Scotland and Scotch whisky: Northern Highlands  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes

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Glen Ord


Glen Ord Distillery
Muir of Ord
Ross-shire IV6 7UJ
+44 1463 870 421

Owner: Diageo

Creation year: 1838


From the dozen distilleries which used to operate in the area of Black Isle on the East coast of Northern Highlands, Glen Ord is the only survivor. The Glen Ord distillery has been founded in 1838.
First owner were Robert Johnstone and Donald McLennan. The company which owned the distillery, "Ord Distillers Co" changed several times from owner until James Watson & Co purchased it in 1896. Watson was a blender from Dundee and he owned Pulteney and Parkmore.
Watson refurbished and enlarged the distillery by adding new stills and considerably enhancing the malting floors.
The distillery closed during World War I and was bankrupt in 1923, before John Dewar who recently entered the D.C.L. group belonging to SMD, acquired it.
World War II was synonym of a second closing period, because of a general lack of barley.
Important refurbishment works have been done in 1960 and the malting floors were replaced by a "saladin-box" in 1961, with the modernisation of the distillery.
A new malting was build in 1968 to supply the 7 other distilleries of the group, amongst others Talisker on Isle of Skye.
A new modernisation of the malting took place in 1996. Glen Ord is the other distillery of the Diageo group which produces malt for the other distileries of the group. Unlike Port Ellen on Islay, Glen Ord also continues producing whisky for the blends of the group.
The whisky marketed by the distillery has had several different names during the last years: Glen Oran, Glen Ordie and Glen Ord.
About 10% of the production is marketed as single malt, the remaining being used in the blends Johnnie Walker and Dewar's.




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