Glenfiddich Price, Sizes & Buying Guide

Glenfiddich is arguably the world’s leading single malt Scotch whisky distiller. It is owned by William Grant & Sons in the Scottish burgh of Dufftown in Moray. It is still run by the fifth generation of the Grant-Gordon family.

All the water used in the Speyside distiller’s production comes from a single source: the Robbie Dhu spring Gaelic, Glenfiddich means “ valley of the deer” which is reflected in Glenfiddich’s stag logo.

william grant and sons

History of Glenfiddich

In 1886, Willliam Grant acquired distilling equipment from the Cardow distilling plant. With his seven sons, two daughters, and a single stone mason he began building his distillery. The first spirit was produced on Christmas day 1887.

The distillery is still run by his descendants to this day. William Grant& Sons became the official name for the family company and the first bottle with the William Grant & Sons coat of arms was launched in 1909.

Initially, Pattison was Glenfiddich’s biggest customer buying the majority of Glenfiddich’s single malt to use in their blends. When Pattison filed for Bankruptcy the grant family decided to blend their own Grant’s Stand Fast Blended Whisky.

Grant’s Stand Fast Whiskey became one of their major blends and by the 1950s was one of the world’s top ten whiskies. By 1914 Willliam Grant & Sons had a thriving international business.

history of glenfiddich

War and Prohibition

The onset of war caused the distillery to shut down in 1917. It restarted in 1919. In 1923 while prohibition was at its peak William’sgrandson Grant Gordon joined the company. He surprised everyone by increasing production at the distillery.

When prohibition ended Glenfiddich was one of only six Scottish distilleries still operating and due to the decision to increase production, the distillery was ready for the new surge in demand.

The distinctive triangular bottle was designed by Hans Schleger in 1957 and has been described as a great marketing ploy becoming one of the most famous and distinctive bottles in the whisky industry, setting it apart from the other bottles on the shelf.

In 1963 Glenfiddich became the first single malt whisky to be introduced to countries outside the UK. The sales success allowed Glenfiddich to create a brand and introduce the idea of a single malt whiskey range to the USA and countries throughout the world.

The Grant family believes in retaining their traditions, and maintaining the quality of their whiskey to the standards originally set by William Grant and, therefore, do not outsource even though it may be more cost-effective.

The Grant family has an on-site cooperage (where whiskey barrels are built)tending to approximately 125 casks a day.

A live-in coppersmith is employed to build and maintains the brand’s uniquely shaped and sized stills that are sculpted identically to those from 1887. The whisky is also bottled at the Glenfiddich distillery.

Glenfiddich is renowned for its light, sweet, and fruity character with pear notes

How Glenfiddich is Made

A mixture of specially-sourced barley is ground into rough flour and mixed with the Robbie Dhu spring water heated to 64degC.

The thick porridge-like mixture known as ‘mash’s emptied into mash tuns where rotating knives lift the mash causing the barley starch to convert into fermentable sugars. The Robbie Dhu springwater absorbs these sugars and after six hours a dark liquid called ‘wort’ is obtained.

The wort is cooled to 17 demand pumped into hand-built, wooden fermentation vats (Douglas Firwashbacks) where yeast is added. The temperature increases as the fermentation process convert the sugar into alcohol.

The temperature cools down in two to three days leaving a rich brown wash of up to 9%ABV that is ready for distillation and runs into wash stills where it is slowly heated to almost boiling point causing the alcohol to vaporize into the narrow neck of the still.

The vaporized gas is guided down by a water-cooled condenser. This liquid is known as the low wine and is about 21% ABV. The low wines are heated and condensed again in spirit stills.

To preserve the character of Glenfiddich’s whisky two differently shaped spirit stills are used and the two distillates are brought together equally.

The Stillman using a hygrometer executes a high ‘cutpoint’. He turns the tap to the spirit safe to the exact point that was set by the founder William Grant more than a century ago. The spirit that flows into the spirit safe is the sweetest part of the distillate.

It is about70% AVB and characteristically clean, sweet, and fruity. It is now ready to be matured. The distillate that is not pure enough is redistilled.

Maturing Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich is matured in many different oak casks such as Rum casks from the Caribbean, Bourbon whiskey barrels from America, and Sherry butts from Spain. The oak is charred to caramelize its wood sugars and open up the oak’s flavor-giving properties.

Robbie Dhu spring water is added to the selected distillate in the spirit safe to 63% alcohol and the casks are filled. The filled casks are stored for several years in dark, damp warehouses where samples are continuously taken until they reach the desired maturity.

Selected casks are then emptied into large Portuguese oak marrying tuns where they will rest with whiskies of the same age or older for up to nine months. Robbie Dhu spring water is then added to achieve the correct and desired alcohol by volume and is now ready to bottle.

Glenfiddich Price, Variations, and Sizes

glenfiddich variations

Glenfiddich is rated as the best-selling single malt whisky in the world and accounts for about 30% of all single malt sales worldwide. It has an extensive range of whisky from the core to the rare and the experimental. Glenfiddich focuses on the following Signature range.

Glenfiddich 12 Years Old

glenfiddich 12 years old

The 12-years-old is the entry-level to the Glenfiddich Signature range. It is matured in American oak and Spanish sherry casks for a minimum of twelve years before being married in oak tuns for up to nine months to create its sweet and subtle oaky flavors.

