Whisky

50 – Glenfiddich Straight Malt

1963

SLAINTE! Cheers! Doon the hatch! Here’s mud in yer eye!

Whatever your toast of choice as you toss a dram down your neck, you should give Sandy and Charles Grant Gordon a thought when you say it.

For it was they who changed the world of whisky for the better.

Back in 1963 the brothers took the bold decision to launch Glenfiddich Straight Malt.

It was the first time a single malt had been promoted worldwide, giving birth to a new whisky category that has delighted palates the world over ever since.

The businessmen’s inspired move brought single malts to the attention of a global audience and made it available to whisky-lovers worldwide for the first time.

Bottles of the original Straight Malt are extremely hard to come by these days.

Glenfiddich Distillery
Glenfiddich Distillery

 

Unopened ones sell for up to £1000.

Single malts are credited with saving the Scotch industry during a huge drop in sales in the 1970s, when white spirits like vodka, rum and tequila grabbed a huge market share.

At that time there were just 30 single malts compared with the hundreds sold around the world today.

The Scotch whisky industry is now worth more than £5bn to the UK economy, employing 10,900 people and supporting a further 30,000 jobs.

Such is the enduring popularity of Glenfiddich Straight Malt that last year the company launched a reproduction of it following the original recipe from one of the firm’s 1960s leather- bound ledgers.

So charge your glasses, raise them high and drink to the memory of a great Scottish idea.