Five Things You Need to Know About Glenfarclas Distillery
Family-owned and fiercely independent, Glenfarclas has one of the most remarkable stories in Scotch whisky history. Read on to learn a thing or two about this Speyside whisky dynasty.
1. It’s a family affair
You don’t see this every day. The Grant family bought Glenfarclas distillery in the 1860s, and it's still managed by the Grant family. In fact, six generations of the Grant family have nurtured the distillery.
2. They do things their way
Because the distillery is so fiercely independent, production under the Grant family has been timeless with few changes to the way they make whisky during the last 160 years. Patience is a big part of making whisky. And Glenfarclas take their time to make sure their whisky is perfect. How? They mature their whisky only in classic dunnage warehouses, rather than use the more economical racking warehouses. Glenfarclas has more than 30 dunnage warehouses on site and counting.
Dunnage warehouses have been used to store whisky for a long time — like, centuries-long. Racked warehouses are a relatively new development in the history of whisky making. So what, you say? Warehouses play a big part of the whisky distillation process. That’s because close to 70% of flavour is developed while it’s in the barrel.
Dunnage warehouses generally have higher humidity levels than racked. This is because dunnage warehouses have earthen floors that release moisture. But racked warehouses usually have concrete floors.
Some distillers think that higher humidity creates a slower and more preferable maturation rate.
3. Still the biggest
Glenfarclas has the biggest copper stills in Speyside. Size matters — and so does the shape of the stills because it has a significant impact on the flavour of the spirit. Get this, they are the only distillery in Speyside to direct-fire all their stills. (Speaking of big, Glenfarclas has the biggest mashtun in the industry!). Like we said,
Their stills are some of the few that are still heated traditionally by direct fire (from gas burners) rather than internal electric elements. The distillery experimented with elements the early 80s but found that this method changed the flavour of the spirit, and the experiment was soon canned, and that batch of spirit was sold off to blenders
4. They’re neighbours with another Club favourite
Glenfarclas distillery is in the south of Speyside and a mere eight kilometres from another Club favourite, Aberlour distillery. In fact, this month’s Glenfarclas Olorosso Sherry Casks 2012 Vintage has a lot of delicious things in common with our Aberlour 14 Year Old Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask. This absolute belter sold out in a flash, and we still get Members requesting a bottle. So, if our Aberlour rocked your whisky world, make sure you don’t miss out on our Glenfarclas.
5. Very, very Sherry
Glenfarclas is extremely methodical in what they do, and they work closely with a Sherry Bodega in Spain to pick predominantly the finest Oloroso Sherry casks for maturation. These casks are of such high quality that Glenfarclas can reuse them up to four times and they keep delivering bangin’ results.
There you have it, five things you may not have known about our mates Glenfarclas. And fear not, if you’re not a Member yet, there’s still time to join the glorious whisky club of ours and get your hands on a bottle of our Glenfarclas Olorosso Sherry Casks 2012 Vintage. Oh, and just by getting a bottle, you’ll automatically go in the draw to win a whisky holiday to Scotland and visit Glenfarclas distillery. Sign us up!