As the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whiskey, Glenfiddich delivers a host of perfectly aged flavors to warm up with this winter
The story of Glenfiddich begins in 1866, when William Grant first joined the Mortlach distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. Over the next 20 years, he learned the craft and skill needed to produce high quality Scotch whisky.
In 1886, Grant went into business for himself. Having purchased the necessary tools for the job (including a water mill for grinding barley), he found land in beautiful nearby Glenfiddich – property that contained a pure water source (a vital ingredient in the production of quality whisky) called the Robbie Dhu Spring. Within a year, the Glenfiddich distillery was born.
On Christmas Day 1887, spirit first flowed from the Glenfiddich stills. William Grant’s hard work bore fruit when the first single malt Scotch whisky was created at the distillery. It proved to be of truly exceptional quality. The combination of crystal clear water from the spring, homegrown barley, pure Highland air and the unusually small size of the stills produced an unrivalled single malt Scotch whisky.
Over the years, William Grant saw his family business grow, and withstood an industry-wide crisis 1898, emerging not only as producer of quality whisky, but also as an innovator and businessman. He expanded into the wholesale trade, as well as blending and exporting, and the business established itself as a clear leader within the trade.
In 1903, Grant set up a whisky storefront in Glasgow, run by his son Charles Grant and son-in-law Charles Gordon. After a slow start, the pair began to steadily attract more business, and in 1904, William opened his first official export office in England to satisfy increasing demand. In the same year, another of William’s sons, John Grant, made the company’s first overseas exporting trip, setting the foundation for Glenfiddich’s international acclaim.
Today, almost 10 million bottles are sold each year, while the traditional production techniques established in 1886 remain. The stills are exact replicas of the originals bought by William Grant, even mirroring the same minor imperfections. Keeping with its rich past, the stills are fired by hand and remain unusually small to retain the unmistakable Glenfiddich flavors. The oak casks, which give Glenfiddich its distinctive golden color, are still tended by The Glenfiddich Distillery coopers, and the same water from the Robbie Dhu Spring is used throughout every step of production.
After five generations, William Grant & Sons Ltd is one of the few Scotch whisky companies to remain in the hands of the family who founded it. The direct descendants of William Grant, who are involved in the running of the company, share his pioneering spirit and take great pride in their Scotch whiskies.
GLENFIDDICH 12 YEAR OLD TASTING NOTES
Nose: Distinctively fresh and fruity with a hint of pear. Beautifully crafted single malt with a delicately balanced fragrance.
Taste: Characteristic sweet, fruity notes with key notes of fresh pear. Develops into elements of butterscotch, cream, malt and subtle oak flavor. A long smooth and mellow finish.
• Glenfiddich is generally recognized as having pioneered the single malt category when in 1963, the Grant family took the innovative step of repackaging Glenfiddich and marketing it worldwide.
• Today, Glenfiddich is the most awarded single malt Scotch whisky at major international competitions. The spirit is widely recognized within the industry as being the standard to which all others aspire.
• Glenfiddich is an independent, family-owned business run by the fifth generation of William Grant’s family. This independence allows the distillery creative freedom to develop new expressions of the Glenfiddich range.
• Glenfiddich comes from the Gaelic translation for “Valley of the Deer,” and is named after the land on which the distillery is built. To this day, every bottle of Glenfiddich produced carries the characteristic deer’s head on the bottle.
• The Glenfiddich distillery is located in Dufftown, in Scotland’s Speyside region. The location was originally selected because of the nearby Robbie Dhu spring which still provides the water used in the creation of Glenfiddich.
• Unlike others within its field, the Glenfiddich Distillery operates unusually small stills. Each of the stills is fired by direct flame and is tended by a full-time coppersmith, the last resident coppersmith at a Highland distillery.
• Glenfiddich is the only Highland distillery to have a team of coopers mending and tending every cask used to mature its single malt. It takes five years to train a cooper. Given the importance of the oak casks in giving Glenfiddich its characteristic taste, it’s time well
• The Glenfiddich Malt Master, David Stewart, is the industry’s most experienced and just one of nine craftsmen who have served the distillery for more than 40 years each, ensuring age-old whisky-making techniques are adhered to and valuable knowledge is passed on to the next generation of distillery workers.
• In 2009, Glenfiddich celebrated 40 years of welcoming visitors to its distillery. The first malt distillery to do so, it now attracts 70,000 guests a year.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The wide variety of Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whiskies are available at many fine retailers throughout Worcester County, including Worcester County Liquor Mart (locations in Ocean City (2), West Ocean City, Berlin, Snow Hill and Pocomoke), Late Night Liquors, Trader Lee’s and Liquid Assets.
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