Glen Grant Distillery Information

The Glen Grant distillery was founded in 1840 by brothers John and James Grant in the town of Rothers in the Speyside region of Scotland. The location near the sea and the close-by port of Garmouth, having the river Spey running in the south , as well as the distillery being in the midst of plains full of Barley ensured all major whisky ingredients were readily available. Additionally, the brothers had experience with whisky distilling, as they used to do so illegally, and both at some point worked at the Aberlour distillery. However, they decided to go legit, and managed to obtain a license. Today, their legacy is one of the best selling Single Malt whiskies in the world.

Major Grant

By 1872, both brothers has passed away. However, James Jr, nicknamed “The Major” had always shown a keen interest in the distillery, and it was him who inherited Glen Grant. The Major also had a keen interest in inventions, and was the first man in the Highlands to own a car. He ensured Glen Grant was the first distillery to switch to electric lighting in 1861, and he designed the tall, thin stills. He was also the mastermind behind the purifiers that give Glen Grant it’s distinctive fresh flavor. Another addition of the Major was creating romantic gardens, which nowadays attract almost as many visitors as the distillery.

Major Grant was also responsible for the founding of “Glen Grant No 2”, aka Caperdonich (now closed) across the street of the distillery in 1894. It was joined to Glen Grants by means of a pipe; something the locals managed to put to good use to get their hands on some free (though illegally obtained) whisky. When Edinburgh based whisky brokers (and a major customer of Glen Grant No 2) Pattison Ltd. collapsed, that distillery was forced to close down. By the 1900s, Glen Grant was one of the very first whiskies available as a single malt.

New owners

James Grant passed away in 1931. He was survived by three daughters, and management of the distillery passed to his grandson Douglas MacKessack, who in 1932, founded J. & J. Grant Ltd. The distillery was forced to close during World War 2, but reopened shortly after. In 1953, Glen Grant merged with George & J.G. Smith of The Glenlivet under the name of The Glenlivet & Glen Grant distilleries Ltd. In 1970, that company merges with Longmorn-Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd and Hill, Thomson & Co. Ltd (Blenders of Queen Anne whisky) into The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.

In 1973, the distillery added 2 more stills, bringing the total to 6. In 1977, Canadian Seagram Company Ltd purchased The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. 4 more stills were added that year, bringing the total to 10, 4 of which were coal-fired, and 6 steam-heated. In 1995, all stills became steam-heated, and presumably in the same year, 2 stills were retired to get to the current amount of 8 stills. Subsequently, Seagram was taken over by Diageo and Pernod Ricard, with Glen Grant making its way into the Pernod Ricard owned Chivas Brothers in 1999. In 2006, Glen Grant was purchased by Campari, who continue to run it in the present day.

Glen Grant Whisky

Glen Grant releases different whiskies; a large amount of young (5 years old) whisky proves to be extremely popular in southern Europe (particularly Spain and Italy, which is why it likely attracted attention of Camapri to begin with), where it’s mixed with Cola. Its single malt, though, is great value for money.

Apart from these, Gordon and MacPhail have a long history of releasing independent bottles of older Glen Grant.

Glen Grant’s core range consists of:

  • The Major’s Reserve; 10 years old, matured in Bourbon casks
  • 10 Years; matured in Bourbon casks
  • 16 Years; matured in Bourbon casks

Limited edition bottlings include:

  • 50 Year old; matured in a single Sherry butt
  • 1992 Cellar Reserve
  • V Decades
  • 25 Years; matured in Sherry casks. Limited to 800 bottles
  • Distillery Edition

Distillery info:

NameGlent Grant
Water sourceThe Glen Grant burn
Owned byGruppo Campari

Glen Grant
Elgin Rd
Charlestown of Aberlour
Banffshire AB38 7BS
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1340 832118

Visitor centreYes

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun12.2 tonnes tonnes1 (Stainless Steel, Semi-Lauter)
Washbackwashback_c litres10 (Oregon pine)
Wash still15,000 litres4
Spirit Still10,000 litres4
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)5,900,000