Glenmorangie is a distillery in Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland that produces single malt Scotch whisky. The distillery is owned by The Glenmorangie Company Ltd, whose main product is the range of Glenmorangie single malt whisky. The Glenmorangie Company also owns the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society based in Leith, Edinburgh.
It is said that the production of alcohol started at Morangie Farm in 1738, when a brewery was built 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.
The distillery was purchased by its main customer, the Leith firm Macdonald and Muir, in 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 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.
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 two years before being leased to distillers Jack Daniel’s and Heaven Hill for them to mature bourbon in for four 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 produces. Glenmorangie also obtains small batches of other casks for finishing and release limited edition bottlings from these.