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Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Mortlach Distillery
Dufftown, Banffshire
AB55 4AQ Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1313 377 373
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Dufftown boasts several distilleries and includes Mortlach, its oldest which was officially licensed the year of the Excise Tax in 1823. The exact year Mortlach was founded is not known, however, we do know James Findlater along with his friends Donald McIntosch and Alexander Gordon are responsible for its creation. Glenfiddich was the second distillery established in Dufftown by William Grant in 1887. He had been a Mortlach employee for about 20 years when he turned in his notice in 1886. Feeling as though he knew
enough about the industry, he set out to build his own distillery.

Mortlach was under the ownership of J & J Grant of Glen Grant for awhile. They removed the distilling equipment and the distillery lay silent. During this time, it was utilized as a church and then as a brewery. Eventually in 1852 it was re-equipped as a distillery by John Gordon and started producing "The Real John Gordon".

In 1853 John took on George Cowie as his partner. When Gordon passed away in 1867, Cowie was left as the sole owner. Cowie was also a surveyor for the railway companies and later became the provost (mayor) of Dufftown. His son, Alexander Mitchell Cowie was responsible for a railway which connected Mortlach to the Dufftown station. After Cowie's son died during WWI in 1917, the distillery, which was the largest in the area at that time, was sold in 1923 to John Walker & Sons. It has since become a part of the Diageo portfolio. Mortlach is an important contributor to Johnnie Walker Red Label.

Mortlach is unique in its way of having a very strange distilling process. The three wash stills and three spirit stills are all of different and unusual sizes and they're not paired off. This complicated process however, produces a top quality spirit which is full bodied and considered to be one of the best in Speyside.



Nose: Flowery. A suggestion of peppermint. Black chocolate? Mint crisp?

Palate: Memorable for its challenging complexity and subtlety. Flavours beautifully combined. A touch of sherry. Dances on the tounge.

Finish: Smooth, dry smokiness. Very long.

A great malt that is enigmatic.

Tasted by Michael Jackson

Mortlach Whisky Distillery
Mortlach Distillery

The Mortlach Distillery has played many roles during its lifetime. It started as a distillery, then was utilized by a local members of a church for services while their church was being built, operated as a brewery and then back to a distillery. This active distillery produces 2,800, 000 litres a year. It has three wash stills and three spirit stills which are considered unusual since they are of different sizes and not paired off. It's a complex process of combining the distillates for two spirit safes. This set up has to be maintained so the characteristics of Mortlach goes unchanged.

In 1898 electric lighting was installed as well as a hydraulic lift system in the warehouses which was used to lift casks and other material to upper floors. A new distillery was built in 1964, but it kept the original turn-of-the-centry style. It was constructed mainly within the original building exterior and two pagodas were added. The malting floors were used until 1968, but the worm tubs are still being used.

In the late 1990s, computers were added for the process and in 1996, new Lauter mashtuns were installed. Mortlach's water source is from the Conval Hills.

The Mortlach Distillery does not have a visitors centre.