William Grant & Sons

Last updated
William Grant & Sons
Industry Alcohol industry
Founded1887;133 years ago (1887)
Founder William Grant
Headquarters Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, UK
Products Alcoholic drinks
Website williamgrant.com

William Grant & Sons Ltd is an independent, family-owned Scottish company that distills Scotch whisky and other selected categories of spirits. It was established in 1887 [1] by William Grant, and is run by Grant's descendants as of 2018. [2] It is the largest of the handful of Scotch whisky distillers remaining in family ownership. [3]


The company is the third largest producer of Scotch whisky (8% market share), shipping about 7.6 million cases per year, with brands including Glenfiddich and Balvenie. [4] [5] The first and second largest, respectively, are Diageo (34.4%), and Pernod Ricard. [6] [7] The company is registered at The Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown. [8] The main operational headquarters are located at Strathclyde Business Park, North Lanarkshire. Sales and marketing headquarters are in Richmond, London. The company is a member of the Scotch Whisky Association. [9] [3]

The master blender of Grant's is Brian Kinsman, [10] [11] who succeeded David Stewart who had been in his post for 47 years, the longest serving master blender with one distiller in the industry. [12] [ citation needed ]

In July 2014 it was reported that Grant's donated "in the region of £100,000" to the unionist campaign group Better Together, with the company being "said to have also donated smaller sums of money to other groups who are campaigning for a 'No' vote," ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. [13]

William Grant & Sons has won the Queen's Award to Industry for Outstanding Export Achievement,[ citation needed ] as well as awards from drinks industry competitions[ citation needed ] and magazines.[ citation needed ]


Distilleries owned by William Grant & Sons:


William Grant was born in Dufftown in 1839.[ citation needed ] In 1886, Grant and his nine children started construction of Glenfiddich Distillery.[ citation needed ] On Christmas Day, 1887, the distillery was operational.[ citation needed ] In 1892, William Grant & Sons bought a second neighbouring distillery called Balvenie.[ citation needed ] In 1898, the two distilleries started blending their whiskies.[ citation needed ] William Grant & Sons pioneered single malt Scotch whisky as, until Glenfiddich, only blended brands were common.[ citation needed ]

In 1997, the Grant entered into a joint venture with the Robertson family (see The Edrington Group) creating a new company, Highland Distillers.[ citation needed ] In May 2010 the group bought four brands from C&C Group, including Tullamore D.E.W., for €300m.[ citation needed ] In September 2010 they sold the three minor brands (Irish Mist, Carolans, Frangelico) to Gruppo Campari for 129m euro, so in effect Grants paid €171m for the Tullamore D.E.W. brand and its production facilities.[ citation needed ] The current chairman of William Grant & Sons is Glenn Gordon (since 2012).[ citation needed ] The Gordons are direct descendants of William Grant.[ citation needed ] Many distilleries owned by William Grant & Sons are located in Dufftown.[ citation needed ] William Grant & Sons is the largest employer in the town.[ citation needed ]

In March 2020, the company made the decision to switch production at three of its distilleries to create approximately five million litres of ethanol over an eight week period to produce hand sanitiser during the Covid-19 pandemic. [17]

In that same month, William Grant & Sons closed all of its visitor centres indefinitely due to the same pandemic. [18] In June 2020, the company made the decision to reopen some of its visitor centres with increased hygiene measures. [19]


The company's leading single malt Scotch brand is Glenfiddich, the best-selling single malt Scotch in the world as of 2016. [20] Roughly 1.22 million cases of Glenfiddich were sold in 2017. Another Grant single malt Scotch whisky also made the top ten list of best-selling Scotch whiskies in 2017: The Balvenie (#6). [21] [22] The company's leading blended whisky, Grant's Family Reserve, was the number three best seller in this category, forcing competitor Chivas Regal into fourth place. [23] Another very popular blended whisky is Monkey Shoulder. [24]

William Grant & Sons brands include:

Rare whiskies

William Grant & Sons produces a number of rare whiskies, most of which are described in the articles on Glenfiddich, Grant's and Balvenie. However, their rare whiskies also include:

Other rare whiskies have been bottled as private vintages for Concorde, Queen Mary 2 and the Royal Danish Wedding.

Highland Distillers brands

William Grant & Sons and the Edrington Group took Highland Distillers private in 1999 [25] forming the 1887 Company, in which William Grant and Sons hold a 30% stake.

Typical products owned by Highland Distillers at that time:

Other brands

Related Research Articles

Scotch whisky Malt or grain whisky made in Scotland

Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky, made in Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made in a manner specified by law. As of 2018, there were 133 Scotch whisky distilleries operating in Scotland.

Single malt Scotch is single malt whisky made in Scotland. To qualify for this category, a whisky must have been distilled at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process and made from a mash of malted barley. As with any Scotch whisky, a single malt Scotch must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years.

Speyside single malt valley

Speyside single malts are single malt Scotch whiskies, distilled in Strathspey, the area around the River Spey in Moray and Badenoch and Strathspey, in northeastern Scotland.

Dufftown Human settlement in Scotland

Dufftown is a burgh in Moray, Scotland.

The Macallan distillery Scottish single malt whisky distillery

The Macallan distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Craigellachie, Moray. The Macallan Distillers Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Edrington Group, which purchased the brand from Highland Distillers in 1999.

Glenfiddich Scotch whisky distillery

Glenfiddich is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky produced by William Grant & Sons in the Scottish burgh of Dufftown in Moray. Glenfiddich means "valley of the deer" in Scottish Gaelic, which is why the Glenfiddich logo is a stag.


