Scotch Malt Distillery - English Translations

Chloe

  For this week’s article, a bit of fun. Today, there are a growing number of Single Malt distilleries in Scotland – over 130 at last count... Most of them with the exception of Scapa & Jura have Scottish Gaelic names. Have you ever wondered what their English translations are? Below is a glossary of some of your favourite distilleries, just in case you ever wondered. Some will take you by surprise… (We’ve added a little commentary where needed).

  • Aberlour  - The mouth of the Chattering Burn. (You can hear voices in the stream running next to the distillery – we promise!).
  • Allt a Bhainne - Burn of Milk. (Burn is a small stream – this is Scotland's starkest-looking distillery, but a great name and the whisky is good).
  • Ardbeg -  Small Height. (You’d expect something better for all their cult worshippers!).
  • Ardmore - Big Height.
  • Arran - Place of Peaked.
  • Auchentoshan - Corner of a Field. (You've got to wonder why marketing teams never make use of the English name?).
  • Aultmore -  Big Stream.
  • Balblair - The Farm on the Moor.
  • Balmenach - The Middle Farm.
  • Balvenie - Beathans Farm.
  • Benrinnes - Promontory Mountain.
  • Benromach - Shaggy Mountain. (Love it!).
  • Benriach - Speckled Mountain.
  • Blair Atholl  - Plain of the New Ireland.
  • Bowmore - Big Hut. (Black Big Hut 40-year doesn’t really have the same ring to it!).
  • Brackla - Speckled Hillslope.
  • Brora - The Bridges River.
  • Bruichladdich - Bank of the Shore.
  • Bunnahabhain - Foot of the River.
  • Caol Ila - Sound of Isla.
  • Caperdonich - Secret Well. (Great name).
  • Cardhu - Black Rock.
  • Clynelish - Sloped Garden.
  • Cragganmore - The Big Rock. (Translation makes sense).
  • Craigellachie - Rock of the Stoney Place.
  • Dailuaine - The Green Meadow.
  • Dalmore - The Big Field.
  • Dalwhinnie - The Meeting Place.
  • Deanston - The Hill Fort.
  • Edradour - Between Two Waters.
  • Fettercairn - Wooded Slope.
  • Glenallachie - The Valley of the Rocky Place.
  • Glenburgie - Valley of the Fort.
  • Glendullan - Valley of the Stone.
  • Glendronach - Valley of the Blackberries (This would make a great independent bottling...).
  • Glen Elgin - Valley of Little Ireland.
  • Glenfarclas - Valley of the Green Grass. (Sounds great in both Gaelic & English).
  • Glenfiddich - Valley of the Deer. (Another great name explained by their packaging).
  • Glen Garioch - Valley of the Rough Ground.
  • Glenglassaugh - Valley of the Grey Place. (Sounds great!).
  • Glengoyne - Valley of the Wild Geese. (Evokes a great image).
  • Glen Grant - Valley of the Grants. (Named after the founders).
  • Glenlivet - Valley of the Smooth Flowing One. (Named after the River Livet - great name).
  • Glenmorangie - Valley of the Big Meadows. (Paints a lovely picture).
  • Glen Moray - Valley of the Sea Settlement.
  • Glen Ord - Valley of the Rounded Hill.
  • Glenrothes - Valley of the Rothes. (Named after the family which owned the land).
  • Glen Scotia - Valley of the Scots. (Freedom!).
  • Glenturret - Valley of the Little Dry Stream.
  • Jura - Doriads Island. (Old Norse).
  • Knockdhu - Black Hill.
  • Lagavulin - Hollow by the Mill.
  • Laphroaig - Hollow by the Big Bay.
  • Ledaig - The Small Slope.
  • Royal Lochnagar - Loch of the Laughter. (Great name).
  • Longmorn - Morgan's Church.
  • Macallan - Fillan's Plain. (Or Tellytubby Land as some refer to it...).
  • Mannochmore - The Place of the Monks.
  • Millburn - The Stream of the Mill.
  • Miltonduff - Duff's Village. (Duff is someone’s name).
  • Mortlach - Big Hill. (Is that it? Sounds better in Gaelic!).
  • Oban - Little Bay.
  • Scapa - Boat. (Old Norse language which is prevalent in the Orkneys / Shetlands).
  • Spey - Thorn.
  • Strathisla - Valley of the River Isla. (Certainly Scotland's most beautiful distillery).
  • Talisker - Sloping Rock. (Makes sense when you think of the rugged landscape of the Isle of Skye).
  • Tamdhu - Black Hill.
  • Tamnavulin - Mill on the Hill.
  • Teaninich - The House on the Moor.
  • Tobermory - Mary's Well.
  • Tomatin - Juniper Hill. (They should make gin!).
  • Tomintoul - Little Hill of the Barn.
  • Tormore - High Hill. (Arguably deserving of a better name, considering how great the whisky is and how stunningly beautiful the distillery is!).
  • Tullibardine - Hill of Warning.Some great names there - Glendronach, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenmorangie & Aberlour are just some of the great English translations. Of course, there are several that simply sound much better in Gaelic!

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