Grant was born on 19th December 1839 in his father's house in
Dufftown. At seven he was sent to augment the family income
by herding cattle at a farm on the upper reaches of the River
Deveron. Apprenticed to a shoemaker and after a spell as a clerk,
William took a job in 1866 as a book-keeper at Mortlach distillery.
Immediately he set about learning the art of distilling and
in a short time he was appointed clerk and manager.
After almost twenty years of learning the art of distilling,
William Grant resigned from his job at the Mortlach distillery
and bought a field beneath the towering shadow of The Balvenie
Castle. He then drew up plans for his distillery and the foundation
stone was laid in the autumn of 1886.
Although he spoke in the broad Scots of his native Banffshire
the Major had a withering command of English particularly when
he had a pen in his hand. Highly efficient himself and consumed
with energy and ambition he found it difficult to countenance
incompetence in others and his bluntness was legendary. On the
other hand, with his staff he was a model of consideration.
The story goes that he always whistled loudly when he moved
around the distillery, especially when approaching a warehouse
where he might have stumbled on one of the workers extracting
a dram from a convenient cask.
William Grant remained active in the company until his death
in 1923 at the grand age of 83.
The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 12 year
old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being
two woods. During its period of maturation The Balvenie Doublewood
is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first
fill Spanish oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities
to the resulting single malt - the traditional casks, having
previously held bourbon, soften and add character, whilst the
sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.
Our Malt Master, David Stewart, whose signature appears on each
of the Balvenie bottles, enthuses on this aspect "The Balvenie's
high quality is down to the traditional way of making malt whisky...
it's this seamless transition through generations of creativity
and craft that has preserved The Balvenie’s consistency
in producing such delightful drams."
BALVENIE SIGNATURE 12 YEAR
Rich and complex with honey, citrus fruits and vanilla
Rich and honeyed with a hint of sherry fruitiness. A spiciness
of cinnamon and nutmeg and a subtle oakiness develop with
BALVENIE 12 YEAR SINGLE BARREL
Medium gold or amber.
The sherry comes through due to the second.
rich and smooth. An interesting complexity that will make
you pay attention to detail as you taste this very unique
Warming. Long-lasting, with the complexity still getting
one's attention. The sherry is evident, with a most interesting
BALVENIE SINGLE BARREL 15
Fragrant aroma of vanilla, honeyed sweetness, hints of
heather and dry oaky notes.
Rich and complex, suggestive of years of careful
ageing, it has a honeyed maltiness with vanilla, oak flavours
and delicate spice notes.
Long and complex with a touch of liquorice.
BALVENIE 17 YEAR MADEIRA CASK
The Balvenie Madeira Cask was aged exclusively in traditional
American oak whisky casks before being transferred to
barrels previously used in the production of fortified
Rich, deep and complex. Spicy, earthy oak notes with subtle
hints of vanilla and honey. Soft fruit aromas, a slow
baked apple infused with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
Palate: The deep,
luxurious aromas translate into an equally rewarding flavour.
Initial sweet vanilla oak notes gradually develop into
rich spices and dried fruits (apricots, figs, dates).
long and an intriguing balance of sweetness and dry oakiness.
BALVENIE PORTWOOD 21 YEAR
To create The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years, a marriage
of rare Balvenie is transferred to port casks, or pipes,
which have held fine port wines. Here it is sampled regularly
by The Balvenie Malt Master to ensure that just the right
amount of character is imparted by the port casks, enhancing
and developing the single malt whilst preserving its original
In duty free The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years is non
chill-filtered and bottled at a higher strength of 47.6%
perfume of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a nutty
Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky
with fruit, honey and spice notes.
Long, gentle, nutty.
BALVENIE SINGLE BARREL
30 YEAR OLD
Like its 15 year old counterpart,
The Balvenie Single Barrel 25 year old was the product
of individually bottled traditional whisky oak casks ~
these ones having spent a further decade in our warehouses.
Each cask formed a limited edition of no more than 250
The aroma of Single Barrel has the complexity of an aged
whisky with a symphony of sweet, honeyed, oak notes, overlaid
with a fragrant, fruity bouquet. On the palate the initial
dryness immediately changes to a honeyed burst of flavour
that has butterscotch and toffee notes, rounded off with
In early 1892, work began to convert an 18th
century mansion - Balvenie New House - into a distillery.
The Balvenie New House had been purchased by William Grant
in March of the same year. Uninhabitable and austere, it was
a building of some grandeur with the coat of arms of the Duffs
carved into the pediment of its second story. William Grant
was a clever businessman and saw this as another venture.
He had the land, the rights to use the water and a strong
business compulsion to extend his options.
The basement was to become a bonded store for maturing whisky,
the first storey a malt floor, whilst the upper two floors
were to be used as grain lofts. The building took fifteen
months to complete and on 1st May 1893, the first distillation
took place at The Balvenie Distillery.
Over the years there have been a number of discreet
expansions. In the early 1920s, the old mansion was levelled
to the basement floor and the stone blocks were used to build
a new malt barn and kiln. The old malt kiln was converted
into malt bins, electric light was installed and the number
of stills has increased to nine.
Nowhere else will you find a distillery that
still grows its own barley, still malts in its own traditional
floor maltings and still employs coopers to tend the casks
and a coppersmith to maintain the stills. Successive generations
of skill on the malting floor, in the tun room and the still
house, in the cooperage and the warehouses have preserved
the consistency and remarkably high quality of The Balvenie
down the years.
Our aim is to give you a truly personal experience, for this
reason our tours are limited to a maximum of 8 people. The
tour lasts for approx 2.5 hours and costs £25 per person.
Our tours are only available to those aged 18 years or over.
As the Balvenie is a working distillery there are a few areas
with steps and an amount of walking is required. The distillery
is over 100 years old, and as such, is not accessible for
Monday - Thursday from 10am & 2pm
Fridays at 10am only
Weekends - Closed (as our coopers need a rest...)
Advanced Booking: Advanced
booking is essential. To request your tour, please complete
our online request form or call us on +44 (0)1340 820 373.
Cost: Our tour costs £25 per person.
Tours are only available to those aged 18 years and over.
Groups: Maximum number of 8 people allowed
Handicap Accessible: No
Tour Details: Our tour manager
will greet you at the Balvenie Distillery Office. Over a cup
of coffee, they will talk you through a little of the history
of the site before the tour starts properly, with a walk into
The Distillery Office, by this time, you will
probably have worked up a desire to taste some of our whiskies.
Back in our Distillery Office you will be guided through a
nosing and tasting that will take you from the fresh clear
spirit from the stills, up through our range to the award
winning Balvenie Thirty.
Please ensure that you have someone else to drive you, as
we want you to be able to enjoy the tour to its fullest. Then
enjoy the rest of your dram...