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Mortlach

The Mortlach distillery lies in Speyside’s spiritual heartland, Dufftown, and holds the honour of being the first legal distillery to be built there. It was founded in 1823 - the year of the Excise Act - by James Findlater and, a year later, Donald Macintosh and Alexander Gordon joined him in ownership. Mortlach proffers a classic Speyside flavour, though the set up is far from typical; there are three wash stills and three spirit stills with a combined total capacity of 2.91 million litres annually.

Over the years, various distillery managers have altered the shape and design, something rather unheard of in Scotch whisky production. Mortlach boasts five onsite warehouses with a combined space for 21,000 casks. In 1831, the distillery was acquired by John Robertson for £270 and subsequently it was sold a year later to A & T Gregory. In 1937, Aberlour’s Grant brothers, John and James, acquired the distillery, dismantling the equipment for use at the 1840-built Glen Grant distillery. The Mortlach distillery lay silent.

John Alexander Gordon joined the brothers in 1842 and it was not until almost a decade later that Mortlach distilled once more. Whilst the stills enjoyed their proverbial sabbatical, the site was used not only as a brewery but also, rather curiously, as a church. When production resumed in 1851 the whisky was sold as The Real John Gordon. In 1923, John Walker and Sons acquired the distillery from then owner Alexander Cowie and two years later, they in turn became part of Distillers Company Limited, and subsequently Scottish Malt Distillers and then Diageo. There have been a few official releases as well as a selection of independent bottlings.

Mortlach Whisky Distillery

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About Mortlach Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01340 822100

Distillery Founded

1823

Distillery Capacity

2 910 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Owner

Diageo

Distillery Address

Dufftown, Banffshire

Distillery Website

www.malts.com

1823

The distillery is founded by James Findlater.

1824

Donald Macintosh and Alexander Gordon become part-owners.

1831

The distillery is sold to John Robertson for £270.

1832

A. & T. Gregory buys Mortlach.

1837

James and John Grant of Aberlour become part-owners. No production takes place at Mortlach as the equipment probably is dismantled and used in building Glen Grant Distillery.

1842

The distillery is now owned by John Alexander Gordon and the Grant brothers.

1851

Mortlach is once again an up and running distillery after having been used as a church and a brewery for some years. The whisky is sold under the name The Real John Gordon.

1853

George Cowie joins as part-owner with Gordon.

1867

John Alexander Gordon dies and Cowie becomes sole owner.

1895

George Cowie Jr. joins the company.

1897

The number of stills is increased from three to six.

1923

Alexander Cowie sells the distillery to John Walker & Sons.

1925

John Walker becomes part of Distillers Company Limited (DCL).

1930

The administration is transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD).

1964

Major refurbishment.

1968

Floor maltings ceases.

1996

Mortlach 1972 (23 years) is released as a Rare Malt. The distillery is renovated at a cost of £1.5 million.

1998

Mortlach 1978 (20 years) is released as a Rare Malt.

2004

Mortlach 1971, a 32 year old cask strength is released.

Tasting Sets
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A Hepburn's Choice bottling of 9 year old Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky. This was distilled back in 2005 and left to mature in a single refill hogshead until 2014, when it was bottled with an...  More info
$58.52
An independently bottled Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in August 1991 and left to mature in a single Sherry cask. It was left to mature for 23 years before being bottled for...  More info
$293.99
A Maltman independent bottling of Mortlach 13 year old single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single bourbon cask. It was distilled back in October 1998 and left to age for 13 long years, before it...  More info
$78.24
This is an 8 year old Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Provenance range by Douglas Laing. It was distilled in spring 2006 and matured in a single hogshead cask until autumn 2014...  More info
$59.38
This is a Signatory Cask Strength Collection bottling of Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single Sherry butt for 24 years. It was distilled in September 1990 and bottled in December...  More info
$158.24
A 15 year old from the Mortlach distillery, aged in first fill and refill sherry casks before bottling for Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
User Rating: 
$63.61
A full-bodied single malt from the Mortlach distillery, aged for 21 years in first fill and refill sherry casks before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
User Rating: 
$94.98
Mortlach Rare Old
(50cl, 43.40%)
The first release from the new range of Mortlach single malts is the Mortlach Rare Old, which comes from a mixture of Sherry and bourbon casks. Those familiar with Mortlach through the Flora and Fauna...  More info
User Rating: 
$80.13
Mortlach 18 Year Old
(50cl, 43.40%)
Official bottlings of Mortlach have been few and far between in years past, but in 2014, that has changed. This is the 18 year old single malt Scotch whisky from Mortlach, released in 2014 as part of...  More info
User Rating: 
$258.44
A half bottle of Mortlach 15 year old, this was matured in first fill and refill sherry casks before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
$37.92
Mortlach 25 Year Old
(50cl, 43.40%)
The oldest expression from the 2014 release of Mortlach single malt Scotch whiskies is their 25 Year Old. Mortlach use whisky matured mostly in refill American oak casks, aged for a quarter of a...  More info
$867.12
7 year old Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by La Maison du Whisky for their Tartan range of independently bottled whiskies.  More info
$55.77
If you know (and love) Mortlach whisky for its well-Sherried qualities, this Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular bottling might interest you quite a bit. It contains 22 year old Mortlach single malt...  More info
User Rating: 
$283.98
Marvellous Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Strictly Limited range by Càrn Mòr. This natural colour, non-chill-filtered indie bottling was distilled back in 1998 and left to mature...  More info
$86.56
10 year old Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as Part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. It was distilled by Mortlach in the winter of 2004 (a mild, fairly uneventful winter), matured in a...  More info
$56.89
Named Freshly Cut Grass, and surprisingly reminiscent of the quintessential Summer scent, this was distilled at the Mortlach distillery in 1990 before it was aged for 20 years in a single refill...  More info
$102.85
A Directors' Cut bottling of Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in February 1989 and bottled in March 2014. After spending 25 years in hogshead #10321, it has taken on rich, intriguing...  More info
$316.14
This twenty year old Mortlach was bottled as part of UDV's (now Diageo) Rare Malts collection in 1998 and is very rare - who'd have thunk it?  More info
$637.99
Single cask Mortlach, as bottled by the talented hands of Adelphi. This single malt matured in a refill ex-Sherry hogshead from 1987 to 2014 and was bottled at 26 years old with an ABV of 56.8%. Just...  More info
$203.39
A 21 year old spicy, Sherried, toffeed Mortlach? Yes please! Bless those Douglas Laingers (Laingists? Laingites??). Matured in a single Sherry butt, 255 bottles were produced in 2013. Just look at the...  More info
$243.89
This is a Wemyss bottling of Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky, taken from a single hogshead which matured the whisky from 1998 to 2013. It has been given the name Pastille Bouquet, which was...  More info
$98.67
A lovely, fragrant 13 year old Speyside single cask from Mortlach distillery here. Bottled by Hunter Laing in December 2013 for their Old Malt Cask range, the outturn was 319 bottles at 50% abv.  More info
$100.61
A cask strength sherry-matured Mortlach from MacKillop's Choice. This was distilled on the 1st September 1989 and aged for 22 years in cask 3926 before bottling in March of 2012. Each bottle is...  More info
User Rating: 
While a vast majority of Mortlach whisky finds its was into Johnnie Walker blends, a small amount of it escapes in these big, wooden things called "casks" to be enjoyed as a single malt. This one is a...  More info
$57.36
This is Mortlach was bottled by Duncan Taylor for their Dimensions range. This whisky is bottled at 46%abv without chill-filtration or colouring.  More info
$84.79
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