Glenmorangie is a distillery in Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland. The distillery is owned by The Glenmorangie Company Ltd. Their main product is the range of Glenmorangie single malt whisky. The Glenmorangie Company ceased to produce blended whisky for supermarkets in 2009.
Glenmorangie is categorised as a highland distillery and boasts the tallest stills in Scotland. Glenmorangie is available in Original, 18 and 25 year old bottlings, special cask bottlings, cask finishes, extra matured bottlings and a range of special edition bottlings.
Legend tells that alcoholic beverages of one kind or another were produced at the site of the Glenmorangie distillery since the Middle Ages.
According to official accounts, the production of alcohol started at the site of the distillery in 1738, when a brewery was built at Morangie Farm. The water source for the brewery was shared with the farm. William Matheson purchased a licence to produce whisky in 1843, to turn the brewery into a distillery, he purchased two second hand gin stills. The distillery took the Morangie name from the farm and the name Glenmorangie was created as a brand.
The distillery was purchased by its main customer, Macdonald and Muir during 1918. The Macdonald family would retain control of the company for almost 90 years.
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 having a large impact on 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 distillery increased the number of stills, from 2 to 4, during 1977. Water supply became a concern during the 1980s with development of the land around the Tarlogie Springs becoming more likely. This development could have impacted on the quality and quantity of water available to the distillery, so the decision was made by the distillery to purchase around 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land around and including the Tarlogie Springs to guarantee the quality and quantity of water necessary. The distillery once again engaged in expansion during 1990 when it added a further 4 stills, and 2 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 of the company. The Macdonald family sold the company in 2004 for around £300 million to a joint venture comprising of the French drinks company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Guinness France Holdings SA, the French subsidiary of British drinks company Diageo, with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy holding 66% of the company’s shares and Diageo holding the remaining 34% of the shares.
Glenmorangie has been the best selling single malt in the UK for a number of years, 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.
Glenmorangie’s water source is the Tarlogie Springs, situated in the Tarlogie Hills above the distillery. Barley grain is supplied by Highland Grain Ltd, a co-operative of farmers in the area. The stills used, the tallest in Scotland at 26 ft 3 in (8.0 m) tall, with 10 feet 1.25 inches (3.080 m) necks, are claimed by the company to produce an extremely light taste. The distillation process is undertaken by a staff of 16, known as The Sixteen Men of Tain, who work year round, with the exceptions of Christmas and periods of maintenance.
Casks maturing at The Glenmorangie Distillery
Glenmorangie uses a number of different cask types, with all products being matured in white oak casks which are manufactured from trees growing in Glenmorangie’s own forest in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, United States. These new casks are left to air for 2 years before being leased to distillers Jack Daniel’s and Heaven Hill for them to mature bourbon in for 4 years. Glenmorangie then uses their barrels to mature their spirit. The Original range will mature entirely in ex-bourbon casks, while the Extra Matured range of bottlings are transferred into casks that were previously used to mature other products such as wine, port or sherry in a process called finishing. These form part of the regular range of products Glenmorangie produce. Glenmorangie also obtains small batches of other casks for finishing and release limited edition bottlings from these, in the past, the distillery is rumoured to have obtained casks used to mature Château Margaux.
The warehouses in which the casks are stored are also believed to affect the taste of the whisky. Glenmorangie have released a special edition bottling, titled Cellar 13 which is from the warehouse closest to the sea, as the whisky is believed to have a distinctive flavour.
Bottling of the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg brands takes place at the The Glenmorangie Company’s combined headquarters and bottling plant at Broxburn, West Lothian, just outside Edinburgh, Scotland. Glenmorangie also bottled Drambuie at the site in a joint venture with the Drambuie Company, but this arrangement will end in 2010.
The name of the whisky is often mispronounced /ˌglɛnmɔˈrændʒi/ “Glen-Mor-Angie”. The correct pronunciation is /glɛnˈmɔrəndʒi/ “Glen-Morrun-Jee” (rhymes with orangey).Glenmorangie Distillery,
About the distillery
- Country: Scotland
- Region: Highland
- Founded: 1843
- Buy more from same distillery (at TWE)
- Buy more from same distillery (at MoM)
- Buy more from same distillery (at Abbey)
- Official website
- Read more at Wikipedia