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Glen Ord

One of but a handful of Scotch whisky distilleries that possess onsite barley maltings, Glen Ord has a decidedly large maltings capacity of around 36,000 tonnes annually, thus it also provides malt for several other Diageo-owned distilleries. The Glen Ord distillery lies in the village of Muir of Ord to the north of Inverness. It was during the 13th century that King Alexander III gave areas of land to the Mackenzie’s of Ord. In 1820, Thomas Mackenzie inherited a plot of land and used much of it to grow barley.

The Black Isle, as the area is known, has long since been associated with the cultivation of barley and accordingly the Ord Distillery Company was founded in 1838 and licensed to Donald MacLennan and Robert Johnstone. The pair filed for bankruptcy some nine years later, but continued to run the distillery illegally until Thomas McGregor and Alexander McLennan applied for a new licence in 1855. There have been several bottlings over the years, including a few limited releases and a couple of twelve year-olds, including the Singleton of Glen Ord, which is destined for Asian consumers.

Glen Ord had long since been serving the Asian market and exporting overseas; during the 19th century Scotch whisky from the distillery was sold in British Colonies including South Africa and Asia. Acquired by John Dewar and Sons in 1923, who amalgamated two years later with Distillers Company Limited, Glen Ord was eventually transferred to the subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers. They in turn were acquired by Guinness in 1985 and following the merger between Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997, the whisky distillery is now in Diageo hands.

Glen Ord Whisky Distillery

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About Glen Ord Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01463 872004

Distillery Founded

1838

Distillery Capacity

5 000 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Owner

Diageo

Distillery Address

Muir of Ord, Ross-Shire

Distillery Website

www.malts.com

1838

Thomas Mackenzie founds the distillery and licenses it to Ord Distillery Co. (Robert Johnstone and Donald MacLennan).

1847

Robert Johnstone, by now single owner of Ord Distillery Co., becomes bankrupt and the distillery is put up for sale.

1855

Alexander MacLennan and Thomas McGregor buy the distillery.

1870

Alexander MacLennan dies and the distillery is taken over by his widow who even-tually marries the banker Alexander Mackenzie.

1877

Alexander Mackenzie leases the distillery.

1878

Alexander Mackenzie builds a new still house and barely manages to start production before a fire destroys it.

1882

Mackenzie registers the name Glenoran to be used for whisky from Glen Ord.

1896

Alexander Mackenzie dies and the distillery is sold to the blending company James Watson & Co. for £15,800.

1923

John Jabez Watson, James Watson’s son and the only remaining family member, dies and the distillery is sold to John Dewar & Sons. The name is changed from Glen Oran to Glen Ord.

1925

Dewar’s joins Distillers Company Limited.

1930

Glen Ord is transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD).

1961

Substantial renovation takes place; floor maltings is abandoned in favour of Saladin box.

1966

The two stills are increased to six.

1968

To augment the Saladin box a drum maltings is built.

1983

Malting in the Saladin box ceases.

1988

A visitor centre is opened.

2002

A 12 year old is launched.

2003

A limited-edition cask strength, 28 years, is launched.

2004

A 25 year old is launched.

2005

A 30 year old is launched as a Special Release from Diageo.

2006

A 12 year old Singleton of Glen Ord is launched.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

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A 21 year old, single cask Glen Ord distilled in January 1990 and aged in a refill butt before bottling in January 2011. A release of just 492 bottles from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range.  More info
$119.38
This was distilled at Glen Ord in January 1989. It was then aged for 21 years in a refill butt before bottling in September 2010. A release of 361 bottles from the Old Malt Cask range.  More info
$128.63
Glen Ord 25 Year Old
(70cl, 58.30%)
The second special release from Glen Ord, the only Northern Highlands distillery to retain its own maltings. Only 3,600 numbered bottles of this 25 year old have been released.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A very rare Rare Malts bottling, from back in the day when whisky was bottled in 75cl bottles. This 23 year old is bottled at cask strength. Glen Ord is known for its big, malty, fragrant whiskies.  More info
This antique Glen Ord 12 Year Old whisky is a beautiful piece for a spirit collection. Interestingly, it uses the old name of the distillery "Ord", rather than Glen Ord. Also, the oddly bubbly bottle...  More info
$289.60
Glen Ord 30 Year Old
(70cl, 58.70%)
Released in 2005, a 30 year old from Glen Ord, bottled at cask strength.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$316.97
Glen Ord 28 Year Old
(70cl, 58.30%)
A 28 year old bottled at cask strength. An official bottling released in 2003. A great Glen Ord, lots of spicy, fruity notes.  More info
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