The Glen Grant Logo

Glen Grant Distillery

  • Scotland
  • 2014 Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, 2015 Spirit of Speyside Award, 2016, 2016 Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Phone Number
  • +441340832118
  • Road, Glen Grant Distillery Elgin, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BS, United Kingdom Phone: 

Glen Grant Distillery building facade with clock and flowers.

History of The Glen Grant Distillery


The Glen Grant Distillery, founded in 1840 by brothers John and James Grant, has a rich history intertwined with the evolution of Scotch whisky.

Initially, smugglers, the Grant brothers were visionary leaders who capitalized on their location near the sea, the River Spey, and barley-growing plains.

Their interest in industrial advancements led to the construction of the northern railway, with James Grant founding the Morayshire Railway Company, facilitating supply lines crucial for the distillery and the region.

Innovations at The  Glen Grant Distillery

The distillery underwent significant innovations under James Grant’s nephew, Major James Grant, who inherited it in 1872.

Known as “The Major,” he introduced water cooling purifiers and elongated stills, revolutionizing single malt Scotch whisky production.

His contributions include the establishment of the famous Victorian Garden in 1886 and the introduction of tall, slender pot stills and purifiers in 1900, defining Glen Grant’s whisky’s fresh malty flavor and clear color.

Succession of the Distillery

After Major Grant’s death in 1931, his grandson Douglas MacKessack succeeded him. The legacy continued with Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm, born on the distillery grounds in 1946 and starting his career there in 1961.

His 60-year career, recognized by the Queen with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, has been pivotal in maintaining the high standards and traditions of the Grant family.

The distillery, now owned by The Campari Group since 2006, has expanded its facilities, including a new visitor center in 2008 and a bottling hall in 2013, the latter inaugurated by Prince Charles.

Glen Grant is unique in the Speyside region for bottling all its whisky on-site. The distillery’s commitment to innovation and tradition continues to shape its role in the Scotch whisky industry.



Awards Won by The Glen Grant Distillery

  • Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm was inducted in 2014 for his contributions to the whisky industry​​.
  • Spirit of Speyside Award: In 2015, Dennis Malcolm received the first-ever Spirit of Speyside award for his achievements in the industry​​.
  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE): In 2016, Dennis Malcolm was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the business and community of Speyside​​.
  • World’s Best Scotch Whisky: For four consecutive years, The Glen Grant 18 Year Old was voted the best Scotch whisky in the world, best single malt scotch (multiple casks), and single malt scotch of the year (aged 16-21 years)​​.

The Glen Grant Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting The Glen Grant Distillery offers a unique experience for whisky enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Located in Rothes, Speyside, the distillery is not only a site for whisky production but also home to the fragrant Major’s Victorian Garden, established in 1886.

Whisky Production and Tasting Experience

The tour experience at The Glen Grant Distillery includes a walk through the production room, where visitors can see the tall, slender copper pot stills with their water cooling purifiers, a distinctive feature of the distillery’s whisky-making process.

The journey continues through the bottling facility, providing an insight into the final stages of whisky production. Guests have the opportunity to taste the smooth single malt Scotch whisky in the newly renovated tasting room, experiencing the flavors and craftsmanship of the distillers firsthand.

Exploring the Major’s Victorian Garden

The Major’s Victorian Garden is another highlight, offering a global greenhouse experience with eclectic plants from around the world, a testament to the Major’s adventurous spirit.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the scenic gorge and may even come across The Major’s private whisky safe.

Seasonal Hours and the Malt Whisky Trail

  • Seasonal Operating Hours:
    • November to March: Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm; Closed on Sundays.
    • April to October: Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 4 pm; Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.
  • The Malt Whisky Trail:
    • Part of a comprehensive journey through the art and tradition of Scotch whisky making.
    • Includes The Glen Grant Distillery and seven other historic distilleries in Moray, Speyside.

Flask & Barrel Review of The Glen Grant Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s been on more distillery tours than I can count, I’ve got to say, The Glen Grant Distillery is a gem that stands out. Nestled in the heart of Speyside, this place is more than just a distillery; it’s a journey through whisky history.

First off, the setting is gorgeous. The Victorian garden is a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and sets the tone for the experience. It’s not every day you get to stroll through such a serene landscape before diving into the world of whisky.

The tour itself was top-notch. Even with my extensive distillery tour experience, I learned a thing or two. The guides know their stuff and tell the story of Glen Grant with a passion that’s infectious.

They’ve got this way of explaining things that’s both easy to understand and fascinating – perfect for both newbies and seasoned whisky enthusiasts.

Now, the star of the show: the whisky. The tasting session was a dream. The Glen Grant’s range, especially the aged single malts, are a testament to their craftsmanship.

Each sip was a revelation, with the 18 Year Old being my personal highlight. Smooth, complex, and with a character that speaks of its heritage, it’s no wonder it’s won global acclaim.

The only reason I’m not going full 5/5 is because I felt the gift shop could’ve had a wider range of merchandise. But that’s just me being picky.

What To Do Nearby The Glen Grant Distillery

  • Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail: Embark on Scotland’s only Malt Whisky Trail, which encompasses seven world-famous working distilleries, one historic distillery, and the fascinating Speyside Cooperage. This trail is set in the heart of stunning Speyside, a region home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries​​.
  • Speyburn Distillery: Another distillery in the area, Speyburn, is known for its good whisky tasting and knowledgeable guides. It’s a great option for whisky enthusiasts looking to explore more of Scotland’s distilleries​​.
  • Rothes Football Club: For sports fans, the local football club offers a different flavor of Scottish culture. It’s a unique way to engage with the local community and enjoy some Highland League football​​.
  • Aquaplay Scotland: If you’re looking for adventure, Aquaplay Scotland offers river rafting, tubing, and canyoning & rappelling tours. It’s suitable for all ages, ensuring fun for the entire group​​.
  • Speyside Escapes Tours: For a more guided experience, Speyside Escapes offers multi-day and distillery tours, giving you a deeper insight into the local culture and whisky production​​.
  • Rothes Castle: Explore the historic Rothes Castle, a site with rich history dating back to the 1640s. Although much of the castle is in ruins, the remaining high stone wall and the structure’s traces offer a glimpse into Scotland’s past​​.
  • Scenic Walks and Gardens: Rothes is perfect for scenic walks. Situated next to the River Spey, it offers beautiful circular walks with stunning scenery. Additionally, the well-maintained Rothes Pond and the Glen Grant Gardens provide peaceful nature experiences​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near The Glen Grant Distillery?

  • Toots: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340832200. Their address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Rothes Fish & Chip Shop: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340831064. Their address is 34 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BQ, United Kingdom.
  • Martin’s Kitchen: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340831899. Their address is 19 High St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AU, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near The Glen Grant Distillery?

  • OYO Eastbank Hotel, Speyside Scotland: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441918210006. Their address is Eastbank Hotel, 11-17 High St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AU, United Kingdom.
  • The Craigellachie Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340881204. Their address is Victoria St, Speyside Way, Craigellachie, Aberlour AB38 9SR, United Kingdom.
  • Dowans Hotel & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441340871488. Their address is Dowans Rd, Aberlour AB38 9LS, United Kingdom.