In a secluded spot in Aberdeenshire, nestled in the rolling East Highland hills, you’ll find The GlenDronach Distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries still producing the richly sherried style. In 1826 the distillery was founded and was one of the first licensed distilleries in Scotland. Notable owners include: Walter Scott, who acquired it in 1881 and Charles Grant, son of the founder of the Glenfiddich distillery in 1920.
The distillery was purchased by Teachers and Sons ltd around 1960 who increased the number of stills from two to six. In 1996 the distillery was mothballed and reopened again in 2008 by the BenRiach Distillery Company ltd. The Distillery draws its water from the Dronac burn within the distillery grounds and up until 2001, still has its own floor maltings. GlenDronach converted to steam heating in 2005 and was one of the last to heat the stills by coal fire.
When GlenDronach opened its doors in 1826, many Scottish single malts were matured in Spanish sherry casks. However over the years the ever-increasing rarity and price (they are over 10 times as expensive as standard barrels) has seen a major switch to American Bourbon barrels by the whisky industry. Indeed today there are perhaps only a few distilleries that can truly be classified as ‘sherry maturation’ houses.
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