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Glen Garioch was founded in 1797 by John Manson, making it one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland. During the 1800s it was a powerhouse of a distillery, producing a malt of great renown. Many are now predicting something of a rennaisance for this often-overlooked distillery, which recently launched a new 12-year-old single malt.
The ‘Garioch’, pronounced 'Geery', is a tract of fertile land covering some 150 square miles, surrounded on all sides by rolling hills. Sometimes called ‘the granary of Aberdeenshire’, barley and other cereal crops have been farmed here for centuries. The locally abundant supply of barley and the quality of the local water made this part of the Scottish Highlands perfect for Manson to site his distillery and he chose a spot on the edge of the quaint market town of Oldmeldrum, some 18 miles north-west of Aberdeen.
Curiously, the distillery is properly and originally named ‘Glengarioch’ spelt one word but its single malt whisky has long been known as ‘Glen Garioch’. Similarly, Oldmeldrum was formerly ‘Old Meldrum’, its name derived from the Gaelic, Meal-drum, meaning ‘a ridge’, and this aptly describes the town’s location overlooking the farmland of the surrounding Garioch with Bennachie mountain on the horizon behind.