Glenfiddich: Glenfiddich, Speyside
Owning Company: William Grant & Sons Ltd.
Water Source: Robbie Dubh spring, Speyside.
Location: In the field of Glenfiddich ('The valley of the deer') near Dufftown.
Visitors Centre: Open all year, Tel: (Scotland) 01340 820373.
Opening hours Mid Oct to Easter: Mon to Fri 0930 to 1630, Easter to mid Oct: Mon to Sat 0930 to 1630, Sun 1200 to 1630.
Web Site: www.glenfiddich.co.uk
Glenfiddich is not only the world's best-selling malt whisky, it is the whisky which introduced the world to the pleasures of single malt.
Above all, Glenfiddich's success is attributable to the fact that it is the most 'accessible' malt and easy to drink at any time of the day.
William Grant & Sons had always been adept at packaging its products. In 1957 the firm introduced a triangular bottle - wildly eccentric at the time - and was the first to put its products into tubes and gift tins. It was also the first to realize the significance of duty-free trade and to take advantage of these worldwide outlets.
William Grant (1839-1923) was the son of a tailor in Duffton. He served an apprenticeship as a cobbler, then learned the art of distilling at Mortlach Distillery, where he worked for twenty years. Although he earned only £200 a year he patiently saved part of his wage until he had enough to establish his own business. He chose a site near Dufftown and buying his stills and plant second-hand from Cardhu Distillery for £120. The first whisky ran from the stills of Glenfiddich on Christmass Day 1887.
William Grant brought his eight children into the business, and the company is still directed and managed by his descendants.
The Distillery Today
This sense of family tradition and continuity runs through all the company's operations: Glenfiddich still has its own cooperage and coppersmiths, grows some of its own barley and has its own maltings; it retains open mash tuns and traditional Douglas fir washbacks, and it fires its stills directly, with coal.
The distillery is unique in bottling in situ, reducing the spirit with the same water from the Robbie Dubh as is used in its making.