A very special place in whisky lore and one close to my heart being a short drive from the city of my birth.
When I revisited Glendronach in 1987 I commented that it was already “far-famed” when Barnard had gone there in the mid 1880s and, like him, I was captivated by the beauty of its setting in the Valley (not glen) of Forgue, near the graceful town of Huntly.
It’s history is fascinating and well documented and I cannot possibly do justice to it here, save to give credit to its founder, James Allardes, who had led a group of local businessmen and farmers in a venture culminating in the building of the distillery in 1825. A variety of owners ensued following the bankruptcy of Allardes and his brother in 1842, no doubt brought about in part by two fires, which had occurred early in the distillery’s existence.
Glendronach enjoyed early recognition as a single malt and was “held in high repute both in England and Scotland”, as noted by Barnard. And so it has continued through various changes in ownership leading to its current status as an asset, since 2008, of The BenRiach Distillery Company, a subsidiary, since 2016, of Brown-Forman.