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Glenfiddich Distillery
Glenfiddich logo.png
Region: Speyside
LocationDufftown, Moray, Scotland
OwnerWilliam Grant & Sons
Water sourceThe Robbie Dhu Spring
No. of stills32 spirit stills
Capacity13,000,000 litres
TypeSingle Malt
Glenfiddich Distillery pictured in 2017
Wooden barrels stacked outside the main reception, 2003
The Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15-year single malt scotch whisky.

Glenfiddich (Scottish English: [ɡlɛnˈfɪdɪç][1]) is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky produced by William Grant & Sons in the Scottish burgh of Dufftown in Moray. Glenfiddich means "valley of the deer" in Scottish Gaelic, which is why the Glenfiddich logo is a stag.[1][2]

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


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]

In September 2014, William Grant & Sons agreed to acquire Drambuie for an undisclosed price rumoured to be in the region of £100 million.[15]

The Malt Whisky Trail Map

Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail is a tourism initiative featuring seven working Speyside distilleries including Glenfiddich, a historic distillery (Dallas Dhu, now a museum) and the Speyside Cooperage. According to a BBC article, visitors can tour "one of the stone-walled traditional warehouses, the mash tun ... and the giant washbacks, which are handmade from local Douglas fir ... [and] sample a dram of the light, sweet whisky in the malt barn".[16]


Swan necked copper stills in the distillery.

Glenfiddich whisky is produced at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Moray.

Glenfiddich is a single malt Scotch whisky, this means the whisky was distilled at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process and must be made from a mash of malted barley.

Onsite there are 31 distinctively-shaped "swan neck" copper pot stills. These stills are smaller than those now in use at most other major distilleries. All stills are handmade and Glenfiddich employs a dedicated team of craftsmen and coppersmiths to maintain them.[17] These stills have a capacity of around 13,000,000 litres of spirit.

The water source for Glenfiddich Whisky is The Robbie Dhu springs nearby to the distillery.

Glenfiddich is matured in many different casks, such as:

  1. Rum casks from the Caribbean
  2. Bourbon whiskey barrels from America
  3. Sherry butts from Jerez de la Frontera in Spain

Once the spirit has matured, the casks are emptied and the whisky is "cut" with pure Robbie Dhu spring water.

Glenfiddich has a dedicated bottling hall onsite along with a large bottling plant in Bellshill.


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—2014 2014-
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 Millennium Reserve Havana Reserve Gran Reserva Glenfiddich
21 Year Old
26 Year Old Glenfiddich
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

Core range[edit]

  • Glenfiddich 12 year old
  • Glenfiddich 15 year old
  • Glenfiddich 18 year old
  • Glenfiddich 21 year old


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

Critical acclaim[edit]

Glenfiddich's whiskies have performed 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.[18] 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.[19]

Glenfiddich's wooden washbacks.

Glenfiddich Awards[edit]

Started in 1970, Glenfiddich promoted the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards to honour distinguished writing and broadcasting in the fields of food and drink in the UK. In 2008, Glenfiddich decided to discontinue distributing Food and Drink Awards, reviewing their "strategy, scope and potential application in some of Glenfiddich’s key markets outside the UK."

Started in 1998, Glenfiddich promoted the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards. The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards were annual awards given to notable Scottish people. Glenfiddich sponsored the event, in association with The Scotsman newspaper. Nine awards were distributed for art, business, environment, food, music, screen, sport, writing and "Top Scot". A consulting panel nominated four people in each category, with the winner decided by a public vote. The "Top Scot" is an open award, with the public able to nominate anyone. The awards haven't been hosted since 2014.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Glenfiddich was the favourite whisky of fictional detective Inspector Morse, as well as his creator Colin Dexter.
  • In the movie The Dogs of War, Christopher Walken is seen carrying two bottles of Glenfiddich 10 Year Old in his luggage upon arrival to the fictional country of Zangaro.
  • In the 150th episode of Family Guy, "Brian & Stewie", Brian Griffin keeps a bottle of what appears to be Glenfiddich 12 Year Old in a safe deposit box as a last drink should he intend to kill himself. On the full uncut version of the episode he confirms to Stewie that it is indeed Glenfiddich.
  • In the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, the lead character Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, bribes General Augustin Bizimungu with bottles of Glenfiddich in exchange for favorable treatment by his soldiers.
  • In the novel The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson, Evert Gullberg, a former intelligence officer, although not fond of alcohol, pours himself a glass of Glenfiddich.
  • In the sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, David Horton desperately attempts to conceal a bottle of Glenfiddich from his guests, who he believes aren't worth wasting the fine whisky (due to their working-class status). However, when the titular vicar arrives, she spots the hidden bottle much to David's dismay and his guests' delight.
  • In the television series Falling Skies Captain Weaver and Dr. Glass share a bottle of 30-year-old Glenfiddich.
  • In the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Leonard McCoy and Captain James T. Kirk share a drink from a fictionalized Glenfiddich 30-year-old Single Malt. In contrast to the Glenfiddich norm, the bottle featured in the film was square-based rather than triangular.
  • In the FX TV show Archer, there are several instances where the main characters drink “Glengoolie,” which is a parody of Glenfiddich.
  • In the 2012 movie Jack Reacher, the rectangular green bottle is on the table when Rosamind Pike goes to talk with shooter suspect’s father.
  • A number of Glenfiddich whiskeys feature in bars on the Yakuza video game series as part of their long-running product placement deal with Suntory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Whisky Pronunciation chart from Univ. of Edinburgh". Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. ^ William Grant & Sons
  3. ^ "Malt Whisky Regions". Dufftown. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "For that Dram of Malt". The Hindu.
  5. ^ "Glenfiddich". Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b "William Grant & Sons". Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. 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. ^ "Glenfiddich". Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  12. ^ "Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  13. ^ "". Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  14. ^ "About William Grant & Sons". Chilled Magazine.
  15. ^ "Glenfiddich owner William Grant buys Drambuie" (Press release). Reuters. 8 September 2014.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "Craftsmen". Glenfiddich.
  18. ^ "Summary of Performance Awards at". Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 17 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°27′13.4″N 03°07′43.0″W / 57.453722°N 3.128611°W / 57.453722; -3.128611