William Grant founded The Balvenie in 1892, using equipment from both Lagavulin and Glen Albyn. Production started in May 1893. Between 1955 and 1971, the number of stills increased from two to eight. But the first official bottling of The Balvenie as single malt didn’t appear until 1973. In 2002, only 83 bottles of a 50 Year Old were released at a whopping £6.000 a piece. The Balvenie is unique in a sense that the complete production process takes place at the distillery, including the growing of barley. They even have their own cooperage. Per annum, about 5.6 million litres of spirit are produced. They use both bourbon and sherry casks for maturation, which are stored in the 44 warehouses around the distillery (which are shared with Glenfiddich and Kininvie). The Balvenie recently opened a visitor center and offers tours to small groups. It is one of the ten best selling malts in the world. There are no independent bottlings of The Balvenie, only official releases.