This is an old distillery which for many years was self-sufficient in malt. In fact, the maltings, sadly now disused, dwarf the production facility. That malted barley would have been dried with peat from Pitsligo, giving Glen Garioch its distinctive reek.
Although the layout inside Glen Garioch is typical of a centuries-old site, with small rooms being added on and converted into use as production increased, it contains relatively modern kit. The mash tun, squeezed inside a tiny chamber, has a lauter system; the washbacks, in another tight room nearby, are stainless steel. The stillhouse with a panoramic window facing the road has three stills, but only one pair is used.
Ferments are short, giving a deep cereal and spice note to the new spirit which also has a distinctive waxy, tallow-like, character. When mature, the heaviness changes into a thick, fat texture, allowing honeyed fruits and heather to emerge.
It has been unpeated since the 1990s, but in recent years, small batches of smoky barley have once again been run.