Glen Grant Distillery


In 1820, James Grant helped lead the “Raid on Elgin”, the last clan revolt in Scottish history. In 1840 brothers John and James Grant applied for a distillery license. With the sea and the port of Garmouth nearby, the River Spey to the south, and surrounded by barley-growing plains, all the basic ingredients for malt whisky were close at hand. By 1872, the founders of the Glen Grant Distillery had died. Young James “The Major” Grant, born in 1847, had always taken a keen interest in the distillery; having inherited the business and the title “Glen Grant” from his uncle John Grant, he was to prove himself a worthy successor. A legendary inventor, socialiser, and traveller, “The Major”, was fascinated by new ideas and wasn’t afraid to explore them. He was the first man in the Highlands to own a car. Glen Grant was the first distillery to have electric light, and he introduced the tall slender sills and purifiers which created the fresh malty flavour and the clear colour that defines the whisky to this day. In 1931, Major Grant, the last Glen Grant, died; he was survived by three daughters and a distillery which had become one of the most famous in the world. Douglas MacKessack, his grandson, was to become his successor. In 1972, the Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd merged with Hill, Thomson and Co. Ltd, and Longmorn Distilleries Ltd to form Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. The original family interest in the distilleries was maintained, together with two substantial outside shareholders: Courage Ltd, for the fermentation process, and Suntory Ltd, the Japanese distilling company. In 2006, Campari acquired Glen Grant (its only whisky) when Allied Domecq was acquired by Pernod Ricard. To this day, Glen Grant is still one of the biggest selling Single Malts in the world; its story continues on in Speyside according to the same standards and traditions of the Glen Grant family and its descendants.

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