Glenfiddich

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Glenfiddich Distillery
Glenfiddich logo.png
Location Dufftown, Moray, Scotland
Owner William Grant & Sons
Founded 1886
Status Operational
Water source The Robbie Dhu Spring
No. of stills 32 Spirit Stills
Capacity 13,000,000 Litres
Website www.glenfiddich.com
Glenfiddich
Type Single Malt
ABV 38% - 51.7%
Glenfiddich Distillery
Wooden barrels stacked outside the main reception.
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 Scottish Gaelic, hence the Glenfiddich logo being 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]

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]

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

Production[edit]

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 grain.

Onsite there are 32 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.[16] 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 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.

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 Millennium 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

Core Range[edit]

  • Glenfiddich 12 year old - Carefully matured in the finest American oak and European oak sherry casks for at least 12 years, it is mellowed in oak marrying tuns to create its sweet and subtle oak flavors.
  • Glenfiddich 15 year old - Aged in European oak sherry casks and new oak casks, the whisky is mellowed in a unique Solera Vat, a large oak tun inspired by the sherry bodegas of Spain and Portugal.
  • Glenfiddich 18 year old - Every batch is individually numbered and carefully watched over. Each has extraordinary consistency and character from an intense marrying period, and a warming, distinguished finish.
  • Glenfiddich 21 year old - The Malt Master selects only the best Gran Reserva rum casks from the Caribbean, to create a luxurious dry and spicy finish.

Premium Range[edit]

  • Glenfiddich 30 year old - An exceptional expression that has spent at least 30 years in Spanish Oloroso and American bourbon oak. Every cask nosed, selected and married by the Malt Master.
  • Glenfiddich 40 year old - Only 600 bottles are released to the world each year. Each batch eagerly anticipated by the experts.
  • Glenfiddich 50 year old - Only 50 bottles of this single malt Scotch whisky are released each year.
  • Glenfiddich Gallery - A custom bottle of whisky produced to your requests to suit your occasion. You can select everything from the color scheme and packaging to the bottle’s engraving.
  • Glenfiddich Excellence - This expression was created to honor Glenfiddich's line of continuous family ownership since William Grant founded the distillery in 1887.

Vintage and Private Reserves[edit]

  • Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve 1974 - Only 1,000 bottles of this rare reserve were released.
  • Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve 1975 - A panel of expert tour guides past and present chose Cask 22000, a 33 year old European Oak Sherry Butt from 1975.
  • Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve 1977 - Experts from Russia, Germany, USA and the UK were asked to choose from six casks. They selected cask 4414. A Spanish Sherry Butt from 1977
  • Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve 1978 - An online audience of worldwide whisky experts joined in to select cask 28152.
  • Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage 1987 - Hand bottled and limited to just 286 individually numbered and exquisitely packaged bottles.

Special and Limited Bottlings[edit]

  • Toasted Oak - This special limited edition bottle produced from Glenfiddich was matured in specially charred 195 liter bourbon barrels.
  • Snow Phoenix - This was a special limited edition blend of Glenfiddich whiskies ranging from Three and Fifty years of age. All recovered after heavy snow collapsed a warehouse roof where the whisky was being aged.
  • The Original 1963 - Created by Glenfiddich's Malt Master Brian Kinsman, he recreated the flavor profile of the 1963 Glenfiddich Straight Malt. Utilizing the original recipe book from the 4th Malt Master, Hamish Robertson.
  • 125th Anniversary Edition - A special bottling produced to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of Glenfiddich.
  • Ultimate 38 - With each drop being aged for a minimum of 38 years, the spirit has been matured in various American oak barrels and European oak butts.
  • Malt Master's Edition - A complete original, from the sixth Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.
  • Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve - Living to be the oldest person in Scotland, honored with one of the oldest single malts in the world. Only 11 bottles were ever released to celebrate each decade of her life.
  • Spirit of a Nation - A limited edition release of just 250 bottles, this very special single malt was created in honor of #TeamGlenfiddich's epic race to the South Pole for Walking With The Wounded.
  • Distillery Edition - A higher strength single malt whisky, crafted with century-old traditions. After at least 15 years maturing in traditional American oak and Spanish oak, it is non-chill filtered to protect its subtle flavors.
  • 1937 Rare Collection - On the year of King George VI's coronation, cask number 843 began its long journey. 61 bottles were produced.

Age of Discovery[edit]

  • Madeira Cask - In homage to the intrepid Portuguese voyagers who went on to change understanding of the new world, Glenfiddich’s first ever 19 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky was produced.
  • Bourbon Cask - The second release in the Age of Discovery collection and a first for Glenfiddich.
  • Red Wine Cask - The third expression in the Age of Discovery Collection to commemorate the 1831 voyage of the HMS Beagle.

Cask Collection[edit]

  • Select Cask - Aged bourbon casks impart rich vanilla and sweet toffee, European oak provides deep tannin notes and a velvety texture, while red wine casks add a vibrant fruity character to this delicious single malt.
  • Reserve Cask - Matured in distinctive Spanish sherry casks to create a rich and mellow flavor, each individual cask is hand-selected for its flavor profile by Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.

Experimental Series[edit]

  • Experimental Series #1 - Project IPA: In the first experiment of its kind, Malt Master Brian Kinsman collaborated with Seb Jones, an entrepreneurial Speyside brewer, to create a new craft IPA and pioneer the way for a new kind of single malt scotch whisky.
  • Experimental Series #2 - Project XX: 20 of the industry’s most exceptional minds came together to create this truly unique, pioneering expression.
  • Experimental Series #3 - Winter Storm: For the third experiment, Malt Master Brian Kinsman travelled to Canada to meet a renowned winemaker in Niagara. There he learned how the grapes had to be picked by moonlight at -10˚C to produce the intensely sweet Icewine

Liqueur[edit]

  • Glenfiddich Malt Whisky Liqueur - Until 2011 Glenfiddich produced a liqueur that was 40% alcohol by volume, and sold in 50cl (500 ml) bottles.
Swan necked copper stills in the distillery.

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.[17] 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.[18] In 2017, Glenfiddich regional brand ambassador for Asia Pacific Matthew Fergusson-Stewart was named "Icons of Whisky" Brand Ambassador of the Year by Whisky Magazine.[19][20][21]

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]

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. ^ "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 owner William Grant buys Drambuie" (Press release). Reuters. 8 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Craftsmen". Glenfiddich. 
  17. ^ "Summary of Performance Awards at www.proof66.com". Proof66.com. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "www.proof66.com". www.proof66.com. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Fuhrmann-Lim, David (October 25, 2016). "A Word with Matthew Fergusson-Stewart". Parched. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  20. ^ Cruz, Anthony Hunter (January 21, 2017). "Spotlight on an ‘Icon of Whisky’". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  21. ^ Devi, Sangeeta (December 17, 2014). "Matthew Fergusson-Stewart on the perfect harmony of The Balvenie whisky". Malaysia Tatler. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 

External links[edit]

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