Glenfiddich is an ubiquitous Speyside whisky. It was the first malt whisky sold on the Scottish market and has continued to grow in prominence as a truly global single malt.
William Grant started building the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown in 1887. One year later, on Christmas Day, the stills produced the first drops of new-make spirit. The distillery is still under family ownership all these years later.
The name Glenfiddich comes from the Gaelic for “valley of the deer”. The distillery is located near the glen of the River Fiddich, and neighbours sister-distilleries Balvenie, built in 1892, and Kininvie, built in 1990.
In 1991, Glenfiddich produced the first vatting of its 50-year-old from nine casks laid down in the 1930s. Seven years later, the distillery’s fifth Malt Master pioneered the Solera Vat, inspired by the Sherry bodegas. This process is still used to make the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old.
In 2001, the distillery was responsible for another whisky industry record: the oldest single malt released. Thanks to the angels, only 61 bottles could be produced of the 64-year-old whisky from the 843 casks filled in 1937. Ten years later, Glenfiddich’s Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve – bottled in honour of Scotland’s oldest woman – broke records as the most expensive single malt sold at auction for £46,850.
Today Brian Kinsman is Glenfiddich’s Malt Master and William Grant & Sons’ Master Blender. He took over from David Stewart MBE – the longest-serving Malt Master in the Scotch whisky industry – in December 2009.
In addition to its aged single malts, the Speyside distillery has also experimented with various cask finishes including Cognac, and Caribbean rum. In 2017, an industry first was launched in the form of Glenfiddich IPA Experiment – a single malt finished in Indian Pale Ale casks.
Glenfiddich is one of the last distilleries with an on-site cooperage, coppersmith and bottling line. It is a classic, mild, fruity, honeyed Speyside malt whisky.