This side of Glen Grant is very popular with young people, particularly in Spain, France and Italy, where it is normally drunk with cola. In the UK, the most frequently-seen official release is the ten year-old.
The other side of Glen Grant is as a Speyside distillery with real heritage -producing one of the first single malts to be bottled as such, thanks to a decades-long symbiotic relationship with local whisky bottler Gordon & MacPhail, who have been bottling Glen Grant since at least the 1930s.
This relationship continues to this day, with the Elgin-based independent bottler releasing a seemingly endless supply of malts that continue to confirm that Glen Grant is one of only a handful of Speyside distilleries (the others including Macallan, Mortlach and Glenfarclas) producing a spirit that is capable of withstanding up to and over half a century of ageing in sherry casks.
Glen Grant was also the first distillery to bottle their own malt themselves, the first to install electric lighting (in 1861)and was the only Scottish distillery named after its owners, the Grant family (the distillery is now controlled by the Campari group).
Glen Grant merged with Glenlivet in the 1950s and the new company joined with Longmorn-Glenlivet in the 1970s, before bought by Seagram and ending up with Pernod Ricard after their joint takeover of Seagram with Diageo in 2001. Campari bought the distillery in 2006 and, after revamping the standard lines, are now experimenting with some older official bottlings, the first of which was a single cask 15yo. Independent bottlings are widely available.
From the website
A Pale Whisky. A Colourful History
It began in 1823, when illicit whisky distilling was rife throughout Scotland. Around half of the whisky sold at that time came from unlicensed distilleries. This is the story of one of those distilleries.
Founded by two former illegal distillers and smugglers with the vision and ambition to establish was is today one of the most famous and most popular single malt whiskies in the world.
Glen Grant is born
In 1840, brothers John and James Grant decided to take out a licence. With the sea and port of Garmouth nearby, the River Spey at its feet and barley-growing plains nearby, all the basic ingredients of malt whisky were close at hand. Best of all, this time the distillery was legal!
A new ‘Glengrant’
By 1872, the founders of Glen Grant Distillery had passed away. Young James ‘The Major’ Grant, born in 1847, had always taken a keen interest in the distillery and having inherited the business and the title ‘Glengrant’ from his uncle John Grant, he was to prove himself a worthy successor.
Boom and expansion
Stories about ‘The Major’ abound. A legendary innovator, socialiser and traveller, he lived by his own rules and set his own standards. New ideas fascinated him and he wasn’t afraid to explore them. He was the first man in the Highlands to own a car. Glen Grant was the first distillery to have electric light. And he introduced the tall slender stills and purifiers which created the fresh malty flavour and clear colour that defines Glen Grant whisky to this day.
An end and a beginning
In 1931, Major Grant, the last Glengrant, died, survived by his three daughters and a distillery that had become one of the most famous in the world. Douglas MacKessack, his grandson, was to become his successor.
The family expands
In 1972, the Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd amalgamated with the blending concerns of Hill, Thomson and Co.Ltd and Longmorn Distilleries Ltd to become The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. The original family interest in the distilleries was maintained, with two substantial outside shareholders: Courage Ltd, the brewing concern and Suntory Ltd, the Japanese distilling company.
A new chapter
In 2006, Campari acquired Glen Grant, its only whisky, when Allied Domecq were acquired by Pernod Ricard. To this day, Glen Grant continues to be one of the biggest selling single malts worldwide.
And so the Glen Grant story will continue, as long as there are people on Speyside with the skill and determination to maintain the standards and traditions of the Grant family and their descendents
- George Grant
- 1898 - 1941
- James Cumming
- 1941 - 1969
- James Smith
- 1969 - 1983
- Ernest Sherret
- 1983 - 1992
- Dennis Malcolm
- 1992 - 1996
- Willie Mearns
- 1996 - 2005
- Robert Mac Pherson
- 2005 - 2006
- Hamish Proctor
- 2006 - current
- Dennis Malcolm
So many years of whisky making, so few men involved. This short list includes the names of the men selected to oversee the production process and ensure all materials and procedures were of the utmost quality.
And yet, the list is even shorter when you consider Glen Grant’s entire history of master blenders. Over almost 170 years, only four names have been involved: the founding brothers, John and James Grant, James’ son, ‘The Major’ Grant, his grandson, Major Douglas MacKessack and Albert Stephen, who was introduced to Glen Grant by Major MacKessack and worked alongside him.
Albert Stephen continues as Master Blender to this day, continuing a direct line from Glen Grant’s founding fathers to the present and ensuring that the distinctive characteristics and quality of Glen Grant whisky can be enjoyed by a new generation.
Whisky as it should be
The fresh air, bright sunlight and sparkling streams of Scotland’s Highlands not only give our whisky its distinctive, pale golden appearance, but also a clean taste that has seen it win friends around the world.
We make our single malt whisky simply and we believe it’s best enjoyed simply. Without long-winded descriptions, complicated formalities or years of waiting.
Purely and simply, whisky as it should be.
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