Thursday, 30 May 2013

Speyside Life - To Vegas by Tornado Jet

To celebrate the launch of Glenfarclas 18 Years Old in Travel Retail, J. & G. Grant teamed up with another Speyside institition, RAF Lossiemouth. 12(B) Squadron offered to take two bottles of Glenfarclsas 18 Years Old from Glenfarclas Distillery to Las Vegas, where George Grant was attending the Nth Whisky Show, in a Tornado GR4 jet.

The 5634 mile journey was completed in 17 hours, 20 minutes with stops in the Azores, Newfoundland and Ohio along the way. The bottles, which have been signed by all the crew, then made the return journey to Scotland, one to Glenfarclas and one to RAF Lossiemouth. RAF Lossiemouth plan to auction their bottle on in July 2013, along with a signed print of the Tornado jet in which it travelled, to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Wing Commander Simon Strasdin Officer Commanding 12(B) Squadron said,

 “RAF Lossiemouth and its personnel have a long history of community integration and support and 12(B) Sqn’s links with Glenfarclas continue in this tradition. It is very generous of J. & G. Grant to donate one of these bottles to us. The bottle will be auctioned before we deploy on operations to Afghanistan in the summer, hopefully raising a good sum of money for the RAF Benevolent Fund”.

Available exclusively to Travel Retail, the Glenfarclas 18 Years Old will be offered to the Travel Retail sector worldwide, although it won’t always be delivered by Tornado!


Monday, 28 January 2013

Speyside Life - Alistair Miller celebrates forty years at Glenfarclas

Spirits were high at Glenfarclas at the end of December as Alistair Miller, Mashman, celebrated forty years employment with J. & G. Grant. As noted by John Grant, Chairman, Alistair is one of just six employees (as opposed to members of the Grant family) in the distillery’s 176 year history, to reach this milestone, the others being Bill Strathdee, Alistair Stronach, Bob Greig, Eddie Thompson and most recently Philip Hutcheon, who retired in 2004.

Warmly respected by his colleagues, Alistair is known for his modesty and good humour. Asked to describe the role of Mashman by whisky writer Ian Buxton in 2011, Alistair joked, ‘I walk about and watch what happens’.

As is traditional on these occasions Alistair was presented with a sample of some of his earliest work, a gallon bottle of 40 years old Glenfarclas, with a personalised label illustrating his long career at the distillery.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Glenfarclas appoints new Distillery Manager

J. & G. Grant are pleased to announce the appointment of Callum Fraser as the new Production Manager at the Glenfarclas Distillery.

Callum Fraser, originally from Stirlingshire, has twenty two years experience in whisky distilling, having joined Deanston Distillery when it reopened in 1990, and rising to the position of Distillery Manager in 2006. Callum commented, ‘I first tasted Glenfarclas at a whisky festival in Ayr a few years ago, and since then I have followed Glenfarclas with interest. I am thrilled to be moving to Speyside, the home of malt whisky, to work for an independent family owned distillery, with such a long history.’

John Grant, Chairman of J. & G. Grant, said, ‘It is my pleasure to welcome Callum Fraser to Glenfarclas. 2012 has been a record production year for us, and with plans to increase production still further in 2013, he joins us at a particularly busy and exciting time’.

Plans are also already underway for Callum to host a Manager’s Tour of Glenfarclas during the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, giving consumers the opportunity to meet the new Glenfarclas Distillery Manager.

Callum Fraser - new Distillery Manager

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Glenfarclas to sponsor the Varsity Rugby Match

The Varsity Match, held at Twickenham in December, has been the focus of Oxford and Cambridge student rivalry since 1872. The 131st event takes place on Thursday, December 6th at Twickenham Stadium. Glenfarclas, along with Pol Roger Champagne, are pleased to announce sponsorship of this highlight in the Varsity calendar.  
Pol Roger, the UK distributor for Glenfarclas, has been a longstanding supporter of the healthy competition between these two renowned universities; Pol Roger is the official sponsor of the Varsity Blind Wine Tasting Match, now in its 60th year, and sponsor of the Varsity Real Tennis and Rackets match as well as both the Oxford and Cambridge Real Tennis Clubs. Thus, the iconic Varsity Rugby Match represents a fitting extension of this ongoing support.
George Grant, Director of Sales for Glenfarclas, commented “We are delighted to support such a prestigious sporting occasion that has long been the benchmark of student sporting achievement. We look forward to toasting the winners of the match with a dram or two of Glenfarclas!”
In celebration of this announcement captains John Carter, of Oxford University Rugby Football  Club, and Rob Malaney, of Cambridge University Rugby Football Club, met on neutral turf at steak restaurant Hawksmoor, Guildhall for an unusually amicable encounter.  

