Founding a grocery store in 1827, the Edinburgh based George Ballantine soon expanded his operations to include wine and spirits. This decision would later result in the creation of Ballantine's, one of the leading scotch whisky brands of today.
After successfully opening a new store in 1831, with the assistance of his son (who was also called George) the business focus was changed from standard grocery items to wholesale whisky in 1869. Inline with this change, George Jr opened a speciality store in Glasgow selling whisky, wine and cigars. The store in Glasgow established the single malt brands of The Glenlivet and Talisker which continue to be sold to this day.
The business began to export their brands beyond there local area, and soon the reputation for quality and service had spread throughout Great Britain. This reputation was recognized in 1895 with Ballantine's being awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria.
It was not until 1910 that the business introduced Ballantine's Finest, the company's first blended scotch. The product was an immediate success, and it became the primary export product for the company. The heart of the single malt scotch in the blend originated from the Miltonduff and Glenburgie distilleries.
The Ballantine family sold their interest in the company during the 1920s to James Barclay and P McKinlaywho which immediately sought to expand the presence of the brand overseas. Despite the establishment of prohibition in the US in 1920, the company established strong distribution network for the product by the end of the 1930s along the East Coast.
Ballantine's followed up on success of Ballantine's Finest with the release of Ballantine's 30yo in 1930. The product was an immediate
success for the company, and would soon become the standard that all ultra-premium scotch
would aim for. Over time, the product would gain a strong following in the Far East
The success of the business's products soon became to great for the company's owners, and in 1936 the business was acqured by Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts (a major distiller in Canada). Using the firms extensive resources, Ballantine's secured its single malt scotch supply buy purchasing the Miltonduff and Glenburgie distilleries and constructing a new grain distiller in Dumbarton.
In 1937 the company was honored with receiving the Grant of Heraldic Arms, which recognizes the business as being "noble of the Noblesse of Scotland". From its acceptance of the grant, it has featured prominently on every Ballantine's product released.
During the 1960s, the company would make the import decision to begin investing time and money into developing the European market for scotch, and therefore, Ballantine's. Within 5 years this investment had paid off, and Ballantine's established a foothold in the market and has consistently grown in market share.
The brand's success continued to grow rapidly throughout the rest of century, its reputation for quality continuing to grow both within its homeland and its increasing distribution network within Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.
In 2005, George Ballantine & Son was acquired by Pernod Ricard. Today, the bottling operations are supported by advanced maturation facilities and blended technology and the brand is the leading scotch whisky in Europe.
- Ballantine's Finest
- Ballantine's 12 Year Old
- Ballantine's 12 Year Old Pure Malt
- Ballantine's 17 Year Old
- Ballantine's 21 Year Old
- Ballantine's 30 Year Old