Glen Moray

Glen Murrie, Moray Valley

Glen Murrie, Moray Valley

Since being purchased by La Martiniquaise, Glen Moray has benefited from an ambitious expansion. And as a host of new releases, it re-established itself as a big name in Speyside whisky, as well as a significant competitor to premium brands such as Glenmorangie. In 2018, the distillery produced five times as much spirit as it did in 1897. Despite this enormous output, all 85,000 casks continue to be traditionally matured on-site.

Beginning its life in 1830 as a brewery on Gallow Hill next to the River Lossie in the historic town of Elgin, Glen Moray was converted to a distillery in 1897 when two stills were installed. The location of the distillery in a cool, sheltered hollow beneath the water table is said to allow for a greater angel’s share than most other whiskies.

The original brewery, known as Elgin West, had been producing ales since 1830. In its early years, Glen Moray was remarkable for using a wide range of casks to mature its whiskies in. Barley was sourced locally, including from Gallowcrook farm which was purchased by the distillery over 50 years later. However, it was closed in 1910 after being allowed to run down by its owners, Robert Thorne and Son, who were more concerned with their other venture at Aberlour Distillery. In 1924 it was resurrected by the MacDonald and Muir families, the owners of Glenmorangie, who bottled a 31 year old whisky and put it on sale at the distillery. This was highly unusual, considering the prevalence of blended whisky over single malt at the time.

In the 1950’s two more stills were installed, doubling production. During the 1980’s and 90’s, Edwin Dodson, the Master Distiller, was one of the first people to experiment with unusual cask types and in 1999 Glen Moray released expressions aged in Chenin Blanc and Chardonny barrels. In 2008 the distillery was sold to La Martiniquaise, who expanded it in 2012 with the addition of two more stills. Glen Moray was further enlarged in 2016 with an 11 ton full-lauter mash tun.