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Glen Garioch Distillery
Picture: Glen Garioch
Location: Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire
Roads: On the A947 in the village
Hours: Not open to visitors

Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

The distillery was founded in 1797 and had a succession of owners including Sanderson’s (who used the malt in their Vat 69 blend), gin distillers Booth’s and DCL, who closed it in 1968 because they said there was not enough water for distillation. A forerunner of the present owners bought it two years later, dug a new well in a neighbouring field and production started once more. The exterior of Glen Garioch is most attractive, a small-scale cluster of mellowed stone buildings, usually with pagoda heads, making up a well-preserved exterior. The floor maltings are still in use and supply just on half of the required amount of malt. The rest is brought in from outside maltsters.

Picture: Floor maltings at Glen Garioch
The floor maltings at Glen Garioch
Picture: Checking the whisky at Glen Garioch
Drawing a sample to check that the whisky is maturing according to expectation

Peat was cut from from local Pitsligo Moss for the malt drying. The peat was burned under the malt for about four hours to endow the correct degree of flavour for Glen Garioch and the drying is completed by gas-firing. A third still was added to the original pair in 1973, and then a fourth. One of the wash stills is twice the size of the other and the two spirit stills. Sadly, the distillery is closed at time of writing (1996) and is seeking new ownership.

The Whisky
Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

Glen Garioch has considerable elegance as well as a fine, smoky persona. The peatiness is balanced rather than pungent and merges well with good flowery malt and there is excellent, medium-bodied smoothness in the finish. Owners Morrison Bowmore produce a 15 and 21-year-old as well as various ‘vintage’ bottlings and 21 year old ceramics. The make is used in other group blends such as Rob Roy, and Clan Roy.

Source of water
Spring on Percock Hill
Of interest
Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

Picture: Baronial architecture at Glen Garioch
Clea, symmetrical lines, turrets and towers maky Fyvie a fine example of Baronial architecture.
• Fyvie Castle has five fine towers and represents perhaps the peak of the Scottish Baronial style of architecture. The armour collection is rather special and there is a fine clutch of Raeburn paintings. Fyvie also has a Donkey Sanctuary.

• A working Oatmeal Mill at Alford offers conducted tours twice-weekly by appointment (tel: 09755-62209).

• Grampian Transport Museum, also at Alford, has a snowplough, a steam tricycle, an armoured car, a tram car and a car collection. There is also go-kart hire on a road circuit.

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