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Glenmorangie - The Golden Distillery

Posted by Katey Rudlin on


Glenmorangie Distillery

Glenmorangie Original, the hallmark expression of the Distillery’s light and elegant floral spirit, achieved a prestigious gold award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2016.

The Glenmorangie distillery lies nestled remotely in the Highland countryside. Picturesque, and with arguably the most beautiful, golden still room in Scotland. The annual output is around six million litres per year. But it wasn't always like this...

"The certainly the most ancient and primitive we have ever seen, and now almost in ruins. It is splendidly situated on the margin of the Dornach Firth, and the sad sea waves wash its foundations. The building dates back to 1738 and was formerly a brewery". So were the observations of Alfred Barnard author of The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, 1887.

Glenmorangie is mainly matured on American Oak ex -Bourbon barrels, giving it a light  signature note, with hints of citrus, vanilla and honey. Experimentation with various cask finishes is used to produce some outstanding expressions.

Mr Barnard also provides the following information about the production:


Still type: "..only pot stills have been in use." Rumour has it that these were in fact old
stills at glenmorangiegin stills and we know that they certainly had very long necks. Today the stills at Glenmorangie maintain the reputation for being the tallest in Scotland.

Water source: "The water, which is of excellent quality, comes from the hills of Tarlogie." If you visit the distillery today you can still see the source of this spring which still provides water for the production.

Attribution Jack Shainsky. License

Fuel: "Peat of fine quality is dug in the district, and is the only fuel used in the establishment". At the time it was entirely typical for Highland whisky to be quite smoky. Nowadays of course Glenmorangie is known as an un-peated whisky.

William Matheson, who acquired the site in 1843, later rebuilt the distillery. At the time of Alfred Barnard's visit the output was around 20 000 gallons, (91 000 litres). A far cry from today's six million litres.

Bought by Moet Hennessy in 2004 the distillery has once again been overhauled  and continues to produce award winning spirit.

The distillation process was for decades undertaken by a staff of 16, known as 'The Sixteen Men of Tain', (see video below). 




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