J. & G. Grant were thrilled to welcome home what they believe to be the oldest unopened bottle of Glenfarclas still in existence. The recently rediscovered bottle is from 1920 – the oldest that we know of, making it a very important addition to the Glenfarclas archive.
On the closure of Gartloch Distillery in 1920, the bottle was presented to its manager Stephen Dowell. It was kept by Mr Dowell until 1947, then passed to his daughter. She then passed it to Mr Hugh Taylor, her niece’s husband, back in 1988 – after it was discovered wrapped in a tea towel at the back of the laundry cupboard! He kept hold of it until recently, when his family contacted Glenfarclas.
The bottle came home during a lunch in April when John Grant was able to inspect it in person for the first time. A number of features on the bottle meant he had absolutely no doubt about it’s authenticity. In an age when a number of bottles purportedly from that time are turning out to be counterfeit, this one is definitely the real deal. John said “I am delighted to bring this bottle containing whisky from the time of my grandfather back to it’s spiritual home, and as such add another chapter to our archive.”
Visitors to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will be able to view the bottle, which will be on display in the Glenfarclas visitor centre alongside the new Festival bottling. This year’s edition is a 2004 single cask selected by distillery manager Callum Fraser. From Thursday, 80 bottles per day will be available at the distillery on a first come first served basis.