of the whisky, the first to be exported widely, can be judged by the fact that it was the first distillery to open a visitor’s center in its Dufftown distillery.
Another unique quality of the distillery is that it uses a single source of natural spring water for mashing and bottling. The Grant family with great foresight bought 1200 acres of land around the distillery to protect the Robbie Dhu springs in Conval Hills at the source. It is the only distillery in the Highlands to farm its own barley. They were the first to introduce the distinctive triangular shaped bottle in1957.They were the first to sell single malt whisky in England and Wales.
The story begins with one man’s dream to make ‘the best dram in the valley.’ In1886 William Grant bought land near the River Fiddich in Speyside, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. With the help of just one stonemason, William, his wife and nine children physically built the distillery and equipped it with secondhand equipment. The first batch of Pure Malt Scotch Whisky from the William Grant & Sons distillery was produced on Christmas Day, 1887.
It was an instant success and William Grant soon bought Balvenie Castle and converted it into his second distillery. Despite adversities, when the business of their major whisky wholesaler collapsed in 1902, William Grant & Sons continued to expand. They started exporting whisky to other parts of Scotland, and by 1905 to Canada and the USA. By the end of that decade they had made their mark in India and the Far East. Prohibition and the Depression of the 1920s and1930s hit sales but the distillery stepped up production to be prepared for the lifting of Prohibition.
They have since moved from strength to strength and today have range of distinctly flavored whiskies. The Glenfiddich range includes the Special Reserve Twelve Year Old whisky, the most popular single malt in the world and the Caoran Reserve with a peaty undertone of old whiskey. The Solera 15 Year Old Reserve comes from a unique system of where 15 year old Glenfiddich from casks from three diverse sources namely American bourbon, Spanish Sherry and new oak are blended in a Solera vat of Oregon pine. The Ancient Reserve 18 Year Old is matured in casks that have previously held American bourbon and Oloroso sherry Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 Year Old single malt whisky is matured in rum casks from Cuba.
The Glenfiddich 30 Year Old and the Glenfiddich Liqueur are other premium brands. Their Rare whiskies range includes the oldest whisky bottled and the most expensive one ever sold. Glenfiddich Limited Edition, matured in specially selected casks with toasted interiors. They release a limited amount of vanillin that gives the whiskey a gently spiced aroma.