Glenfiddich Distillery

A single malt distillery at the north end of Dufftown in Moray, Glenfiddich was established by William Grant in 1887 using stills from the Cardow Distillery. It lies at the heart of an area once noted for its many small illicit stills. While other distilleries were closing in the 1920s due to Prohibition in the USA and economic depression at home, Glenfiddich increased production ensuring it was ready for a predicted surge when times improved. It was therefore able to grow from a small distillery to a significant international player. In 1961, the distinctive triangular bottle was introduced and two years later the great grandson of founder began successfully promoting single malt whisky (as against blended whisky) overseas.

Today, there are 28 distinctively-shaped copper pot stills and the distillery employs its own coppersmiths to maintain these. Water is sourced from the nearby Robbie Dhu spring. Uniquely, Glenfiddich employs a team of coopers to assemble, repair and prepare a large number of American oak and Spanish Oloroso oak casks in which to mature the 11,850,000 litres of spirit produced annually. Importantly, both types of cask have been used before, providing additional flavour to the whisky. The American casks once held bourbon while the Spanish casks were used for sherry. Disaster was averted in 2010 when part of the warehouse roof collapsed due to the weight of snow but no casks were lost and a special edition Snow Phoenix single malt was released in celebration.

Glenfiddich was one of the first distilleries to have a visitor centre which now offers an audio-visual programme and guided tour. In 2016, a bottle Glenfiddich distilled in 1937 sold at auction for £68,500. At the time of its release in 2001, this was the longest-matured malt whisky available anywhere in the world. By 2020, a bottle was being offered online for £113,000.

William Grant remains an independent family-run company, with its headquarters here. It now produces Balvenie whisky, Reyka vodka, Sailor Jerry rum and Hendrick's gin, alongside their existing international brands; namely Glenfiddich and Grants whiskies. The company also operates the Kininvie Distillery in Dufftown, the Ailsa Bay distillery in Girvan and offices, a bottling plant and a customer service centre at Strathclyde Business Park in Bellshill.

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