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Glenfarclas Distillery History
Glenfarclas means "Valley of the green grass" in Gaelic. The distillery has been under same independent family ownership since 1865
The story of Glenfarclas Distillery, established in 1836 by Robert Hay, is as rich and colourful as the great Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky itself. It is the story of one Scottish family, the Grants, who since 1865 have been united by a single vision – the creation of the perfect malt whisky, the ultimate taste of Scotland.
The present days chairman’s great-great grandfather, John Grant was born in 1805 at the family farm of Lynbeg in the heart of Speyside, John Grant became a highly successful farmer, owning several farms in the area and breeding champion Aberdeen Angus cattle So it was only natural for him to be interested in the Rechlerich Farm, on the Ballindalloch Estate, when it became vacant in 1865.
Rechlerich Farm was renowned in the area for the Glenfarclas Distillery, established in 1836 by the previous tenant farmer Robert Hay. When John Grant signed the tenancy agreement on the 8th of June 1865, he purchased the distillery for £511.19s.0d. John Grant remained at his home farm Blairfindy letting his son George look after Rechlerich Farm, whilst the distillery was sub-let to John Smith, a descendent of John Grant’s great uncle,
John Smith left in 1870; to build Cragganmore distillery and John Grant took his son into partnership. During 1897 the distillery was reconstructed and modernized
In 1889, John Grant died, leaving George to run both the distillery and the farm. Sadly, a year later George also passed away, leaving the license to his widow and his two eldest sons, John and George. They later formed the Glenfarclas-Glenlivet distillery company, with Pattisons of Leith, who held a 50% share.
Unfortunately, it proved to be a troublesome partnership, and eventually collapsed with the Pattisons bankruptcy of 1898 . This left John and George in a predicament, However they formed their own company, J. & G. Grant.
By 1914, after many years of hard work, family commitment and shrewd accounting, the future of Glenfarclas was secure in the hands of the Grant family. However, John Grant retired in this year due to ill health, and his brother George continued as sole partner.
In 1921, George married Jessie Stuart Scott and they had two sons, George Scott Grant, and John Peter Grant.
1949 saw the death of George Grant senior, and the marriage of his son George S. Grant, to Catherine. They went on to have three children, including a son, John L.S. Grant, who joined Glenfarclas in 1973. George S. Grant retired in 2001, after 52 years as Chairman, and sadly passed away in 2002, John L.S. Grant succeeded his father as Chairman.
John L.S. Grant also has a son, George, who was born in 1976, and represents the sixth generation of the Grant family. He too, has joined the company and looks set to continue the legacy of his forefathers.
The number of stills was increased from 2 to 4 in 1960, Glenfarclas opened its Visitor Centre in 1973 Three years later the stills where increased from 4 to 6 These Stills are largest on Speyside.
Glenfarclas Distillery, Ballindalloch, Banffshire
Tel: +44 (0)1807 500245
Glenfarclas Distillery Visitor Centre Information
Contact +44 (0)1807 500257
Please Contact the vistor centre before travelling
April-September Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm
June-September Sat 10.00am-5.00pm Sun 12.30pm-4.30pm
October-March Mon-Fri 10.00am-4.00pm
Admission charge Distillery tours: Adults £3.50. Under 18's Free.
Special rates for group bookings.
Tutored nosing and tasting sessions now available by appointment.
Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glenfarclas 8 Year Old
Glenfarclas 10 Year Old
Glenfarclas 12 Year Old
Glenfarclas 15 Year Old
Glenfarclas 17 Year Old
Glenfarclas 21 Year Old
Glenfarclas 25 Year Old
Glenfarclas 30 Year Old
Glenfarclas 105º (carries no age statement)
Glenfarclas Family Casks1952 throu to 1994.
Glenfarclas Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Older Distillery Bottlings
Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Millennium Edition
Glenfarclas 50 Year Old
Glenfarclas in various year vintages and finishes
Glenfarclas 105º 40th Annversary 40 Year Old
Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)
Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch Whisky Family Casks
The Family Casks are a unique collection of 43 Single Cask whiskies, with one for each year from 1952 to 1994.
The Glenfarclas Distillery, with over 52000 casks currently maturing in its traditional dunnage warehouses, is in the enviable position of having stock in cask from every year from 1952 to the current day.
The Family Casks is a collection of the best single casks from the distillery’s warehouses, bottled at cask strength and at natural colour. The collection is unique as there is no other known collection of old and rare whiskies that covers 43 consecutive years from the same distillery.
Glenfarclas 40 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Limited edition of 600 bottles. Tasting notes by Jim Murray
Nose: Beautifully defined oak, which has taken on a handsomely sweet bourbon character. This is almost chestnut sweet, very softly peated and enticingly gentle. Steps up a gear when warmed in the hand with tantalising spices keeping in harmony with waxy malt and ultra-clean sherry. The way the old oak behaves itself - tows the line, is nothing short of wonderful.
Taste: The oak is again first to show but remains soft and laid back and teasingly spicy. The initial burst of oak does suggest a worn dryness, but this is soon counterbalanced by a Demerara sweetness. This blends effortlessly with some heavy, intense malt and a lingering but quite unmistakable hint of liquorice, which emerges from the refined sherry-trifle middle.
Finish: Long, chewy, smoky, and initially sweet with the liquorice continuing, but dries very slowly to deliver an oaky encore. Stays just to the right side of being vanilla-rich to ensure continuing charm and quality.
Glenfarclas 50 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Tasting Notes by George S Grant, Brand Ambassador and Sixth Generation
To celebrate the Bicentenary of the birth of my Great, Great, Great Grandfather; John Grant in 2005, I personally selected a cask of Glenfarclas 50 Years Old for bottling. This cask was distilled on the 30th September 1955 and bottled 50 years to the day on the 30th September 2005.
After fifty years in our dunnage warehouses the cask gave us just 110 bottles, at cask strength of 46.6% vol. The whisky has a powerful sweet sherried aroma and a long caramel taste, and I am sure my forefather would be proud.
A couple of years ago I enjoyed a dram of the Glenfarclas 50 Years with Tatsuya Minigawa of the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie. Here are Tatsuya’s tasting notes;
Colour: Deep Amber
Nose: First of all a big sweet chocolate character, then change to fragrant, and with a hint of fruity noses.
Taste: Baked fig with caramelised sugar, authentic European coffee, very rich and round.
Finish: Extremely long finish right level of woodiness came through and nice bitterness. Very unforgettable finish.
Comments: Huge depth and great dimensions, one of the best Glenfarclas I have ever tasted! "
Glenfarclas Scotch Whisky
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
Nose: Intense, raisins, oranges, nuts, fudge.
Palate: Full bodied, rich, big and fruity, honey.
Finish: All the above.
Glenfarclas Scotch Whisky
2009 Glenfarclas has scooped five Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Following the annual tasting, the judges have awarded Double Gold to:
• Glenfarclas 12 Years Old
• Glenfarclas 17 Years Old
• Glenfarclas 21 Years Old
• Glenfarclas 25 Years Old
• Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength
DISTILLER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2006
Founded in 1836 by Robert Hay
Location Speyside region Central district east of Dufftown
Water source Springs on Ben Rinnes.
Glenfarclas Distilling Equipment
Stainless steel lauter mash tun
12 Stainless steel washbacks
Matured in Oloroso sherry casks