gavin smith

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by Gavin D Smith

Glenfarclas Distillery
AB37 9BD

Tel: 01807 500257
Fax: 01807 500234

Located beside the A95 Grantown-on-Spey to Aberlour road, five miles south of Aberlour.



Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries to create a purpose-built visitor centre, which opened in 1973. The 'Ship's Room' in which visitors enjoy their complementary dram boasts wood panelling from the liner Empress of Australia, along with the original ship's bar. There is a well-stocked shop and informative, friendly tours of the distillery itself. Connoisseurs' tutored nosing and tasting classes may also be booked. Open Monday to Friday all year, plus Saturdays from July to September. There is an admission charge.


Founded in 1836 by Robert Hay, Glenfarclas was acquired by John Grant and his son George in 1865 for the sum of 511.19s. It was subsequently leased for five years by John Smith, until he left to establish nearby Cragganmore distillery. Glenfarclas has remained in the Grant family ever since, and George Grant, son of current chairman, John, represents the sixth generation of the family to have been involved in running the business. The distillery operates under the name of J&G Grant, and is one of very few in Scotland to remain in true family ownership.


Glenfarclas was modernised in 1896/97, with the number of stills being increased from two to four in 1960, and from four to six in 1976. Unusually, they are direct-fired by gas, rather than heated by steam, and are the largest stills on Speyside. Glenfarclas also boasts the region's biggest mash tun, and the distillery's annual capacity is around the 3 million litres mark.

The Spirit

Glenfarclas is widely considered to be one of the Speyside 'greats,' and the 'house style' is big-bodied, complex and Sherried, nutty, malty and comparatively sweet. Much of the spirit now being produced is filled into Oloroso Sherry casks, despite the fact that they can cost as much as ten times more than their ex-Bourbon counterparts. The principal expressions currently available are Glenfarclas 10, 12, 15, 21, 25 and 30-year-old, plus Glenfarclas 105 (cask strength).

See our profile of the Glenfarclas Family Casks bottlings.


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