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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Highland Distillery Information

Glen Garioch Scotch Whisky Distillery History

John Manson (founder) with his younger brother Alexander in 1794 establishes the Glen Garioch distillery and brewery on the site of an old tannery, which had a water supply from the Percock Hills. A statistical account of Meldrum written by Rev Thomas Tait in1794 states there are a distillery and brewery, lately established in it and both are in a thriving way.


Thomas Simpson purchased both the distillery and the brewery in 1798 and in 1827 Ingram, Lamb & Co became new owners and expanded the buildings.


The era of 2 names, in 1837 the Strathmeldrum Distillery Company bought Glen Garioch headed by John Manson Junior, son of founder. The distillery it self was still called Glen Garioch. In a Memorandum of John Manson’s stock in June 1838, shortly before his death, records £1,400 lent to John Manson Junior to purchase Glen Garioch.


During 1856 The Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway opened nearby so the whisky casks no longer had to travel to Aberdeen by ox cart.


JG Thomson & Co of Leith (principal Joseph Thomson) becomes the new owner in 1884.Two years later William Sanderson of Leith, of VAT 69 fame, purchased a 50% interest in JG Thomson & Co. At the time twelve men are employed under manager Jimmy Shand, who starts pig farm in distillery grounds. Local peat dug.


After 35 years of Sanderson family half-ownership, (1921) William Mark Sanderson, son of William Sanderson along with other investors, form the Glengarioch Distillery Co Ltd to take 100% ownership. The distillery is sold in 1933 to Booth’s Distilleries Ltd. then five years later in.1937 Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) as  part of DCL, purchased Glen Garioch.


World War II: The Distillery was closed for the duration of the Second World War, some buildings used as army dormitories. SMD restored production in 1946.


Due to a limited water source SMD closed the distillery in 1968 and offered it for sale. Two years later Stanley P Morrison Ltd pays £150,000 for the distillery and low-level production is resumed.


During 1972 Glen Garioch becomes the first distillery in Scotland to gas fire its stills.

Later on in November: Glen Garioch is released as a single malt Previously only used in blends such as Bell’s, Grant’s Standfast and Drambuie. Also a new water source is discovered at Coutens Farm.


Planning permission was obtained in 1977 for the greenhouse project to make use of waste heat from the distillation process. The following year the Greenhouse project supervised by BBC Scotland’s Jim McColl is opened this attracts publicity and brings streams of visitors. The distillery expands from 2 to 3 stills and a visitor centre is opened.



In July 1994 Stanley P Morrison Ltd is acquired by Suntory Ltd; they mothball the distillery the following year. However in 1997 the distillery is returned to the now Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Suntory Ltd, and the distillery is renovated and re-opened.


Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings

12 Year Old

Founders reserve

Vintage Releases 1978,1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998,

Virgin Oak

Wine Cask Matured1998


Glen Garioch 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Nose - The colour of sharp honey, on the nose heathery floral notes are balanced with the richness of poached pears and the sweetness of malted barley.


Palete - Crème brûlée and sweet ripe banana at first, then comes a light oakiness with pear fruitiness, leading to a long smooth, creamy and fragrant finish.


Glen Garioch Founders Reserve Single Malt Whisky

Nose - Warm amber in appearance, sweet vanilla and subtle spice combine with fruitier green apple and grapefruits on the nose.


Palete - Butter cream and vanilla pave the way to fruity green apple skin and citrus cleanliness, leading to an elegant and subtle finish.


Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky Older Distillery Bottlings

8 Year Old

10 Year Old

12 Year Old

15 Year Old

16 Year Old

21 Year Old

200th Anniversary

Various Glen Garioch special cask bottlings


Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky Independent Bottlings  


Duncan Taylor "Cask Strength"

Lonach (Duncan Taylor)

Maverick  (Murray McDavid),

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Old Masters (James MacArthur)

Platinum (Douglas Laing),

Provenance (Douglas Laing),


Spirit Safe & Cask (Celtic Whisky)

Whisky Galore (Duncan Taylor).

Glen Garioch Distillery, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire

AB51 0ES

Tel: +44 (0)1651 873450


Visitors. For further information please contact the distillery

Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes

Nose: Peaty, aromatic, estary.


Palate: Medium bodied. Malty, buttery, nutty.


Finish:  Very long. Honey, spices, fruity.

Founded in 1794 by John Manson

Location Highland region, Eastern district North of Aberdeen

Water source Springs on Percock Hill


Glen Garioch Distilling Equipment

Stainless steel mash tun,

8 Stainless steel washbacks,

1 wash still with 2 smaller spirit stills

Matured in American oak bourbon and European sherry casks