The Glen Grant Distillery was founded in the city of Rothes in 1840 by the brothers John and James Grant. Glen Grant was the only distillery in Rothes for 40 years, but today there are five active distilleries in the city. The Grant brothers were successful businessmen and managed to increase the annual output to 180 000 litres in only a few years. John Grant died in 1864 and James kept on running the distillery until his own death in 1872. The distillery was then passed on to his son, James Grant Junior, who created the grand Victorian garden which attracts visitors even today.
In 1898 James Grant built a new distillery across the road which was named Glen Grant No 2. The new distillery was joined with the old by a pipeline and the whisky from the two distilleries was vatted together and sold as Glen Grant Whisky. This was probably done as a workaround from Excise law which stipulates that two distilleries cannot go by the same name. The Pattison Crash and the resulting slump in the whisky industry forced the closure of the new distillery and it remained mothballed until 1965. The distillery was renamed as it was reopened and now goes by the name of Caperdonich after the well used by both Glen Grant Distilleries.
Glen Grant is one of the world’s best selling whisky brands and has a particular large market in Italy where the five year old bottling is highly popular; more than 500 000 boxes are sold in Italy every year. Glen Grant is a component in the blended whisky Chivas Regal.
Production at Glen Grant
The Glen Grant Distillery is large. They have 10 giant washbacks which each holds 59 000 litres, the stainless steel mash tun holds 12 tons and eight steam-heated pot stills produce the 5.2 million litres of Glen Grant whisky that leaves the distillery every year.
The distillery draws its water from the Tobardomhnaich spring which is also known as the Caperdonich Well, The malt is bought slightly peated from central maltings. The wash stills each hold 15 000 litres and the spirit stills have a capacity of 9 600 litres. The spirit stills have a unique shape that was invented by John Grant to increase the reflux of distilled spirits back into the still to create a lighter whisky. To further increase the reflux the lyne arms have been fitted with purifiers.
The whisky is filled into bourbon casks and sherry butts which are stored on site in traditional warehouses. Bottling is done in Newbridge outside of Edinburgh.
Contact Glen Grant
Phone: +44 (0) 1542 783 318
Distillery Manager: Willie Mearns
Visitors: Opening hours are April-October Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, Sunday 12.30pm-4pm. Admission is free. The gift shop has a wide selection of whiskies, glassware, books etc. A guided tour is available after advance booking. The tour is extensive and includes the Victorian garden created by James Grant and is concluded with a “dram” of Glen Grant whisky.
Owner: Chivas Brothers Ltd / Pernod Ricard