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Issue 46 - Unique name, Major distillery (Glen Grant)

Whisky Magazine Issue 46
March 2005


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Unique name, Major distillery (Glen Grant)

Ian Buxton visits the picturesque and constantly surprising Glen Grant distillery in Speyside

One of Glen Grant's more obscure claims to fame is its name. After all, it should logically be called Glen Rothes, after the small Speyside town where it is to be found.

And it does have first claim on that title, having been founded nearly 40 years before the distillery that actually carries the name.

And, carrying on with the logic, either Glenfiddich or Glenfarclas might have called themselves Glen Grant if they had seen fit. So what's it all about? Well, simply good old family pride.

Glen Grant was founded in 1840, by John and James Grant who had been distilling at Aberlour since 1832. Deciding to move to Rothes and build their own, more substantial operation they elected to put their own name on the bottle.

What greater guarantee of quality than for a man to put his own name on the products he makes and sells? Yet, surprisingly, Glen Grant is the only single malt distillery named in this way.

Grant, of course, is a common name in these parts and other Grants were behind Glenfiddich and Glenfarclas (and remain so to this day). They were no relation, however, and so we can be grateful that they chose a more self-effacing approach to their packaging.

John and James Grant's confidence was to prove well-founded. They invested consistently in Glen Grant, installing electrical power ahead of their competitors and expanding the distillery in 1865.

James Grant's son, also James but known to all as ‘the Major', took over the business in 1872 on the death of his father. It...

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