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Glen Grant Malt Whisky Distillery History
Brothers James and John Grant, who were attracted to the location by the plentiful supply of spring water from the Caperdonich Well on the hillside above, founded the distillery in 1840. They had been smugglers and also worked the Dandaleith distillery near Craigellachie during the 1830s.
The Glen Grant distillery is tucked away at the end of the main street of Rothes, some of the original buildings remain. The distillery is set round a small courtyard with turreted and gabled offices in the "Scottish Baronial" style, probably dating from the 1880s. It is a quirky place, traditional in style despite expansions in the 1970s
The 'two highlanders' label depicts James and John.
James Grant’s son, Major James, built a second distillery across the road in 1898 called Glen Grant No 2 and a famous ‘whisky pipe’ ran across the road carrying spirit to be merged with the flow on the other side. Glen Grant No 2 closed in 1902 and when revived was designated a separate distillery and named Caperdonich.
The distillery was also the first industrial premises in the North of Scotland to have electric light. Glen Grant has long been sold as a bottled single malt, since the first decade of this century. However Glen Grant has played a formative role in introducing malt whisky to consumers outside Scotland, notably in Italy, which is regarded as the No 1 world market for malts. The Italians see the Glen Grant brand as the epitome of malt whisky, where the tradition of drinking it young – say, five years old – is firmly established.
The industrial plant next door to the distillery is unsightly however it should not be regarded too harshly since it represents the combined efforts of the distilling companies to minimise the effects on the area of the effluent they produce. The works transforms the effluent into nourishing cattle feed.
The original Glen Grant distillery used floor maltings but, following the inspiration of the neighbouring Speyburn, distillery on a similar cramped site, Glen Grant converted to drum maltings in 1898.
The distillery merged with the Glenlivit distillery to form The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd in 1953
The number of stills was increased from 4 to 6 in 1973. The distillery was acquired by Seagram (Chivas) in 1977 who increased the number of stills to 10 in the same year.
During the 1980s reconstruction, the worm-tubs were replaced with condensers. The four old stills where removed, these had the last rummagers driven by a waterwheel.
There are four pairs of stills in position now are coal-fired and, although the new stills are larger than before, they continue to produce the same type of spirit. All of the stills have purifiers fitted, which adds to the finesse of the spirit produced.
Important component of Chivas Regal
Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Distillery Bottlings
The Major’s Reserve
10 Year Old
16 Year Old
The 1992 Cellar Reserve
25 year old
50 year old
Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Distillery Older Bottlings
Glen Grant (no age statement)
5 Year Old
15 Year Old
Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Distillery
Berrys Own Selection,
"Cask Strength" (Duncan Taylor)
Duncan Taylor Collection
Gordon & MacPhail,
Lonach (Duncan Taylor)
Mission (Murray McDavid),
Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
Platinum (Douglas Laing),
Peerless (Duncan Taylor)
Private Cellar (Speyside Distillers)
Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)
Glen Grant Distillery,
Tel: +44 (0)1542 783318
Glen Grant Distillery Visitor Centre Information
Contact +44 (0)1340 832118
Glen Grant Scotch Whisky
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
Nose:Fresh, green, grassy, herbal.
Palate: Light, fresh and clean. Delicate subtle fruit,light maltiness.
Finish: Beautifully balanced and delicate.
Glen Grant 30 year old Single Malt Whisky 46.9% 70cl
Matured in Sherry Cask.
Old Malt Cask. Bottled by Douglas Laing & Co.
Distilled in May 1978 and bottled in October 2008.
Glen Grant Single Malt Whisky Tasting notes:-
Nose:- Malty freshness, sweet biscuit/sponge style with a citric aroma.
Palate:- Smooth, Balanced with sweet spices, delicate for its age
Finish:- Medium long, remains fresh and carries a herbal quality (J)
250 bottles in total charged from a Sherry Hogshead DL ref; 4714
Founded in 1840 by the brothers James and John Grant
Location Speyside region Rothes district Rothes town.
Water source Caperdonich Spring and Back Burn
Glen Grant Distilling Equipment
Stainless steel mash tun
10 Oregon pine washbacks.
4 wash stills 4 spirit stills with boil balls in the necks
Purifiers are fitted before the condensers
Matured in a combination of American oak and European sherry casks