Single Malt Scotch Whisky
J & G Grant, Glenfarclas Distillery
Ballindoch, Banffshire AB37 9BD Scotland
Tel: +44 (0) 1807 500257 / Fax: +44 (0) 1807 500234
Viewer's Comments about Glenfarclas
story of Glenfarclas is as rich and colourful as the whisky
that bears its name. It is a story of one Scottish family,
the Grants, who since 1865 have been united in creating
the Spirit of Independence which represents Glenfarclas'
freedom to be uncompromising in commitment to the founding
principle of producing superior quality Single Highland
Malt Scotch Whisky. The Glenfarclas Distillery is situated
on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch and in the heart
of Speyside. In 1836, the distillery was granted a Government
licence to produce whisky. At this time, the licence was
held by Robert Hay, who was the tenant farmer. However,
after his death the farm and the distillery were left vacant
and this attracted the attention of John Grant. The Grant
family were prominent local cattle breeders, who were looking
for an ideal halfway staging post between their farm in
Glenlivet, and the market in nearby Elgin.
A tenancy agreement was successfully negotiated for Recherlich
and Derrylane Farm in 1865. However, as part of the agreement,
the distillery was purchased for £511.19sd. Since
farming was the priority, the distillery was let out for
five years to John Smith, who later went on to establish
However, during this time, the cattle drovers and workmen
certainly enjoyed the sustenance of a dram of Glenfarclas!
In 1889, John Grant died, leaving his son George to run
both the farm and the distillery. Sadly, George passed away
not long afterwards. Subsequently, the licence for the distillery,
was passed on to George's widow Barbara. She then appointed
her two eldest children, John and George, to take care of
In the 1890s, they formed the Glenfarclas-Glenlivet distillery
company, with Pattisons of Leith. They held a 50% interest,
but it was to prove to be a troublesome partnership, one
which eventually dissolved. This left John and George in
a predicament, but they were not disheartened and formed
their own company, J.& G. Grant.
After many years of hard work and shrewd accounting, the
future of Glenfarclas had been secured, and the Family's
reputation firmly established. A rival distiller, wrote
to the Grant family in May, 1912: "Of all the whiskies,
malt is king, of all the kings, Glenfarclas reigns supreme",
a sentiment the family still hold close to their hearts.
The 1920s saw the retirement of John Grant, and George continued
to run the distillery.
So on to 1948, which is remembered as the 'year of
the party'. It was a social milestone for the Grant family
that celebrated several anniversaries, even though the date
did not coincide with any of them! At this time it was mistakenly
believed that the distillery was first established in 1845,
and once the war was over, George saw fit to hold a centenary
celebration. Both his sons, John and George, had missed
their 21st birthday celebrations, due to their wartime service,
and George himself, had not been able to celebrate his own
silver wedding anniversary. To mark this historic event,
a photograph signed by all those who attended, still hangs
in the Glenfarclas board room.
Unfortunately, George Grant passed away a few months later,
leaving his widow and his two sons to carry on the name
of Glenfarclas. William Strathdee, the distillery manager,
was appointed a director, and under the guidance of John
and George, the distillery continued to thrive.
The late 1940s saw the reform of the 1880s Spirits Act,
which had hindered the production of whisky for years, as
it had prohibited simultaneous mashing and distilling. It
also prohibited the staff from working on a Sunday, so production
had always been limited. This repeal of the Spirits Act,
along with the eventual relaxation of wartime barley rationing,
allowed production to increase significantly during the
However, after all the success of the 1950s, the family
suffered a great loss when John, at the age of thirty-five,
suddenly died. This left his elder brother George S. Grant
in charge, who served as Chairman of Glenfarclas for a remarkable
52 years. His son John L.S. Grant, joined Glenfarclas in
1973, and succeeded his father as Chairman in 2002. He also
has a son, George, who represents the sixth generation of
the Grant family and is the firm's Brand Ambassador.
Now 200 years since the birth of John Grant, his descendants
continue to act as custodians of the Glenfarclas Distillery,
and remain committed to the principle of producing superior
quality Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky. Whilst you may
not find Glenfarclas in every supermarket, the Distillery's
reputation is well regarded around the world. In March of
2006, Glenfarclas was named Distiller of the Year by
Whisky Magazine "for being consistently good and
staying true to its core values".
