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Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery
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Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery

Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery is the biggest selling whisky distillery in Scotland (although some of its competitors outstrip it in worldwide sales). It is now owned by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and their aim seems to be to develop it further as a major international brand. It is part of the Highland Malt Whisky region.

Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery: the History

It is reputed that there has been whisky distilled in and around the area since the middle ages and indeed much of Scotland had many (usually illicit stills), thoufh this would have changed with the Excise Act of 1823 which made it much easier to legally distil whisky.

In 1738 a brewery was established on the Morangie farm and this was bought in 1843 and converted to a distillery by a William Matheson who had experience in the distillery trade. He later changed the name to Glenmorangie and the Glenmorangie whisky distillery was born officially. in 1918 the Macdonald and Muir family firm bought the distillery and held on to it for 90 years.

Production was intermittent unfortunately with two World wars resticting fuel and barley and prohibition in the USA severely damaging the export trade. In the years after WWII however the whisky trade generally saw a revival and by 1948 production was once again booming, so much so that two new stills were introduced. This was further expanded on in the 1990s bringing the total to 12.

After a flotation on the London stock exchange and some time in part public ownership the Glenmorangie Whisky distillery was sold by by the family to its present owners.

Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery: The process

The remarkable thing about the Glenmorangie whisky process is the stills themselves. They are actually the tallest in Scotland and because of this produce a lighter type of whisky. Smoother than many of their competitors.

The barley is all from local farmers and the water is from the Tarlogie springs. The Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery actually bought some of the surrounding land to ensure that it could not be built on to protect the purity of the supply.

The standard casks for maturing the whisky in are American oak from the Glenmorangie distillery's own forest and after two years maturing these are used for Jack Daniels for 4 years before being shipped over to Scotland for the Glenmorangie whisky. The standard Glenmorangie whisky is matured only in bourbon casks but for some finer and longer brands it is transferred to other types of cask, including sherry, port and wine. This extra maturing produces different variations in the Glenmorangie Whisky brand.

Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery is considered part of the Highland Malt Whisky region distilleries some with a long history of single malt production and some, long established but only relatively recently producing single malt such as the Aberfeldy Whisky Distillery. many have visitor centers and are now major tourist attractions.


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