Glenfiddich Whisky - A Single Malt Speyside Whisky
Glenfiddich single malt is a Speyside scotch whisky crafted by William Grant & Sons - one of only a few remaining family-owned distilleries. Located in Dufftown, Moray in the Speyside region, Glenfiddich is one of the largest players in the whisky industry, and now a household whisky name. Today Glenfiddich whisky makes up roughly 30% of all single malt whisky sales worldwide. Additionally, Glenfiddich whisky was the first single malt whisky to be marketed outside of Scotland.
One of three William Grant & Son owned whisky distilleries, all of which sit in relatively close proximity to one another in Dufftown, the spiritual heart of Speyside. The Glenfiddich distillery currently has a total annual capacity of 13 million litres and is one of only 3 distilleries to bottle on site.
Furthermore, Glenfiddich matures its single malt whisky in its onsite warehouse which can accommodate up to 800,000 casks. A proportion of the distilleries malt is malted at the neighbouring distillery, Balvenie.
The distillery was also the first to open up a visitors centre, which today attracts around 125,000 visitors per year.
The History of Glenfiddich
Established in 1876, Glenfiddich distillery was a dream nurtured for 20 years by William Grant to produce the ‘best dram in the valley’. With the assistance of his family, in 1886 he set out on his life long ambition, to build a distillery by hand. Once completed William named the distillery Glenfiddich, Gaelic for Valley of the Deer.
In 1887, after a year of hard labour, the first drop of spirit falls from the copper stills on Christmas Day.
By 1923, the prohibition era is in full swing and William’s grandson joins the family firm. Taking the industry by surprise, William’s grandson orders an increase in whisky production. As the prohibition era continues, the distillery was one of only six distilleries to continue production throughout the prohibition era. Ensuring they were ready to meet an increase in demand for fine, aged whiskies once prohibition had ended.
Charles Gordon, the great-grandson of William Grant, is now part of the family firm. And in 1957 insisted that rare and skilled coppersmiths craftsman were onsite at the Glenfiddich distillery. This ensured they were on hand to build and tend to the uniquely shaped and sized copper stills which housed the whisky.
In 1959, soon after the coppersmiths were brought on-site, Gordon Grant builds up a dedicated cooperage. Charles never undervalued the importance of casks in developing superb whiskies, which is why onsite cooperage is still one of the few that remain in distilleries to this day.
In 1961, designed by influential 20th-century designer, Hans Schleger, the iconic triangular Glenfiddich bottle was designed. Inspired by the trinity of the expertly crafted 3 to make Glenfiddich whisky: water, air and malted barley.
1963 saw the Glenfiddich brand go global; Sandy Grant Gordon, great-grandson of William Grant was so proud of the single malt they had produced that he makes Glenfiddich the first single malt to be actively promoted outside of Scotland. Once a well-kept secret by Scots, consumers around the world who are used to drinking blended whisky are introduced to the delights of a single malt scotch whisky.
In 1987, the distillery celebrates their 100th year anniversary with a centenary bottling to commemorate William Grant, the founder and his life long dream to create the ‘best dram in the valley’.
1991 sees the release of one of the most collectable and rare whiskies, the first-ever vatting of Glenfiddich, 50-year-old. The release honours each of William Grant’s children who helped to build the family distillery. The whisky is a perfection combination taken from nine casks laid down in the 1930s.
Independent as ever, in 1998 invention flourishes at the distillery, as the distilleries 5th Malt Master, with over 35 years of experience and industry-wide recognition, creates the Solera Vat. A pioneering process used to create the Glenfiddich 15-Year-Old whisky. An expression which to this day is awarded for its complex and intense flavours.
In 2010, the Glenfiddich distillery sees extreme snowfall collapse some of the warehouse roofs, exposing maturing casks. However, their warehousemen work around the clock in -19 degrees to save every cask and as a tribute to the men, the Malt Master creates Snow Phoenix. Marring together the finest of the rescued casks to create a limited edition single malt.
In 2011, the world’s most expensive single malt whisky sells at auction. Produced by Glenfiddich, the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve is released in honour of Scotland’s oldest woman who is admired and respected for her achievements in education. Janet Sheed Roberts is the last grandchild of William Grant. Only 11 bottles of the reserve were released worldwide; each auctioned for charity and setting world records.
William’s passion, determination and pioneering spirit continues to guide the brand. Still today, Glenfiddich is one of very few single malt distilleries to remain entirely family owned. Glenfiddich has become one of the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky - a testament to the founder’s innovative nature which has now been passed down through the generations.
Notable Whisky’s from Glenfiddich
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Whisky
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is created using a technique pioneered by Glenfiddich’s Malt Master to produce a warm, spicy flavoured whisky, transformed with the alchemy of the Solera Vat. Matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Whisky is the first 15-year-old to enter the top ten best selling single malts.
The 15 Year Old whisky offers a great experience of a premium, mature, rich and silky smooth single malt with a complex aroma and subtle, sweet layers of sherry oak, marzipan, cinnamon and ginger.
Glenfiddich IPA Cask - Experimental Series
One of the first in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, the Glenfiddich IPA Cask Whisky pairs the notes of an Indian Pale Ale with the notorious Glenfiddich whisky - the result is a vibrant and fruity dram. Collaborating with a local Speyside craft brewer, Malt Master, Brian Kinsman created the first single malt whisky to be finished in a craft IPA cask.
Glenfiddich Project XX - Experimental Series
Another of the first in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, the Glenfiddich Project XX Whisky began with Malt Master, Brian Kinsman inviting 20 whisky experts from around the world to select any expression of their choosing. The final product, 20 chosen malts combined to create an unusual, untraditional and unexpected whisky.
Glenfiddich Grand Cru Whisky
Matured in ex-sherry casks and American oak casks, Glenfiddich Grand Cru is then finished for 4 months in French oak Cuvee casks used to ferment wine that will go on to become Champagne. Glenfiddich Grand Cru whisky offers notes of vanilla, brioche, pear sorbet and white grapes. The perfect whisky for celebrating special occasions.
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