The Glenfiddich distillery
The global success of Glenfiddich has perhaps worked against the reputation of the malt, giving it a commonplace image amongst connoisseurs. Nonetheless, the distillery boasts some very interesting features.
The immense site at the entrance to Dufftown is a veritable complex that also houses the distilleries of Balvenie and Kininvie as well as a plethora of bonded warehouses, a cooperage and a bottling plant specially dedicated to Glenfiddich.
Nevertheless, since 2006 part of its single malt has also been bottled at another bottling plant near Glasgow. The brand’s famous triangular bottle was created in 1956 for the Stand Fast blend (now Glen Grant’s). The success of its distinctive, very recognizable appearance inspired the marketing directors to adopt it for Glenfiddich when they decided to launch their single malt for export in 1963.
This pioneering status allowed Glenfiddich Special Reserve to become the top-selling malt, with 20% of worldwide sales. Initially marketed as an 8 year-old, Glenfiddich was later sold with no age statement. Since entering the new millennium, Glenfiddich has softened the silhouette of its triangular bottle by rounding the edges and now markets the whisky as an older 12 year-old malt.
In 1886, when William Grant, a former employee of Mortlach, another Dufftown distillery, founded Glenfiddich, he bought a pair of stills from Cardhu for £120. Today the distillery owns 28 direct-fired, gas-heated stills. Maturation has become one of the group’s priorities and experienced coopers carry out regular inspections of each cask. Its balance and creaminess are also accentuated by the use of 2,500 litre marrying tuns where batches of spirit spend at least three months before bottling.