Glenfarclas is renowned for its traditional full bodied
and well sherried style, and is only ever released at natural
colour. Only the finest ingredients combined with the unique
size and shape of the copper pot stills, traditional distillation
methods, the specially selected oak casks and the style
and location of the warehouses determine the final unique
character of Glenfarclas.
The Glenfarclas portfolio includes the 10 Years Old, 12
Years Old, 15 Years Old, 21 Years Old, 25 Years Old, 30
Years Old and '105' cask strength. Glenfarclas Single
Highland Malt Scotch Whisky continues to impress the tasting
panels at both national and international competitions,
year after year. Confirming the words of a great rival distiller
in 1912, "of all the whiskies malt is king –
of all the kings Glenfarclas reigns supreme."
The Family Casks For Glenfarclas, 2007 has been
the year of The Family Casks, our new collection of 43 single
casks, with one cask bottled from every year from 1952 to
1994. Launching 43 single casks from the same distillery
at the same time, is we believe, a first. Being a small
company everyone at the distillery has been involved in
this exciting project. This unique collection of Glenfarclas
expressions has been very well received. In his Whisky
Bible 2008, Jim Murray has named The Family Casks,
the 'Best New Scotch Whisky
of the Year (multiple casks)' of 2007.
Bottles from the collection are now available
from specialist retailers in Europe, Asia and Canada . If
you would prefer to sample the collection by the dram visit
Bar Nemo in Tokyo , or the Mash Tun in Aberlour, which both
have one of every bottle from the collection behind their
respective bars. Meanwhile Underbar in Oslo, plan to stock
the full range, but for the time being have a selection
of 15 bottles, which includes one for each year of birth
of their hard working bar staff.
Courtesy of Glenfarclas
12 years old ABV 40%
Vibrant straw gold.
sherry-sweet malty tones combine with a delicate
smokiness, releasing subtle spices. Warming the
glass reveals honey, vanilla and pear drops.
light, with a mouth-watering combination of maltiness,
smokiness and sherry sweetness. Hints of dried fruit,
vanilla, cinnamon and cloves tempt the taste buds
Finish: Long, smooth
and spicy, with a delicious, yet delicate, lingering
smooth, yet with the depth and finish you would
normally only expect of a much older dram. A Wonderfuly
12 years old ABV 43%
Vibrant amber gold.
Nose: Fresh and
beautifully light, sherried fruit combined with
a tempting spicy sweetness and a hit of sappy oak.
delightful sherried fruit, with oak, a hint of peat
and delicious sweet sensations.
Finish: Long and
flavoursome, with a lingering spiciness.
Comment: In 2006,
this was named teh 'Best Sherried Whisky' in the
Single Malt World Cup.
with distinctive butterscotch, sherried fruit and
peat smoke aromas.
Flavour: Big, full-flavoured,
with excellent balance, develops slowly, full of
sherry sweet malty tones, and a touch peat smoke.
Finish: Long lasting
and smooth, with a hint of spice and sherry sweetness.
full of aromas - sherried fruit, tropical fruit,
nutmeg and almonds with slight citrus notes at the
end, all held together with a vanilla sweet smokiness.
rich and rounded develops into fruity, smoky and
smooth and smoky with a chocolate feel at the back
of your throat.
Comment: An incredibly
rounded whisky that leaves you refreshed and contented.
A whisky that always deserves a second glass.
Amber with dark gold highlights.
yet refined, delicately peated, with tempting aromas
of marmalade, honey, freshly ground coffee, sherry
and nuts. Some oaky tannins.
and robust, the sherry and the oak fight for your
attention, yet either is overpowering. A powerful,
long lasting, dry, smoky and malty. A beautiful
dark Belgium chocolate taste at the back of your
mouth to complete the flavour of the 25 Year Old.
Comment: A great,
after-dinner whisky so rich and full that it is
dessert in itself, with a finish that goes on forever.
oaky, apples and pears and a tempting dark toffee
Flavour: Dry and
assertive, develops quickly to reveal a rich spiciness,
combined with a hint of oak and sherried fruit.
smooth for the strenght; wonderful warming with
a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.
