Whisky Tycoon Family Is Scotland’s Richest For the Sixth Year In A Row

Food & Drink

It doesn’t take much digging to figure out that Scotland’s Gordon family, who own global drinks powerhouse William Grant and Sons, have made quite a bit of money in the whisky and drinks industry. They own the Glenfiddich and Balvenie single malt distilleries, amongst others. They also own Sailor Jerry’s rum, Drambuie liqueur, and Hendrick’s gin.

As a result, it comes as little surprise when they topped the Sunday Times Rich List as Scotland’s richest family, led by William Grant & Sons company chairman Glenn Gordon, the great-great-grandson of 1887 company founder William Grant.  This is the sixth year in a row at the top of the list. The William Grant distilling empire is officially based at the Strathclyde Business Park in North Lanarkshire.

Sales of Glenfiddich whisky helped boost the business fortunes of William Grant’s descendants. 


In the last 12 months, the family’s wealth increased by £310 million, up to a total of £2.882 billion, but their wealth has more than doubled within the last 6 years, from £1.4 billion in 2013.

This follows on what’s been a very good year for the company. In 2018 it reported a strong rise in sales and profits, especially with the Glenfiddich and Balvenie whiskies, as well as Hendricks gin. Glenfiddich’s experimental releases seem to have been particularly successful. It purchased Tuthilltown Spirits, the makers of Hudson whiskey, marking its entry into the U.S. craft distillation market. It also announced the expansion of its Hendrick’s facility as well.

Other notable Scottish (by ‘Scottish’ this means with interest or connections in Scotland) billionaires include second placed oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood (£1.763 billion), Mohammed Al-Fayed (he qualifies as he owns the Balnagown estate), and Scottish publishing giants the Thomson Family (£1.401 billion).

82 people with Scottish connections make up 82 of the 1000 of the Sunday Times Rich List richest people in the U.K. They’re worth almost £35 billion between them, and account for 4.532% of the total wealth accumulated in this year’s list.

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