The Balvenie distillery is located in the famous Scottish whisky town of Dufftown in the heart of the Speyside region. It is still owned by the original founders, William Grant & Sons, and was built in 1892 to help their other overworked distillery at Glenfiddich, which is next door. It was named after the nearby Balvenie Castle, which was built in the 13th century. Balvenie has grown to be one of the largest and most well known distilleries in Scotland. It is also one that we have always wanted to visit, as it was a Balvenie (the Doublewood 12 years old) whisky that was one of the first products to get us interested in whisky.
Balvenie is almost unique in distillery terms - it has its own floor maltings (the room used for the germination of the barley), a cooperage where they construct casks and they even grow some of the barley used for production on land very close to the distillery. The modern whisky industry sees the majority of these processes being completed by external companies. This uniqueness and heritage helps Balvenie sell 1.5 million bottles of whisky across the world, putting it well inside the top 10 for total sales of single malt.
To get a tour at Balvenie, you have to book in advance. The tours operate at 10am and 2pm each day for Monday-Thursday, and at 10am only on Fridays. There are no tours at weekends. It costs £25 per person and includes a detailed tour around the distillery and cooperage, plus a tasting of the Balvenie single malt range at the end. It also offers the unique opportunity to fill your own bottle of Balvenie straight from the cask for an additional fee. For more information and to book - visit www.thebalvenie.com.