Scotland and Scotch whisky: Speyside  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes


The Balvenie



Balvenie Distillery
Dufftown, Keith
AB55 4BB
+44 1340 820 000

Owner: William Grant & Sons Ltd

Creation year: 1892

Originally founded under the name of Glen Gordon, The Balvenie is the second distillery build by William Grant (after Glenfiddich) in 1887. The stills come from the Lagavulin and Glen Albyn distilleries. The reason why William Grant preferred buying used stills was not so much economic, but he wanted to be sure the stills are working and producing a good spirit.
William Grant's distilleries were nearly the only ones who continued producing whisky during the two world wars. Nearly all the others were obliged to close because of a lack of barley.
In the 60's, The Balvenie doubled its production capacity and did the same again in the 70's. The distillery sells its whisky as single malt since 1973. In the warehouses, there should be some old casks dating from the 30's.
The Balvenie distillery is settled in the very heart of the Speyside area. The distillery has been built in 1892 from an old manor from the 18th century. The first distillation took place in 1893. Very few has changed since that time, and the distillery is really proud of its roots, and does everything it can to preserve it.
The exceptional quality of the single malt from The Balvenie is greatly due to the know-how of the craftsmen who create the whisky. Nearly all the operations in the process of making whisky happen in the distillery, from malting to repairing the casks. The Balvenie has it's own cooperage.
The Balvenie is quite different from Glenfiddich, even if both distilleries belong to the same family. The Balvenie belongs to the Grant family since 5 generations. This is a guarantee of tradition respect.
The greatest part of the production is marketed as single malt, and the remaining is uses in the Grants and Clan Mac Gregor blends, belonging to the same company.



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