Glenfarclas Distillery

Glenfarclas is undoubtably an icon of Speyside. One of the few remaining family owned distilleries in Scotland, Glenfarclas was licensed in 1836 by Robert Hay, a tenet of the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch, until 1865 when John Grant purchased Glenfarclas from Hay’s executors. Run by J. & G. Grant until 1895, when the family partnered with Pattison, Elder & Co, established by whisky pioneers, brothers Robert and Walter Pattison. Following a complete rebuilding of the distillery in 1896, Pattison, Elder & Co went bankrupt, sending shockwaves through the industry. Fortunately, the Grant family was able to keep Glenfarclas afloat, resuming ownership in its entirety in 1900. Since 1865, generation after generation of the Grant family have grown Glenfarclas into a single malt known throughout the world.

Located in the shadow of Ben Rinnes itself, from which the distillery draws its water, is a relatively big operation, one that follows well established traditions that have mostly been jettisoned over time by other distilleries. Glenfarclas is one of very few distilleries to directly heat their stills, where others prefer indirect heating (via something akin to a bain-marie.) The distillery features 12 stainless steel washbacks, six stills and more than 30 warehouses on the Glenfarclas grounds, all of the dunnage type.

Glenfarclas are known for their use of ex-Sherry casks, which impart raisin, clove, nutmeg and Christmas cake flavours that are a loved feature of all their malts. The product range can be split in two: the core age statement releases, along with the cask strength “105”, and the Family Cask range; an impressive portfolio of vintage whiskies aged in a variety of different casks, released sporadically. Although the 10 year old present the entry point to Glenfarclas, showing bright, fruity character, the 15, 21 and 25 year old whiskies provide a true picture of why these intensely-sherried whiskies are loved around the world, while also showing how wonderfully kind age is to these brilliant spirits. Glenfarclas is a true whisky icon.