Comment: A great
whisky holding all the flavours of all the Glenfarlas
in one glass. Being so warming, this is the perfect
Situated in the heart of Speyside – malt whisky country
– Glenfarclas, translated from the Gaelic as "Glen
of the green grassland", nestles at the foot of the
Ben Rinnes mountain. The Glenfarclas Distillery Visitor
Centre, which opened in 1973, is one of the original distillery
visitor centres. In addition to the regular tour, which
includes a dram of Glenfarclas 10 years old, in-depth tutored
nosing and tastings are offered by prior appointment.
A warm welcome awaits you at the Glenfarclas Distillery
Visitors Centre, and we look forward to welcoming you to
the home of Glenfarclas single malt very soon. Enjoy a guided
tour, see the largest stills on Speyside, relax with a dram
in the splendour of the Ships Room, plan out your holiday
in Speyside, chat with our friendly staff, or simply browse
in the gift shop.
Not forgetting the large selection of Glenfarclas Single
Malt Scotch Whisky on offer, including miniatures, and the
highly collectable Millennium 40 years old. "Whatever
you choose to do, let us share the Spirit of Independence
Glenfarclas Distillery is 5 miles south of
Aberlour on the A95 Grantown-on-Spey road.
Visit the Glenfarclas Distillery
"We invite you to visit our truly independent
distillery and discover our renowned Single Highland Malt
Scotch Whisky" John L. S. Grant
Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries in Scotland
to open a dedicated visitor centre in 1973. Thirty years
later we still pride ourselves on the warmth or our welcome.
Take a tour of the distillery with one of our knowledgeable
guides and discover not only the magic of malt whisky production,
but the unique aspects of Family owned Glenfarclas. After
your tour relax with a dram in the splendour of the Ship’s
Room and browse in our distillery shop with its large selection
of Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and Glenfarclas
gifts. A selection of gifts from the visitor centre shop
are now available to purchase at our on-line shop.
The Visitors Centre is open all year:
April to June
Monday to Friday 10AM to 5PM
July to September
Monday to Friday 10AM to 5PM
Saturday 10AM to 4PM
October to March
Monday to Friday 10AM to 4PM
The last tour leaves 90 minutes before the stated closing
Groups welcome by appointment.
For further information, please call 01807 500345.
Ambassador’s Tour & Tasting
2PM on Fridays in July and August 2010
Enjoy a tour of Family owned Glenfarclas, after which one
of the Glenfarclas Brand Ambassadors will introduce you
to a selection of four of their favourite expressions of
Glenfarclas. £15 per person.
To book please call +44 (0) 1807 500345 or send
an email here.
From the Grain to the Glass
To produce Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky,
these three essential ingredients are required: pure spring
water, malted barley, and yeast. These finest ingredients,
combined with the unique size and shape of the copper pot
stills, traditional distillation methods, the specially
selected oak casks, and the style and location of the warehouses,
are all important factors determining the final unique character
The heather clad slopes of the 814 metre high Ben Rinnes
mountain, purple in autumn and snow clad in winter, rise
up majestically behind the distillery. The melting snows
of winter seep down through the peat, deep into the granite
below, rising up as pure, crystal clear spring water, soft
and slightly acidic, ideal for making whisky. The water
in Speyside is exceptional for producing malt whisky, and
over half the distilleries in Scotland are located in this
Since 1972, specialist 'maltsters', companies who specialise
in malting barley, produce the malt to our required specification.
The Pagoda roof, from the old kiln, now takes pride of place
over the entrance to the Visitors Centre. The barley is usually
grown in Scotland, and often in the local area of Moray; prime
barley growing country.
MALTING. (Steeping, Germination and Kilning)
Newly harvested barley, with a moisture content of 11 -
12%, is steeped (soaked) in water and germinated to start
a complex chemical reaction, which is then gradually halted
by increasing the temperature during kilning. The barley
used to produce the distillers' malt is Hordeum distichon,
with varieties such as Chariot and Optic popular for their
low nitrogen content (below 1.6) and a 98% germination rate.
Steeping the barley is probably the most important part
of the malting process. If it is performed effectively then
the next two stages, germination and kilning, are routine.
The objective of steeping is to achieve a moisture content
of 46% with a strong uniform growth. Steeped in a saladin
box (steeping, germination and kilning vessel) at 16 deg.
Courtesy of Glenfarclas