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



Glenmorangie Distillery
Ross-shire IV19 1PZ
+44 1862 892 477

Owner: The Glenmorangie Conpany (subsidiary  LVMH)

Creation year: 1843

A brewery was built in 1738 on the land of the farm Morangie, which gave its name to the distillery. Water from the Tarlogie burn was shared by the farm and the brewery, and was used, amongst more, to turn the mill wheel, to wash and colour the wool and to produce dye.
In 1843, William Matheson bought a licence to produce whisky and transformed the brewery into a distillery. He bought two second hand very high gin stills.
In 1887, when the Glenmorangie Distillery Company Ltd was founded, great renovation works took place, and they changed one of the most archaic distilleries into the most modern for the time being. Glenmorangie was the first distillery who warmed its stills with steam, using a serpentine within the still.
Even after this great alteration works, the original shape of the stills was kept. The quality and the refinement of the whisky is partially due to the very high stills, which impeach the heavy spirit to reach the "lyne arm".
The distillery was bought in 1918 by the Mac Donald & Muir society from Leith for 40% and by Mr Durham, whisky broker for the remaining 60%. Durham's parts were taken over by Mac Donald and Muir between 1925 and 1930.
The late twenties, with the recession and the prohibition in the United States, were very hard times for distillers in Europe, and the distillery closed for a while between 1931 and 1936. The second World War also obliged the distillery to close, because barley was very difficult to find. The distillery did not work at its previous level before 1948.
The production capacity was doubled en 1979 and again en 1993. The distillery bought the land where the burn is situated to guarantee water supplying and constant quality.
Glenmorangie experiments on a lot of finishing casks (claret, cognac, madeira, port, malaga, tain L'hermitage, côtes de nuits villages, en so on....) in order to enlarge the aromatic and taste range of its single malt.
About 70% of the production are sold as single malt, the 30 remaining percents being used in blends like "Highland Queen" and "Bailie Nicol Jarvie".
The MacDonald family, owners of the distillery decided to sell their shares in 2004. The French group LVMH is the new owner. The sale is completed in December 2004. 



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