William Grant founded Balvenie whisky in 1889. William Grant was born on 19 December 1839 in his father's house in Dufftown.
At seven he was sent to augment the family income by herding cattle at a farm on the upper reaches of the River Deveron. Apprenticed to a shoemaker and after a spell as a clerk, William took a job in 1866 as a book-keeper at Mortlach distillery. Immediately he set about learning the art of distilling and in a short time he was appointed clerk and manager.
After almost twenty years of learning the art of distilling, William Grant resigned from his job at the Mortlach distillery and bought a field beneath the towering shadow of The Balvenie Castle. He then drew up plans for his distillery and the foundation stone was laid in the autumn of 1886.
At the 2006 International Spirits Challenge, The Balvenie was awarded gold medals for its Founder’s Reserve 10 Year Old, DoubleWood 12 Year Old, Balvenie New Wood 17 Year Old, PortWood 21 Year Old, Balvenie Thirty and Balvenie PortWood 1991. This is the biggest gold medal haul for any brand in any one year since the competition began.