Distillery is situated in the North West Highlands at
Cadboll just outside of Tain, about 40 kilometres north
of Inverness. The Name Glenmorangie is derived from the
Glen of the Morangie Burn which means ‘glen of great
tranquillity’. The distillery received its licence in
1843 but by that time whisky had probably been produced
in the area for at least 250 years. The distillery was
originally a brewery but was converted into a distillery
by its founders the Matheson brothers.
The distillery was refurbished in 1887 and at the same
time the brothers formed the Glenmorangie Distillery
Company. The refurbishment included an innovation which
meant that the stills were redesigned to be steam-heated.
The new technique eliminated the problem of the
traditional open flame which sometimes caused particles
at the bottom of the stills to be burnt. The innovation
was soon picked up by several other distilleries.
In 1918 the distillery was sold to its largest customer,
the blending company MacDonald & Muir Ltd. Glenmorangie
was mothballed between 1931-1936 as a result of the US
Prohibition and the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The
distillery was expanded in 1970 and the capacity was
doubled. Through an impressive development the
distillery was able to double its capacity yet again in
1990 and now uses eight stills. The distillery underwent
yet another change in 1996 when they changed the name to
Glenmorangie PLC and moved the headquarters to a £12
million facility near Edinburgh airport. The complex
houses a fully integrated cooperage, storage, blending
and bottling facility. Administration, marketing and
other functions also reside in the new complex. 1996
also saw the release of a new range of official
bottlings called ‘wood finish’ with releases of whisky
finished in Sherry, Port and Madeira casks.
The distillery has 16 employees, the ’Sixteen men of
Tain’, who are mentioned on the labels of the wood
finish bottlings. The men turn out 48 casks of whisky
every day –most of which will be bottled as single malt
whisky. Glenmorangie rarely if ever sell any casks to
water used by Glenmorangie is very hard and rich in
minerals. In fact, they have been forced to drill out
limescale from the condenser pipes. The process water is
drawn from the Tarlogie Springs, whose water is said to
take more than 100 years to filter down to the springs.
Glenmorangie closed their malting facility in 1980 and
the lightly peated malt (1-1.4 ppm) is bought from
central malting companies. The mash tun and the eight
washbacks are made from stainless steel. The eight
boiling ball model stills are the tallest in Scotland
with a height of 5.14 metres –the necks almost resemble
pipes more then necks.
For their standard bottlings Glenmorangie exclusively
use US casks from Missouri which have contained Kentucky
Bourbon for four years. Since 1996 they have also
experimented with several ‘finishes’ as for example
Madeira and Port casks. All casks are stored in the 14
on site warehouses and bottling is done in the new large
complex outside of Edinburgh. Glenmorangie is the second
largest as well as the fastest growing single malt
whisky in the UK.
Open all year round. Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. Between
June-August also open on Saturday 10am-4pm and on Sunday
12am-4pm. Guided tours start every half hour during the
summer. In the wintertime the tours start at 10.30am,
11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Admission is £2.50 and is
refundable on purchase in the gift shop over £16.
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