1820 - 1872
Smugglers turned visionary leaders, brothers John and James Grant founded The Glen Grant distillery in 1840, a landmark moment in the history of Scotch whisky. Their boundless interest in industrial and technological advancements led to the construction of the northern railway.
In 1820, James Grant helped lead the “Raid on Elgin,” the last clan revolt in Scottish history. His tartan waistcoat is proudly displayed at the distillery today as a reminder of The Glen Grant’s strong Highland heritage.
In 1839, brothers John and James Grant applied for a distillery licence. With the sea and the port of Lossiemouth nearby, the River Spey to the south, and the surrounding barley-growing plains, all the fundamental ingredients for malt whisky were close at hand.
The Grants have always been at the forefront of cutting edge innovation. James Grant was the founder of the Morayshire Railway Company, which ran trains from the port of Lossiemouth to Elgin. The creation of the railway made it much easier to build important supply lines and led to other distillery construction in the area. In 1851, one of the locomotives was named Glen Grant in his honour.
1872 - 1931
In 1872, James Grant, nephew of John Grant, inherited The Glen Grant distillery. James later became known as The Major. He revolutionized the craft of producing single malt Scotch whisky by introducing water cooling purifiers and elongated stills to capture only the finest vapours.
The Major established our famous Victorian Garden in 1886 to showcase the eclectic plants and exotic fruits he gathered on his journeys across the globe. This sylvan escape has 22 acres of orchards, meadows, and gorges, including the original dram pavilion built by James Grant himself.
The Glen Grant was one of the first Scottish distilleries to generate electricity (1883), and The Major introduced the tall, slender pot stills and purifiers, which created the fresh malty flavour and clear colour that defines our single malt Scotch whisky to this day.
In 1931, Major Grant, the last Glen Grant, died. Douglas MacKessack, his grandson, was to become his successor.
1946 - NOW
The Major’s legacy lives on in the peerless passion and commitment of Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm. Dennis is one of Scotland’s longest serving distillers, spending his entire 60-year career in the Speyside region managing Glen Grant and other famous distilleries. In 2015, Her Majesty the Queen bestowed upon him the distinguished honour of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his service to the community of Rothes and his exceptional work in the Scotch whisky industry.DENNIS’ BIO
Dennis was born on the distillery grounds and would soon become the third generation of his family to work at The Glen Grant.
On April 3, 1961, Dennis began his five-year apprenticeship as a cooper (barrel maker) at the distillery, kickstarting a lifelong career in the Scotch whisky industry.
In 2006, The Campari Group acquired the distillery and appointed Dennis as the Master Distiller. Dennis continues to oversee the high standards and traditions of the Grant family and its descendants.
The new visitor centre was built as a place where connoisseurs from around the world could tour a whisky distillery.
Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first day working at The Glen Grant distillery and created the V Decades limited edition expression as a tribute to this monumental milestone.
His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, opened our new bottling hall in 2013. This addition allowed us to expand on our founders’ revolutionary vision and continue to help lead the way in single malt Scotch whisky production. The Glen Grant is the only distillery in the Speyside region that bottles every drop of whisky on-site.
2021 marks Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm’s 60th anniversary — or his diamond year — working in the Scotch whisky industry.
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Elegance Engineered By Nature
Barley To Bottle