Until the additional production capacity at the Macallan distillery in Aberlour will kick in early next year, Glenfiddich is the largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland.
(All Images Copyright Johann Brandstaetter)
Situated in the Speyside region, the heartland of Scotch whisky production, Glenfiddich produces a stunning 14 million litres of pure alcohol per year (two million more than the now-number two, Roseisle).
But make no mistake, Glenfiddich is not an industrial behemoth like some other big distilleries in Scotland. It kept its old-style charm through many a expansion and is justifyably a tourism magnet of the first order.
The distillery tour is well organised in small groups and walks you trough all the stages of whisky production in a logical sequence. The standard tour (£10) finishes with a tasting of four different single malt whiskies, aesthetically served in Copita glasses.
Throughout its long history, Glenfiddich always kept the the shape and the small size of its copper pot stills. To keep up the output the two stillhouses contain 31 (!!) stills which they run in threes. After the first distillation the low wines are divided and the halves are distilled in two low wine stills of different shapes. Then the spirit is mixed again and filled into casks. Glenfiddich insists that this procedure contributes to the unique flavour profile of their single malts.
And there seems to be no end to Glenfiddich’s success: at the end of last year the media reported that a third stillhouse is going to be built in order to satisfy the demand in the world’s number 2 best selling single malt Scotch.
Glenfiddich Distillery (Dufftown, Morayshire)