Glen Grant distillery was built in Rothes in 1839 by brothers John and James Grant. It was a large distillery for its time and the scale of production led the brothers to personally fund a railway line as a vital transport link to Rothes. John 'The Major' Grant (son of John, nephew of James) took charge of the distillery in 1872. Known as a keen traveller, hunter and socialite, The Major was also an engineer and installed purifier pipes, redesigned the shape of the stills, and constructed a second distillery across the road from the first (which closed in 1902 and reopened in 1965, then named Caperdonich). The Major began exporting Glen Grant whisky and by the end of the 19th century it was sold as far afield as Australia, Africa and the US. The company merged with the Smith Grants of The Glenlivet in 1952, and joined Hill Thomson & Co. and Longmorn-Glenlivet in 1970 to form The Glenlivet Distillers. Family ownership came to an end when Seagram took over in 1978. Today the distillery is owned by Gruppo Campari, appropriate considering its popularity in Italy, where it is the biggest selling whisky. Dennis Malcolm, who was born at the distillery in 1946, has been distillery manager since 2006.