Post Match Report:Won by Oxford, Oxford full-back Sam Egerton was named Man of the Match and awarded the Alastair Hignall prize and a bottle of Glenfarclas The Family Casks 1977.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Speyside Life – Single Malt and Spas

Earlier this year I was privileged to visit Ystad Saltsjöbad with John Grant to unveil a complete set of The Family Casks. Ystad Saltsjöbad, or more simply (and easier to say) YSB, is a relaxed beach front hotel on the southern tip of Sweden, famous for its spa, and an indulgent retreat on the Swedish Riviera. 

Looking for something different for their whisky bar, and seeing similarities with our family owned company, Anders Nilsson of YSB was inspired to make the centre piece of their new whisky bar a complete set of The Family Casks. YSB now joins a select group of bars worldwide to offer 43 years from The Family Casks by the dram.

To give guests a preview of The Family Casks, with YSB we presented a Five Decades of Glenfarclas tasting, prior to ceremoniously unveiling all 43 bottles to the sound of the pipes. This was followed by a delightful whisky makers’ dinner overlooked by the 43 bottles now proudly displayed in their new home. We were honoured to be joined by Dag Lennartsson, author of five books on whisky in Swedish, most recently 'Golf och Whiskyresor'. 

We recognise that for many the fun of The Family Casks is the opportunity to explore the subtle differences between the casks, or to celebrate an anniversary with a dram from that special year. We are delighted that YSB’s investment in The Family Casks, to offer the collection by the glass, will allow many more whisky drinkers the opportunity to sample the collection.

Back in 2007, when we launched The Family Casks, two bars were quick to offer all 43 of The Family Casks by the dram; Bar Nemo in Tokyo and The Mash Tun in Aberlour. More recently this exclusive network of bars has been joined by the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai, Soho Whisky Club in London, and Hotel Montana in Luzern. My colleague Ian McWilliam will be visiting the latter in May to present a 1950s masterclass. Not many other distillers can offer that!

Erik Hultberg, John Grant and Anders Nilsson with The Family Casks
For more pictures please visit
Robert Ransom
March 2012

Friday, 16 September 2011

Speyside Life: Glenfarclas welcomes HRH The Duke of York

To mark the 175th anniversary of the Glenfarclas distillery, we were delighted to receive a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of York on the 6th of September 2011. His Royal Highness was accompanied by Clare Russell, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, and the visit was hosted by George Grant, Director of Sales.

His Royal Highness was given a tour of the distillery by Shane Fraser, Production Manager, which included being shown the distillery’s new mashing and fermentation control system, and being introduced to the company’s longest serving employee, Alistair Miller, Mashman, who joined the company in November 1972. To mark the occasion of the visit during the distillery’s 175th anniversary year, His Royal Highness filled a commemorative cask with new spirit. The sherry hogshead will be matured on site at Glenfarclas until it is ready for bottling, possibly during the distillery’s bi-centenary year in 2036.

With an interest in international trade His Royal Highness was briefed on the company’s exports to more than fifty countries worldwide, by Robert Ransom, Director of Sales and Marketing. To conclude the visit His Royal Highness was presented with a bottle of the Glenfarclas Chairman’s Reserve, a limited edition of 1296 bottles released for the distillery’s 175th Anniversary.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary ceilidh

On the 20th of May 2011, J. & G. Grant held a dinner and ceilidh to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Glenfarclas Distillery. Whilst the date of the first distillation at Glenfarclas is lost in the mists of time, the granting of the first license in 1836, is considered the distillery's formal date of establishment. The event was held in warehouse 14, which was also the venue in 1986 for a party to celebrate the distillery's 150th anniversary. The guests, which included members of the Grant family, staff, suppliers and customers, enjoyed a single cask specially bottled for the occasion.