Glenfiddich

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Glenfiddich
Glenffidich Distillery(RLH)1979, Dufftown, Speyside, Scotland.jpg
Type Speyside Scotch whisky
Manufacturer William Grant & Sons
Country of origin Dufftown, Scotland
Introduced 1886
Variants 12-year old
15-year old
18-year old
19-year old Age of Discovery
21-year old
30-year old
40-year old
50-year old
Related products Grant's, Balvenie
Wooden barrels
Swan necked copper stills in the distillery.
Glenfiddich's wooden washbacks
The Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 year single malt scotch whisky

Glenfiddich is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky owned and produced by William Grant & Sons in Dufftown, Scotland. Glenfiddich means ‘Valley of the Deer' in Gaelic, hence the presence of a stag symbol on Glenfiddich bottles.[1][2]

Glenfiddich is the world's best-selling single-malt whisky[3] and also the most awarded at the International Spirits Challenge.[4]

History[edit]

The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, in the glen of the River Fiddich.[5] The Glenfiddich single malt whisky first ran from the stills on Christmas Day, 1887.[6]

In the 1920s, with prohibition in force in the USA, Glenfiddich was one of a very small number of distilleries to increase production. This put them in a strong position to meet the sudden rise in demand for fine aged whiskies that came with the repeal of prohibition.[7][8]

In the 1950s, the Grant family built up an onsite infrastructure that included coppersmiths to maintain the copper stills, and a dedicated cooperage that is now one of the very few remaining in distilleries.[9] In 1956 the Grant's brand launched the now-iconic triangular bottle, designed by Hans Schleger.[10]

Following difficult times in the 1960s and '70s, many small, independent distillers were bought up or went out of business. In order to survive, W. Grant & Sons expanded their production of the drink, and introduced advertising campaigns and a visitors' centre.[11] In this period they also took the decision to begin marketing single malt as a premium brand in its own right, effectively creating the modern single malt whisky category.[4]

Later, W. Grant & Sons was one of the first distilleries to package its bottles in tubes and gift tins, as well as recognising the importance of the duty-free market for spirits. This marketing strategy was successful, and Glenfiddich has now become the world's best-selling single malt.[12] It is sold in 180 countries,[6] and accounts for about 35% of single malt sales.[13]

Glenfiddich is currently managed by the fifth generation of William Grant's descendants.[14]

Production[edit]

Glenfiddich whisky is produced at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. The water source is the Robbie Dhu springs. Glenfiddich is matured in oak casks such as rum casks from the Caribbean (in the case of 21 year old Gran Reserva), Bourbon whiskey barrels from America (Ancient Reserve), or sherry butts from Jerez in Spain.[15][16]

The distillery uses 28 distinctively-shaped copper pot stills that are smaller than those now in use at most other distilleries.[17] All are handmade and Glenfiddich employs a team of permanent craftsmen to maintain them.[18]

Whiskies[edit]

Glenfiddich Age-Statement Whiskies, by years of production, since 1992
Age 1992–1994 1994–1996 1996–1998 1998–2000 2000–2002 2002–2004 2004–2006 2006–2008 2008–2010 2010–2012 2012—
12 Year Old Caoran Reserve Glenfiddich
12 Year Old
14 Year Old Glenfiddich
Rich Oak
15 Year Old Classic Solera Reserve Glenfiddich
15 Year Old
15 Year Old 15 Year Old Cask Strength
(renamed Distillery Edition)
18 Year Old Excellence Ancient Reserve Glenfiddich
18 Year Old
21 Year Old Millenium Reserve Havana Reserve Gran Reserva Glenfiddich
21 Year Old
30 Year Old Glenfiddich
30 Year Old
38 Year Old Glenfiddich
Ultimate 38
40 Year Old Glenfiddich
40 Year Old
50 Year Old Glenfiddich
50 Year Old
64 Year Old 1937 Rare Collection

In 1937, cask 843 was filled with spirit from the stills at The Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown. Over its life ten consecutive warehouse masters watched over the cask. After 64 years, in October 2001, Glenfiddich's Malt Master David Stewart declared that cask 843 was finally ready to be bottled. Just 61 bottles were left in the cask.

Special and Limited Bottlings[edit]

  • Toasted Oak
  • Snow Phoenix 2010
  • Malt Master's Edition 2011–present
  • Ultimate 38 2012 – present
  • Vintage and Private Reserves 1999–present
  • Age of Discovery Madeira Cask 2011–present
  • Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask 2012–present
  • Age of Discovery Red Wine Cask 2013–present
  • Select Cask 2013–present
  • Reserve Cask 2013–present
  • Vintage Cask 2014–present

Liqueur[edit]

Until 2011 Glenfiddich produced a liqueur called Glenfiddich Malt Whisky Liqueur that was 40% alcohol by volume, and sold in 50 cl (500 ml) bottles.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Glenfiddich's whiskies have performed very well at international spirits ratings competitions. The 12, 15, 18, and 21-year offerings have all rated well in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Beverage Testing Institutes' reviews.[19] On balance, the 15-year whisky has performed the best, receiving three double-gold medals (in four years) at the 2007–2010 San Francisco competitions and a score of 91 with the Beverage Testing Institute.[20]

In Popular Culture[edit]

Glenfiddich Awards[edit]

Since 1970, Glenfiddich has promoted the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards to honour distinguished writing and broadcasting in the fields of food and drink in the UK.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Whisky Pronunciation chart from Univ. of Edinburgh". Dcs.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  2. ^ William Grant & Sons
  3. ^ "Malt Whisky Regions". Dufftown. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "For that Dram of Malt". The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "Glenfiddich". Dcs.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "William Grant & Sons". Williamgrant.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Glenfiddich: capturing an indomitable spirit". 19 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Maclean, Charles (2008). Eyewitness Companions: Whisky. London: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-4053-2814-2. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Since 1887". Glenfiddich. 
  10. ^ "Glenfiddich Millenium Vintage". World of Whiskies. 
  11. ^ scotchwhisky.com "Glenfiddich". Scotchwhisky.com. Retrieved 31 March 2007. 
  12. ^ "Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website". Spiritofspeyside.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "ScotchWhisky.com". ScotchWhisky.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "About William Grant & Sons". Chilled Magazine. 
  15. ^ Glenfiddich Gran Reserva product information
  16. ^ Glenfiddich Ancient Reserva product information
  17. ^ Castle, Alan (2010). The Speyside Way. Singapore: KHL Printing. ISBN 978 185284 606 0. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Craftsmen". Glenfiddich. 
  19. ^ "Summary of Performance Awards at www.proof66.com". Proof66.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "www.proof66.com". www.proof66.com. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°27′18.5″N 03°07′51.0″W / 57.455139°N 3.130833°W / 57.455139; -3.130833