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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


Distillery Capacity

5 000 000 litres

Distillery Status


Distillery Owner


Distillery Address

Muir of Ord, Ross-Shire

Distillery Website


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


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


Alexander MacLennan and Thomas McGregor buy the distillery.


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


Alexander Mackenzie leases the distillery.


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


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


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


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.


Dewar’s joins Distillers Company Limited.


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


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


The two stills are increased to six.


To augment the Saladin box a drum maltings is built.


Malting in the Saladin box ceases.


A visitor centre is opened.


A 12 year old is launched.


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


A 25 year old is launched.


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


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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Distilled at Glen Ord in 1974 and aged for 23 years before being bottled at cask strength for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info
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:  (2 Reviews)
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
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:  (6 Reviews)
A single cask Highland malt from the Glen Ord distillery. This was distilled in Autumn 2004 and aged for 7 years in a refill hogshead before bottling in Autumn 2011 for Douglas Laing's Provenance...  More info
A light, fresh-tasting Glen Ord from Douglas Laing's Provenance range (a fabulous range which showcases the effects of season on whisky production), this was distilled in Autumn 2004 before an 8 year...  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
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