Glenfiddich 15 Years Old

The 15-years-old is the next level in the Signature range. It is matured in American Bourbon, Portuguese sherry, and new oak casks for 15 years. These casks once aged are emptied into a large marrying tun known as the Solero Vat.

The Solero Vat is never emptied but has been kept half full since its creation in 1998. This special technique was established by Glenfiddich’s Malt Master Brian Kinsman and takes inspiration from the Sherry Bodegas of Spain.

Glenfiddich 15 Years Oldhas a  smooth and rich taste with a lingering sweetness revealing layers of sherry oak, marzipan, cinnamon, and ginger.

Glenfiddich 18 Years Old

glenfiddich 18 years old

The 18-years-old is produced in small individually numbered batches and aged in Spanish Oloroso oak and Ameican Bourbon oak casks for a minimum of18 years.

After being blended in wooden tuns for at least 3 months its rich mellow flavors with a sherry influence and flavors imparted by the bourbon casks come together creating a beautifully balanced whisky.

Glenfiddich 21 Years Old (Reserva Rum Cask Finish)

After maturing for 21 years, selected barrels spend the last few months of maturation in former rum barrels. This special finishing in addition to the complexity of the 21-year aging process adds extra exotic notes and spices to the whisky.

The Special Edition

The Special Edition range consists of expressions bottled for a specific reason.

For example, Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix was created after a snow storm in 2010 collapsed some of the warehouse roofs, and warehousemen worked 24/7 to rescue maturing casks.

Snow Phoenix was the result of combining the best of those rescued casks. Other expressions included in this section are. 19-Year-Old Age DiscoveryRed and Bourbon Editions.

Rare and Vintage

This collection consists of Glenfiddich’s most exclusive and oldest single malt whiskies. Most of these bottles were auctioned by Glenfiddich for Charity, breaking records worldwide.

The Cask Collection

The Cask Collection is Glenfiddich’s global travel retail edition and consists of a Select, Reserve, and Vintage Cask.

The Experimental Series

The IPA Experiment was created by Malt Master Brian Kinsman in collaboration with IPA craft beer expert, Seb Jones.

Project XX combines the top picks of the Glenfiddich warehouse from 20 industry experts.

Fire & Cane is a combination of the classic unpeated whiskey with some of Glenfiddich’s lightly peated spirit that was matured in ex-bourbon casks and married and finished in dark rum barrels.

Average retail prices for Glenfiddich whisky

Type

Size

ABV

Price

Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old Half bottle

35cl

40%

$22

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

70cl

40%

$43

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera

70cl

40%

$57

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

70cl

40%

$88

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserve Rum Finish

70cl

40%

$200

Glenfiddich 19-Year-Old Age of Discovery Bourbon

70cl

40%

$195

Glenfiddich 19-Year-Old Age of Discovery Red Wine

70cl

40%

$195

Glenfiddich 21-Year-Old Winter Storm Batch Two

70cl

43%

$259

Glenfiddich 1973 30-Year-OldVintage Reserve

70cl

49%

$3 250

Glenfiddich 40-Year-Old Release 16 Bottled 2019

70cl

48%

$3 900

Glenfiddich 50 Year Old

70cl

46%

$31 850

The whisky was laid down in cask 843 at the Glenfiddich Distillery in 1937, the year of George VI’s coronation, and bottled 64 years later in 2001.

Alternatives/Comparisons to Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky

comparisons to glenfiddich single malt whisky

Several single malt Scotch whiskies can be enjoyed as an alternative to Glenfiddich. The following offer a vast range of options providing something for every occasion, taste, and budget.

  • Glenlivet 12-Year-Old
  • The Ardmore
  • Aberlour 12-Year-Old
  • The Macallan 12-Year-Old
  • Glencadam 15-Year-Old
  • Bowmore 12-Year-Old

How to Drink Glenfiddich

how to drink glenfiddich

To appreciate the unique flavor characteristics of a good scotch you need to follow the methods used by seasoned Scotch drinkers for years.

A tulip-shaped glass is considered to be the best glass for drinking Scotch. It allows the whisky to be swirled around releasing the flavors of the whisky and concentrating the aromas at the neck of the glass.

A standard whisky tumbler is perfectly acceptable if a tulip-shaped glass cannot be obtained.

The ritual of checking the color, checking the “legs” and nosing before actually tasting is important if testing a new whisky for the first time but does assist in appreciating every glass of scotch you are tasting.

There is plenty of debate as to whether you should add anything to your whisky. Mixers such as sodas, lemonades, and colas are a pointless addition to scotch as they will kill the unique flavors you are paying top dollars for to enjoy.

Most purists insist whisky should be drunk neat but if you are going to dilute it then add a touch of spring water.

Although Scotch on the Rocks is common in bars adding ice is not recommended as chilling scotch freezes its flavor and they dilute the flavors they melt.

FAQ’s

1. How Strong is Glenfiddich12 Year Old?

Glenfiddich 12 is 80 proof (40% AVB) which is the minimum at which scotch is bottled according to the rules that govern Scotch whisky.

2. What makes Glenfiddich Special?

Glenfiddich was the first Scottish distillery to export and market its whiskey as a single malt, first referring to the product as “Straight Malt” and “Pure Malt”.

3. Why is it called Single Malt?

The ‘single’ in ‘single malt’ indicates that the whisky is the product of a single distillery. While a single malt can contain whisky from many different casks, all of the whisky must have been produced by one distillery.