April 3, 2023

April Angel’s Share Tasting series with William Grant and Sons

Come join us for an evening of sipping whisky with William Grant & Sons at Whisky by John Howie. Guest will enjoy 5-7 half ounce tastes of products and learn about its history. William Grant & Sons produces some of the best Single Malts (Balevnie and Glenfiddich) and Irish (Tullamore DEW) on the market. This event is standing room only and limited.

For tickets please email GM/Beverage Director

Tim Lodahl, tlodahl@johnhowiesteak.com

Date: April 27, 2023

Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm

Ticket Price: $35 (plus tax and gratuity)

Brief History of William Grant & Sons

William Grant was born in Dufftown in 1839 and worked as a shoemaker in his youth before becoming a bookkeeper at Mortlach distillery where he worked for 20 years. During this time he married and had nine children. After this, he decided that he wanted to open his own distillery. One year after leaving Mortlach, in 1887, he and his family built Glenfiddich distillery. The first distillation happened on Christmas day in 1887. Business boomed, and soon Grant was able to build a second distillery, Balvenie, five years later, and a third, Convalmore, two years after that. These distilleries are situated right next to each other.

1899 saw William Grant’s first blends introduced to the market. His son-in-law, Charles Gordon, and his son. John, spent some time travelling to secure new markets for the whisky. John secured markets in the west by closing a deal with a Canadian company. Charles Gordon travelled to the Far East and Australia in 1909. 

Charles Gordon died in 1929 and the business was taken over by William Grant Gordon until his premature death in 1953 at the age of 53. Then, the company was handed to his two sons, Charles and Alexander. 

By this time, William Grant & Sons had a signature blend called Grant’s Stand Fast. This blend was popular and well-established. For a long time, WM Grant & Sons had been relying on Cambus and Caledonian – owned by DCL – to supply grain whisky for their blends; WM Grant & Sons had a plentiful supply of malt whisky but did not have a grain distillery of their own. However, when WM Grant & Sons decided to market their whisky on television, the conservative DCL disapproved and announced that they would no longer supply grain whisky to WM Grant & Sons unless they pulled out of TV advertising. Charles and Alexander were unhappy at the prospect of not having control over their production and wanted to go ahead with TV advertising. And so, in 1963, Charles Gordon oversaw the construction of Girvan grain distillery. Upon completion, the distillery served as a reminder that WM Grant & Sons production was now entirely in their hands. 

In 1990 William Grant & Sons built Kininvie and Dufftown, and in 2007 they built Alisa Bay on the site of Girvan. Girvan also serves as the place of production for Hendrick’s Gin as of 1999. 

In 2005, William Grant & Sons released Monkey Shoulder: a blend of Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie single malts. 

In 2010, the company decided to capitalise on the popularity of Irish whiskey by buying the Tullamore Dew brand. Tullamore Dew used to be produced at Midleton but is now produced at Clonminch, an exclusive Tullamore Dew distillery. 

In 2014, William Grant & Sons bought Drambuie, a popular liqueur brand. 

As of today, William Grant & Sons is still family-owned, and is now run by Glenn Gordon – the great-great-grandson of William Grant.