Glen Ord lies slightly north from Inverness. The distillery is included in Diageo’s ‘Hidden Malts’ series. Ord Distillery was founded in 1838 by the Ord Distillery Company, Robert Johnstone and Donald MacLennan. The distillery had produced whisky illegally for a few years before they received their licence. In 1896 Glen Ord was bought by the blended company James Watson & Co. They ran the distillery until 1923 when it was acquired by John Dewar & Sons. Up until then the whisky had been sold under the name ‘Glen Oran’, but was now renamed ‘Glen Ord’.
In 1930 Glen Ord was sold again, this time to the Scottish Malt Distillers. During the following decades the distillery was continuously improved. By 1966 it had been completely re-built and re-equipped. For example, the floor maltings was converted to a Saladin Box system, and the number of stills was increased from two to six. The malting improvements continued, and in 1968 a new drum maltings was completed. This facility is still in use and supplies many of the current owner Diageo’s distilleries with malt.
Besides Glen Oran, Glen Ord has also been named Ord, Muir of Ord and Glenordie. Glen Ord has won several awards for their whisky, for example in 1994, 1995 and 1998. The 1998 award was the gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) for the best single malt aged less than 15 years.
Production at Glen Ord
The process water used by Glen Ord is taken from the stream White Burn (Alt Fionnadh in Gaelic). The White Burn is fed by the two mountain lakes Loch nan Eun and Loch nam Bonnach. The first loch is fed by the spring flood, the other by rain.
The distillery has its own malting facility consisting of eighteen drums each holding 30 tons. The malt they use for their own production is slightly peated. The mash tun is made from cast iron. They have eight washbacks made from Oregon pine, each holding 59 000 litres. The three onion-shaped wash stills hold 18 000 litres each, and the slightly smaller spirit stills hold 15 500 litres each. Both sherry and bourbon casks are used for storage.
Contact Glen Ord
Glen Ord Distillery
Muir of Ord, Beauly
Rosshire, IV6 7UJ
Phone : +44 (0) 1463 872004
Fax: +44 (0) 1463 870101
Manager: Eric Walker
Visitors: Glen Ord has an exquisite visitor centre which is open all year round. July –September: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5pm, Sunday 12.30am-5pm. March-October: Monday to Friday 9.30 am-5pm.November-February: If you plan to visit during this period, we advise you to contact the distillery in advance. The admission is £4 and is refundable upon purchase in the gift shop.