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Glen Moray

by Gavin D Smith

Glen Moray Distillery
Bruceland Road
Morayshire IV30 1YE.

Tel: 01343 550900
Fax: 01343 550900

Off the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, in Elgin. Glen Moray is on the 'Malt Whisky Trail' and is well signposted.

Glen Moray is in the news due to owner Glenmorangie Ltd's decision to offer the facility for sale. It therefore seems timely to profile this Elgin distillery and see what the prospective purchaser will get for his money.


Glen Moray joined the Malt Whisky Trail in 2004, when an attractive new visitor centre and gift shop was established. Tours Monday to Friday, all year round, plus Saturdays from May to September, including distillery tour and complementary dram. There is an admission charge. A 'Fifth Chapter' in-depth, connoisseurs' tour is available for 15.00, pre-booking essential.


Glen Moray distillery was founded in 1897, when Speyside was in the grip of the great late-Victorian whisky boom. Like Glenmorangie, it was based on a former brewery, in this case the West Brewery of Henry Arnot & Co, which had been established in 1815. The new distillery traded as the Glen Moray Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd.

Difficult financial times caused the distillery to close in 1910, and apart from a brief revival two years later, Glen Moray was silent until 1923, when it recommenced operations under new owners Macdonald & Muir Ltd. The story goes that the Leith blenders had the opportunity to purchase either Aberlour or Glen Moray, and left the decision up to their Glenmorangie manager, who opted for the latter.

Reconstruction work took place in 1958, when the floor maltings were replaced by Saladin boxes, though on-site malting ended in 1978. In 1979, the number of stills was increased from two to four. Macdonald & Muir changed its name to Glenmorangie plc in 1996, and in 2004 the company was acquired by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.


Glen Moray operates two pairs of stills and has an annual capacity of some 2.0 million litres of alcohol. The malt is lightly-peated, and principally ex-Bourbon casks are used for maturation.

The Spirit:

The 'house style' is quite light-bodied, sweet, with floral, vanilla, nut and spice notes. The principal single malts bottling are Glen Moray Classic (no age statement), 12 and 16-year-olds, plus a number of vintage bottlings. Glen Moray is an important component of the Bailie Nicol Jarvie and Highland Queen blends.


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