William Grant & Sons distillery logo since 1887.

William Grant & Sons

  • Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011, International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2011
  • https://www.williamgrant.com/
Phone Number
  • +441340820373
  • Dufftown, Keith AB55 4DH, United Kingdom

Glenfiddich Distillery exterior in Scotland with sign and hills.

History of William Grant & Sons


The Beginning: A Dream Realized (1887)

William Grant & Sons, a renowned name in the spirits industry, was founded by William Grant in 1887. The foundation of the company was driven by Grant’s vision to produce the best dram in the valley. This vision materialized on Christmas Day in 1887, when the first drop of Glenfiddich, their flagship whisky, flowed from the stills. This milestone marked the start of a remarkable journey for the Grant family and their distillery in Dufftown, Scotland.

Building a Legacy: Expansion and Innovation

Within five years of its inception, William Grant opened his second distillery, The Balvenie, in 1892, renowned for being the most handcrafted of single malts. The company continued to innovate, launching Grant’s Whisky in 1898, later presented in its iconic triangular bottle. A significant expansion came in 1909 when Charles Gordon, William Grant’s son-in-law, propelled the brand into the global market.

Prohibition and Beyond (1920s – 1960s)

Despite the challenges of the Prohibition era in the USA during the 1920s, William Grant & Sons persisted, preparing for the market’s eventual reopening. The 1960s marked a pivotal era with the launch of Glenfiddich, pioneering the single malt category. The Girvan Distillery was also established, becoming the world’s largest grain distillery.

A New Millennium: Diversification and Growth (1999 – Present)

Entering the 21st century, William Grant & Sons diversified their portfolio. In 1999, they launched Hendrick’s Gin, a unique blend with cucumber and rose essences. The company continued its innovative streak with the opening of Ailsa Bay Distillery in 2009, known for its ‘micro maturation’ process. The acquisition of Drambuie in 2014 and the launch of innovative products like Monkey Shoulder and Atopia, an ultra-low alcohol spirit, signified their adaptability and foresight.

Global Reach and Family Tradition

Today, William Grant & Sons is a global powerhouse, selling to nearly 200 markets with over 2,800 employees across 50+ locations. The company remains 100% family-owned, with the sixth generation of the Grant family actively involved, ensuring that the founder’s values and legacy continue to shape its future.

Embracing Sustainability and Responsibility

William Grant & Sons emphasizes sustainability and responsible business practices as a forward-thinking company. Their commitment to these principles is a testament to their heritage and a key driver in their ongoing success and innovation in the spirits industry.

Awards Won by William Grant & Sons

  1. Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011:
    • William Grant & Sons received a total of 36 accolades at this event.
    • Their portfolio, which includes brands like Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Rum, and Stolichnaya Vodka, performed exceptionally well.
    • Two Chairman’s Trophy awards were won for Balvenie’s 17-Year-Old Peated Cask (Single Malt category) and Lillet Rosé (Aperitif category).
    • The company was named “2011 Distiller of the Year” at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards, a title also received from the International Spirits Challenge and International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  2. International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2011:
    • Awarded ‘Distiller of the Year’ and ‘International Spirits Producer’.
    • Received 54 medals and four trophies, including a trophy for Balvenie Thirty, 30 YO single malt Scotch whisky, Leyenda del Milagro Reposado tequila and Reyka vodka.
  3. IWSC Awards 2018:
    • Named ‘Distiller of the Year’ and ‘Scotch Whisky Producer of the Year’.
    • Their wide range of products won several trophies and medals:
      • Tullamore DEW 18 Year Old won the Worldwide Whiskey Trophy 2018.
      • Glenfiddich Finest Solera and The Balvenie Thirty received trophies in their respective whisky categories.
      • Numerous Gold and Silver medals were awarded to their various brands like Drambuie, Gibson’s Finest, Monkey Shoulder, The Balvenie, and more.

William Grant & Sons Tour Information and Experience

William Grant & Sons offers an engaging tour experience at the Glenfiddich Distillery, allowing visitors to explore the world of their single malt Scotch whisky. Here are the key aspects of the tour:

  1. Glenfiddich Distillery Tour:
    • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
    • Tour Experience: The tour includes a comprehensive walkthrough of the distillery, covering the history of Glenfiddich, the whisky-making process, and insights into the family of whisky makers.
    • Tasting: Visitors have the opportunity to taste four whiskies from the Glenfiddich collection.
    • Requirements: The tour is available for individuals over 18 years of age.
    • Availability: The tour operates from Wednesday to Sunday starting at 9:30 AM. It’s recommended to arrive 10 minutes before the booked time.
    • Booking: Booking is required and can be done through their official website. For any changes or cancellations, contact details are provided on their site.
    • Refunds: Tours are refundable with 24 hours notice, but cancellations within 24 hours of the tour are non-refundable.
  2. Glenfiddich Solera: Deconstructed Tour:
    • Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours.
    • The Glenfiddich Solera: Deconstructed Tour offers a unique and immersive experience, delving into the intricate Solera process of crafting Glenfiddich’s exceptional whiskies. This tour provides an in-depth look at the craftsmanship and innovation behind their renowned Solera system. It’s an ideal choice for whisky enthusiasts keen on understanding the complexities of making and appreciating the subtleties of flavour development.

