Region: Highlands, Scotland, IV19 1PZ
Water source: Tarlogie springs
Capacity: 6 million litres per annum
According to the Glenmorangie Company, the earliest record of the production of alcohol at Morangie Farm is dated 1703. In the 1730s a brewery was built on the site that shared the farm’s water source, the Tarlogie Spring. A former distillery manager, William Matheson, acquired the farm in 1843 and converted the Morangie brewery to a distillery, equipped with two second hand gin stills. He later renamed the distillery Glenmorangie.
Glenmorangie, like all distilleries and breweries in Britain, suffered terribly between 1920 and 1950, with Prohibition and then the Great Depression in the United States reducing whisky sales. The distillery was effectively mothballed between 1931 and 1936. The depression ended with World War II, but the war effort left fuel and barley in short supply and the distillery was again mothballed between 1941 and 1944. Exports of whisky were important during the war, but enemy action disrupted and destroyed deliveries to the United States and Canada.
Towards the end of the war and in the immediate post-war period, the distillery increased production and was running at full capacity by 1948. The number of stills was increased from two to four during 1977. Water supply became a concern during the 1980s when development of the land around the Tarlogie Springs seemed likely. Development could have reduced the quality and quantity of water available to the distillery, so the decision was made to purchase around 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land around and including the Tarlogie Springs. The distillery once again engaged in expansion during 1990 when it added a further four stills, and two additional fermentation vessels (or washbacks) were added during 2002. Four new stills were added in 2009, bringing the total to twelve.
The Macdonald family retained ownership of 52% of the company through a complicated London stock exchange listing which saw the family hold the majority of the voting shares in the company. In 2004, the company was sold to the French drinks company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for around £300 million.
Following the change of ownership, the Glenmorangie product line was rebranded to increase its appeal in the overseas luxury goods market. A new, more curvaceous, bottle was introduced and the Wood Finish whiskies were given new names such as The Quinta Ruban, Nectar d’Or and LaSanta. According to Professor Paul Freathy, the director of the Institute of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling, “The French-sounding names are an unusual innovation, because what makes whisky unique is the traditional tie to Scotland. It’s a brave strategy.”
For some years, The Glenmorangie Company supplied its whisky for the production of “own brand” blended whisky by supermarket groups. The practice ceased in 2009 when it sold off the Glen Moray brand.
Glenmorangie has been the best selling single malt in Scotland almost continuously since 1983, and produces around 10 million bottles per annum, of which 6 to 6.5 million are sold in the UK. Globally, Glenmorangie has a 6% share of the single malt market.
Our Visit: November 2014 WOLS Highland Trip 2014
Mash tun: Stainless steel full Lauter (10 tonnes)
Washbacks: 12x Stainless steel
Stills: 6x Wash 6x Spirit
Glenmorangie Whisky Reviews:
- Glenmorangie 10 Years Old ~ 40% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie 10 Years Old (Official Bottling) 40% ABV, £25-£35 for 70cl Score: 84/100 What they say: The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill […]
- Glenmorangie Burgundy Wood Finish ~ 43% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Burgundy Wood Finish Highland single malt scotch whisky 43% ABV, £3 for 5cl available at Glenmorangie Distillery Score: 85/100 What they say: This unique range of malt whiskies has initially been matured intially in American oak casks for at least 10 years and transferred into casks that have previously contained either Burgundy, Madeira, Port […]
- Glenmorangie Dornoch ~ 43% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Dornoch – Limited Edition (Travel Retail) 43% ABV, £59.99 for 70cl Score: 85/100 What they say: In the far north of Scotland, beside the ancient Royal Burgh of Tain, lies the Glenmorangie Distillery. Established in 1843, the Distillery was named Glenmorangie, Scots Gaelic for ‘Glen of Tranquillity’, perfectly describing its peaceful setting on the […]
- Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Years Old ~ 46% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Years Old 46% ABV, £35-45 for 70cl Score: 84/100 What they say: Elegant but full bodied this whisky has spent ten years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being extra-matured for a further two years in Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez in Spain. Lasanta is Gaelic for warmth and passion, […]
- Glenmorangie Legends The Duthac ~ 43% (LVMH) - Review: Glenmorangie Legends The Duthac Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenmorangie Distillery Bottling: Official – Moet-Hennessy ABV: 43% Cost: £69.97 from Master of Malt What they say: At the centre of the Royal Burgh of Tain, Ross-shire, in the far north of Scotland where the Glenmorangie Distillery has stood proudly since 1843, lies the […]
- Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or 12 Years Old ~ 46% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or (Official Bottling) 46% ABV, £35-£40 for 70cl Score: 82/100 What they say: Great to see French casks that actually complement a whisky – so rare! An exercise in outrageously good sweet-dry balancing” – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010 It is here, in hand selected wine barriques from Sauternes: the most famous and […]
- Glenmorangie Port Wood Finish ~ 43% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Port Wood Finish Highland single malt scotch whisky 43% ABV, £3 for 5cl from Glenmorangie Distillery Score: 85/100 What they say: This unique malt whisky has been initially been matured in American oak casks and has then been transferred into casks or ‘pipes’ which have previously contained Port for a further period of maturation. […]
- Glenmorangie Private Edition Milsean ~ 46% (LVMH) - Review: Glenmorangie Private Edition Milsean Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenmorangie Distillery Bottling: Official – Moet-Hennessy ABV: 46% Cost: £75.95 from Master of Malt What they say: Glenmorangie Milsean is the first Glenmorangie expression to be extra-matured in heavily toasted Portuguese red wine casks. Milsean (Scots Gaelic for ‘sweet things’), the seventh release […]
- Glenmorangie Private Edition VIII Bacalta ~ 46% (LVMH) - Whisky Review: Glenmorangie Private Edition VIII Bacalta Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenmorangie Distillery Bottling: Moet-Hennessy ABV: 46% Cost: £81.65 from Master of Malt What they say: The eighth release in our multi-award-winning and always intriguing Private Edition, Glenmorangie Bacalta brings new heights of complexity to a rare wood finish. Inspired by the […]
- Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 Years Old ~ 46% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year old single malt scotch whisky Glenmorangie Distillery – Moet-Hennessy 46% ABV, RRP £42.08 from Master of Malt Score 83/100 What they say: The darkest and most intense whisky in the extra-matured range, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban has spent 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially […]
- Glenmorangie Signet ~ 46% (LVMH) - Glenmorangie Signet ~ 46% (Moet-Hennessy) 46% ABV, £125 for 70cl available from the Whisky Exchange or £9.90 per dram at Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar Score: 90/100 What they say: A fusion of unique and rare elements, and clouded in secrecy, Signet is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience. A blend of our oldest […]