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TITLE
George Grant on the Spey Distilleries
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_GEORGEGRANT_19
PLACENAME
Ballindalloch
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
George S. Grant
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1658
KEYWORDS
distillers
distilleries
Grants of Glenfarclas
audio

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George S Grant (1923-2002) was chairman of Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside for fifty-two years. His ancestor, John Grant, had purchased the distillery back in 1865 and it has remained in the Grant family ever since. George's son, John LS Grant, is the current chairman. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, George talks to Sam Marshall about the geographical distribution of the Speyside distilleries.

Interviewer: One of the things that struck me thinking about distilleries is that they're quite often all grouped in a particular area, particularly your own Glenfarclas and -

Yes, well you've got to remember that in this part of the country we're in the midst of the malt-distilling area of Scotland. I think round the River Spey, in its - let's say in its widest sense - coming as far as Nairn on one side, and taking in Keith and Banff, you've got something like sixty or seventy malt distilleries and there are only 117 in Scotland altogether. So the vast majority are in this area. At one time, before regionalisation, Banffshire and Morayshire had roughly the same number each. It used to vary by one backwards and forwards depending if they were building.

Interviewer: Why, why were they grouped there though? I mean -

Well, since 1900, or let's say 1890, they were built in this area because it had a reputation for producing high quality malt whisky.

Interviewer: Would the - I often wondered, you see, if there was some connection between the illegal days, or something similar, when they had to be out of the way?

Well, there is, of course, because in the - as you say - illegal days, in other words, when the Scots were being taxed by the English and reckoned that shouldn't take place, and it wasn't illegal in the Scots eyes but the English parliament wanted the revenue, yes, it was easier to make distilled malt whisky in the Glenlivet area and ship it south over the hills without being caught than it was to do it in the Lowlands, or further north, where they had to ship it round by sea. Hence building the reputation for the Speyside Glenlivet distilling area which I'm glad to say we still hold, I think

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George Grant on the Spey Distilleries

1980s

distillers; distilleries; Grants of Glenfarclas; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: George Grant, Glenfarclas Distillery

George S Grant (1923-2002) was chairman of Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside for fifty-two years. His ancestor, John Grant, had purchased the distillery back in 1865 and it has remained in the Grant family ever since. George's son, John LS Grant, is the current chairman. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, George talks to Sam Marshall about the geographical distribution of the Speyside distilleries.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: One of the things that struck me thinking about distilleries is that they're quite often all grouped in a particular area, particularly your own Glenfarclas and - <br /> <br /> Yes, well you've got to remember that in this part of the country we're in the midst of the malt-distilling area of Scotland. I think round the River Spey, in its - let's say in its widest sense - coming as far as Nairn on one side, and taking in Keith and Banff, you've got something like sixty or seventy malt distilleries and there are only 117 in Scotland altogether. So the vast majority are in this area. At one time, before regionalisation, Banffshire and Morayshire had roughly the same number each. It used to vary by one backwards and forwards depending if they were building.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Why, why were they grouped there though? I mean - <br /> <br /> Well, since 1900, or let's say 1890, they were built in this area because it had a reputation for producing high quality malt whisky.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Would the - I often wondered, you see, if there was some connection between the illegal days, or something similar, when they had to be out of the way?<br /> <br /> Well, there is, of course, because in the - as you say - illegal days, in other words, when the Scots were being taxed by the English and reckoned that shouldn't take place, and it wasn't illegal in the Scots eyes but the English parliament wanted the revenue, yes, it was easier to make distilled malt whisky in the Glenlivet area and ship it south over the hills without being caught than it was to do it in the Lowlands, or further north, where they had to ship it round by sea. Hence building the reputation for the Speyside Glenlivet distilling area which I'm glad to say we still hold, I think