HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visits Glen Garioch Distillery during ongoing restoration and upgrade project

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HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visits Glen Garioch Distillery during ongoing restoration and upgrade project


5 October 2021 –  His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, today visited the Glen Garioch Distillery in Oldmeldrum, one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, amid its ongoing restoration and upgrade project to reinstate traditional production processes and reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint. The Duke toured the distillery with the local team and learned how Glen Garioch is returning to its roots to further enhance the quality and complexity of its legendary small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt.


His Royal Highness, who in Scotland uses his official Scottish title The Duke of Rothesay, was hosted by Mick Ord, Director of Operations, Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager and Pom Nijs, Assistant Visitor Centre Manager. During his visit, The Duke met with many members of the Glen Garioch distillery and Visitor Center teams, along with Beam Suntory’s David Hunter, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Jessica Spence, President of Brands, and Francois Bazini, MD Scotch, Gin & Irish. The Duke was given a tour of the distillery and an overview of the ongoing restoration works. He was also invited to nose new make spirits of the direct-fired distillation as well as whisky from a 1990 bourbon hogshead, and taste whisky directly drawn from a 1978 bourbon cask. Subsequently, as a gift from the distillery, His Royal Highness was presented with a 1978 bottle of Glen Garioch, signed by Master Blender, Ron Welsh.


During the visit, The Duke unveiled a plaque dedicated to Alexander (Akki) Manson, a direct descendant of the distillery’s original founders. During his life Mr Manson was known for carrying forward the entrepreneurial spirit of his family and regularly spent time with the local team, sharing his passion for the distillery. Mr Manson’s son, Sandy Manson, Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, accompanied His Royal Highness on his tour. The occasion was also marked by the signing of a cask containing spirit from Glen Garioch’s new direct-fired still, which will be bottled and sold after optimum maturation of the whisky, with all proceeds being donated to a charity to be named in due course.


The current renovation project at Glen Garioch includes the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods still used by only a handful of distilleries to enhance the quality and complexity of their whiskies. To complement this return to tradition, Glen Garioch has developed a state-of-the-art, highly efficient and safe method for direct-fired distillation, which is expected to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.


Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager of Glen Garioch, commented: “We were very proud to welcome The Duke of Rothesay to Glen Garioch for the first time. It was an honour to introduce him to our skilled and dedicated team, and to share our beloved small batch Highland malt with him. With our return to traditional processes and our sharp focus on sustainability, Glen Garioch is opening a new chapter in its history. We were delighted to introduce His Royal Highness to our historic distillery and outline our vision for a more sustainable future – and most of all, to share a dram with him. We look forward to welcoming him again soon.”  


About Glen Garioch

One of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch has been making its Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky in the historic market town of Oldmeldrum, near Aberdeen in North East Scotland, since 1797.


Located deep in the fertile ‘Granary of Aberdeenshire’, and only ever produced in small, precious batches, Glen Garioch is a rare find indeed, but warmly appreciated by those who like a hearty Highland malt, non chill-filtered as nature intended, with a wholesome maltiness, honeyed sweetness and delicious creamy texture to savour.


For more information about the current renovation of the distillery, see here.

About Beam Suntory

As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails.  
Beam Suntory is proud to employ more than 360 people in Scotland, the large majority of whom are involved in the production of its renowned Scotch whiskies, including Glen Garioch, Ardmore, Auchentoshan, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Teacher’s.


Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and


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