Grant's is a blended Scotch whisky bottled by William Grant & Sons in Scotland.

Balvenie distillery whisky distillery

The Balvenie distillery is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, owned by William Grant & Sons.

The Famous Grouse brand of Scotch whisky

The Famous Grouse is a brand of blended Scotch whisky, first produced by Matthew Gloag & Son in 1896, and currently produced and owned by The Edrington Group. The single malt whiskies used in The Famous Grouse blend include the Edrington-owned Highland Park and The Macallan. Its emblem is the Red Grouse, Scotland's national game bird.

A master blender is an individual who develops specific blended spirits using a combination of spirits with different characteristics. For example, in the Scotch whisky industry, master blenders choose which single malts and grain whiskies to combine to make particular brands of blended whiskey. A master blender is not the same thing as a master distiller, although one person may do both jobs at small craft distilleries. As the name suggests, the blender creates blends using spirits from different casks and is responsible for making sure the product remains consistent across different batches, while the distiller is either directly responsible for the mashing and distilling of spirits or simply holds the title as the administrative and marketing figurehead of the company.

David Stewart is the long-time master blender and malt master for William Grant & Sons distillers.

William Grant was a Scottish distiller and entrepreneur who founded William Grant & Sons, the manufacturer of Glenfiddich, as such, the first company in the world to market a true single malt whisky and a leading brand today.

Edrington, formerly known as The Edrington Group, is a privately owned international spirits company based in Scotland. It produces single malts The Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes, and The Famous Grouse blended Scotch whisky. The spirits portfolio also includes Noble Oak Bourbon of Independence, Kentucky, Brugal, the leading golden rum in the Caribbean and Snow Leopard vodka. It is a stakeholder in Tequila Partida, a tequila based in the Tequila Valley, Mexico, and in Wyoming Whiskey, an American whiskey made in Kirby, Wyoming.

The Kininvie distillery is a distillery in Dufftown, Moray, which produces single malt Scotch whisky. The distillery is owned by William Grant & Sons and the product from the distillery is used in their blended malt and blended whisky brands.

Glenglassaugh distillery trademark

The Glenglassaugh distillery is a malt scotch whisky distillery which restarted production in November 2008 after being acquired by an independent investment group. Following a complete refurbishment by the new owners the distillery was re-opened on 24 November 2008 by the First Minister for Scotland Alex Salmond.

Tamdhu distillery Whisky distillery in scotland

Tamdhu distillery is a single malt Scotch Speyside whisky distillery, located in the village of Knockando in Banffshire, Scotland. Tamdhu comes from Gaelic for little dark hill.

Mortlach distillery is a distiller of Scotch whisky in Dufftown, Moray, Scotland. Founded in 1823, the distillery is currently owned by Diageo. The whisky is a key component in several Johnnie Walker bottlings., while Diageo also markets four Mortlach single malts.

Dufftown distillery is a distiller of Scotch whisky in Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland.

Tullamore Distillery

The Tullamore Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery located in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. Built by William Grant & Sons at a cost of €35 million, the distillery officially opened in September 2014. It is the first new distillery to have been constructed on a greenfield site in Ireland in over 100 years, and the first to operate in Tullamore since 1954.


  1. "Welcome". William Grant & Sons. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  2. "Scotland's richest billionaires revealed". BBC News. 2018-05-12. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  3. 1 2 "Scotch on the Rocks—How Trump's Trade Tariffs Could Harm a Favorite Nightcap". Fortune. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  4. 1 2 3 Top 15 Scotch whisky companies
  5. 1 2 3 "William Grant donates CA$25k to help Canadian bartenders" . Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  6. "Top 15 Scotch whisky companies | WhiskyInvestDirect". www.whiskyinvestdirect.com. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  7. Schrieberg, Felipe. "The 4 Companies Behind 3/4 Of All Scotch Whisky Production". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  8. "William Grant & Sons Global Brands | Distiller of Premium Spirits". www.williamgrant.com.
  9. "Members Directory". Scotch Whisky Association. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  10. "The Brian Kinsman Interview | WhiskyCast". whiskycast.com. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  11. "William Grant's Kinsman: 'We need blended Scotch to be relevant'" . Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  12. "Celebrating the unexpected: The Balvenie presents the fourth chapter of The Balvenie DCS Compendium". The Moodie Davitt Report. 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  13. "Scottish independence: Distiller William Grant and Sons donates to Better Together". BBC News. BBC. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  14. 1 2 "William Grant to make 5m litres of alcohol for hand sanitiser" . Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  15. "William Grant unveils 'experimental' Kininvie whiskies" . Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  16. Schrieberg, Felipe. "Ailsa Bay Releases Blockchain-Protected Scotch Whisky". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  17. "William Grant to make 5m litres of alcohol for hand sanitiser" . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  18. "William Grant closes Glenfiddich and Balvenie to public" . Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  19. "Our Visitor Centres in Scotland and Ireland are open | William Grant & Sons". www.williamgrant.com. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  20. World's Bestselling Single Malt Whisky Undergoes Risky Change
  21. Top 10 Best Selling Whiskies
  22. Top 15 Scotch Whisky Companies
  23. https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/features/20833/top-10-best-selling-scotch-whiskies/ TOP 10 BEST-SELLING SCOTCH WHISKIES
  25. "William Grant & Sons | Scotch Whisky". scotchwhisky.com.