Discovering Glenfiddich Distillery

The Glenfiddich Distillery in Speyside, Scotland is introducing a new tour programme in 2011. The free Glenfiddich classic tour takes one hour and features an introductory film, a guided tour of the distillery and a tasting of three Glenfiddich single malt whiskies: Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old and Glenfiddich 18 Year Old.

I have visited the Glenfiddich Distillery, but that was many years ago.  I found it to be a very interesting tour that was only marred by the fact that my wife, who is not a whisky drinker, at the end of the tour decided to sample her glass instead of chivalrously offering it to me!

Visits to the Distillery are free, but the tours have become so popular that for a fee you can take more comprehensive tours, which allow you to explore the distillation process more fully, and which also allow you a better tasting experience.

Visitors wanting a more in-depth visit can pay £10 for a 90-minute tour that includes access to Glenfiddich’s Solera warehouse and a tasting of four award-winning Glenfiddich whiskies. Visitors choosing the new half-day £50 Pioneers’ Tour have a chance to meet Glenfiddich craftsmen, bottle their own whisky direct from a cask in a warehouse and experience a full tutored masterclass ‘nosing’ and tasting of Glenfiddich whiskies aged up to 30 years.

Glenfiddich brand heritage manager Gordon Paul says: ‘We believe our Glenfiddich classic tour is the only complimentary distillery tour in the country to offer visitors the chance to sample a selection of different malts of different ages.’

The distillery was built in 1886 by William Grant and his family and is still wholly owned by his descendants. Glenfiddich means ‘Valley of the Deer’ in Gaelic.

The Glenfiddich Distillery offers guided tours in a variety of languages and provides foreign language leaflets. There is an on-site restaurant, The Malt Barn, a gift shop and free parking for cars and coaches. The distillery is open Mon–Sat 9.30am–4.30pm and Sun 11am–4.30pm.

The Distillery is well worth the visit, but if you are driving go easy on the tasting, because pure malt whisky can pack a punch if you are not used to it.

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