Flask & Barrel Review of William Grant & Sons

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s been on numerous distillery tours, I recently had the chance to visit William Grant & Sons, and I’ve got to say, it was pretty impressive. Here’s my take on it, rating it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the tour itself was an enlightening experience. The depth of detail they provided about the whisky-making process was just right – not too overwhelming, yet informative enough to keep me hooked. As someone who’s seen a lot of distilleries, I appreciated the unique insights they offered about their techniques and the history of their various brands.

The highlight for me was definitely the tasting session. Getting to sample four different whiskies from their collection was a treat. Each one had its distinct character, which really showcased the quality and diversity of their range. It was an excellent opportunity to deepen my understanding of what makes each of their whiskies special.

What also struck me was the warm, family-owned feel of the place. Despite being a renowned brand, there’s a personal touch in how they conduct the tours, making it feel more intimate and engaging.

However, the reason I’m not going all the way to a 5 is that I found the availability a bit limiting. Only having tours from Wednesday to Sunday means planning needs to be quite precise. Also, for someone on many tours, I would have loved a bit more on the innovation side, maybe showcasing some experimental or limited-edition whiskies.

What To Do Nearby William Grant & Sons

The Whisky Line – Keith & Dufftown Railway: Just 0.1 miles from the distillery, this scenic railroad offers a charming journey through the whisky country, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes.

Balvenie Castle: Located 0.2 miles away, this historical castle offers a glimpse into Scotland’s rich past. It’s a great place for history enthusiasts and a scenic spot for taking photos.

The Balvenie Distillery: Only 0.3 miles from William Grant & Sons, this distillery is another excellent stop for whisky lovers. It provides an insight into different whisky production methods and offers tasting sessions.

Speyside Tours: At 0.8 miles distance, these tours offer a deeper exploration of the Speyside region’s whisky heritage. They’re ideal for those looking to expand their knowledge and experience of Scottish whisky.

Auchindoun Castle: About 0.5 miles away, this castle ruins offer a peaceful spot for contemplation and a chance to enjoy more of Scotland’s historical landscapes.

Costcutter: Located 0.5 miles from the distillery, it’s a convenient stop for any quick supplies or snacks you might need.

Ace Taxis Dufftown: Situated 0.7 miles away, this service can be handy if you’re looking for transportation in the area.

Speyside Cooperage: This is a bit farther, about 2.7 miles from the distillery. Here, you can learn about the art of cooperage and see how whisky barrels are made.

The GlenAllachie Distillery: Located 3.7 miles away, this distillery offers another excellent opportunity for whisky tasting and learning about the whisky-making process.

The Whisky Shop Dufftown: About 0.7 miles from William Grant & Sons, it’s a perfect place for whisky enthusiasts looking to browse or purchase a wide range of Scotch whiskies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near William Grant & Sons?

Seven Stills French Restaurant and Malt Whisky Bar/Lounge: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 820880. Their address is 30 Fife St, Dufftown, Keith AB55 4AL, United Kingdom.

Castle Chinese Takeaway: This restaurant boasts a 4.6-star rating. You can contact them at +44 1340 820100 for more information. They are located at 5 Church St, Dufftown, Keith AB55 4AR, United Kingdom.

Plum Garden: With a rating of 4.7 stars, this Chinese takeaway can be reached at +44 1340 871617. Their address is The Square, Aberlour AB38 9PX, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near William Grant & Sons?

Dowans Hotel & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.7 stars. For reservations, you can contact them at +44 1340 871488. Their address is Dowans Rd, Aberlour AB38 9LS, United Kingdom.

The Craigellachie Hotel: This hotel has a rating of 4.5 stars. You can reach out to them for bookings at +44 1340 881204. The hotel is located at Victoria St, Speyside Way, Craigellachie, Aberlour AB38 9SR, United Kingdom.

The Aberlour Hotel: With a rating of 4.3 stars, this hotel can be contacted at +44 1340 871287 for reservations. Its address is 87 High St, Aberlour AB38 9QB, United Kingdom.