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Glenfiddich distillery

Coordinates: 57°27′13″N 03°07′43″W / 57.45361°N 3.12861°W / 57.45361; -3.12861
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Glenfiddich distillery
Region: Speyside
LocationDufftown, Moray, Scotland
Coordinates57°27′13″N 03°07′43″W / 57.45361°N 3.12861°W / 57.45361; -3.12861
OwnerWilliam Grant & Sons
Founded1886; 138 years ago (1886)
Water sourceThe Robbie Dhu Spring
No. of stills16 wash stills
27 spirit stills
Capacity21 million litres
Original Twelve
Age(s)12 years old
Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Age(s)14 years old
Solera Fifteen
Age(s)15 years old
Small Batch Eighteen
Age(s)18 years old
Glenfiddich is located in Moray

Glenfiddich distillery (Scottish English: [ɡlɛnˈfɪdɪç][1]) is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky distillery owned by William Grant & Sons in the Scottish burgh of Dufftown in Moray. The name Glenfiddich derives from the Scottish Gaelic Gleann Fhiodhaich meaning "valley of the deer", which is reflected in Glenfiddich's stag logo.[2]


Glenfiddich logo

The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, in the glen of the River Fiddich.[3] The Glenfiddich single malt whisky first ran from the stills on Christmas Day, 1887.[4]

In the 1920s, with prohibition in force in the US, 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.[5][6]

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.[7] In 1956 the Grant's brand launched the now-iconic triangular bottle, designed by Hans Schleger.[8]

Following difficult times in the 1960s and 1970s, 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.[9] In this period they also decided to begin marketing single malt as a premium brand in its own right, effectively creating the modern single malt whisky category with the 1963 introduction of Glenfiddich single malt to the United States and other foreign markets.[10][11]

The distillery pagoda and former maltings in 2021

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 since become the world's best-selling single malt.[11][12] It is sold in 180 countries,[4] 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]

In 2015, Glenfiddich commissioned ad agency Gravity Thinking[16] to create a high tech YouTube campaign titled The Finishing Touch to promote the relaunch of their 21yo single malt, aged in Caribbean Reserva Rum Casks.[17] The video showed a levitron isolating a single drop of whisky in a mid-air suspended animation,[18] and featured Puerto Rican singer Calma Carmona performing the Franz Ferdinand song Love Illumination with the orchestra of the Scottish Opera arranged and conducted by Derek Williams. By the end of the campaign, the video had garnered more than 1.7 million YouTube hits.[19]

Since 2002, Glenfiddich has had an Artists in Residence (AiR) programme with a total budget of £130,000 allowing artists to stay and work in the distillery each year.[20] In 2019 there were eight artists in residence and in 2021, there were six artists in residence.[21][20]

In 2021, the distillery began converting distillery trucks to run on Biogas made from the distillery waste products.[22][23]

Production and location[edit]

The Glenfiddich distillery produce the Glenfiddich whisky 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 43 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 team of craftsmen and coppersmiths to maintain them.[24] These stills have a capacity of around 21,000,000 litres of spirit.

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

Swan necked copper stills in 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 bottling hall onsite along with a large bottling plant in Bellshill.

Glenfiddich is a distillery in Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail, a tourism initiative featuring seven working Speyside distilleries including Glenfiddich, a historic distillery (Dallas Dhu, now a museum) and the Speyside Cooperage.[25]


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 wooden washbacks

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.[26] 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.[27]

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]

  • The Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15-year single malt scotch whisky
    Glenfiddich was the favourite whisky of fictional detective Inspector Morse, as well as his creator Colin Dexter.
  • 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 favourable treatment by his soldiers.
  • A number of Glenfiddich whiskies feature in bars on the Yakuza video game series as part of their long-running product placement deal with Suntory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Whisky pronunciation guide". The Edinburgh Malt Whisky Tour. John Butler. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Visit the Glenfiddich Distillery. Fully Explore Single Malt Whisky". www.glenfiddich.com. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Glenfiddich". Dcs.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b "William Grant & Sons". Williamgrant.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Glenfiddich: capturing an indomitable spirit". 19 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  6. ^ Maclean, Charles (2008). Eyewitness Companions: Whisky. London: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-4053-2814-2. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Since 1887". Glenfiddich.
  8. ^ "Glenfiddich Millenium Vintage". World of Whiskies. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Glenfiddich". Scotchwhisky.com. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  10. ^ Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "For that Dram of Malt". The Hindu.
  11. ^ a b Hagerty, James (1 January 2021). "Reluctant Whisky Baron Launched a Global Hit, Glenfiddich". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website". Spiritofspeyside.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  13. ^ "ScotchWhisky.com". ScotchWhisky.com. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  14. ^ "About William Grant & Sons". Chilled Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Glenfiddich owner William Grant buys Drambuie" (Press release). Reuters. 8 September 2014.
  16. ^ (08 November 2012). Glenfiddich appoints Gravity Thinking. Little Black Book.
  17. ^ Hugh Francis Anderson. Glenfiddich: Whisky – but not as you know it.The Gentleman's Journal.
  18. ^ Spary, Sara. (October 23, 2015). Glenfiddich creates visible sound waves in fusion of art and science. Campaign (magazine).
  19. ^ (October 21, 2015). Glenfiddich 21 Year Old - The Finishing Touch. Vimeo
  20. ^ a b "Glenfiddich welcomes six artists from around the globe for 20th Artists in Residence programme". Northern Scot. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Artists Arrive For 2019 Glenfiddich Residency". Scottish Field. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  22. ^ Carey, Nick (27 July 2021). "One for the road: Glenfiddich uses whisky waste to fuel trucks". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  23. ^ Com, Viaintermedia. "Glenfiddich Pioneers Decarbonization of Transport with Trucks Run on Whiskey". Renewable Energy Magazine. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  24. ^ "Craftsmen". Glenfiddich.
  25. ^ "Exploring Scotland's historic whisky trail". BBC. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  26. ^ "Summary of Performance Awards at www.proof66.com". Proof66.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  27. ^ "proof66.com". proof66.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.

External links[edit]