Records exist about alcohol production at Morangie farm from as far back as 1703 when an irregular brewery operated there. In 1730 a legal brewery started operations and used the Tarlogie Spring as its source of water. The brewery operated for over one hundred years until it was finally bought in 1843 by a former distillery manager who converted the brewery into a distillery.
The new distillery was fitted with second hand pot stills from a gin distillery. The shape of the original stills has been kept by Glenmorangie ever since. For decades the whisky was sold to blenders who used it as a component in their blends. In 1887 a blending company bought the distillery from the heirs of Glenmorangie's founder.
After WWI the distillery was sold again. The new owners faced hardship given the prohibition in the US and a general downturn in the industry. The distillery was mothballed twice during the inter war period and in the early 1940's, just as WWII raged, the owners attempted to send shipments of Glenmorangie whisky to the US. The plan didn't work as the cargo ships with whisky were being constantly torpedoed by enemy submarines.
When the war ended, the distillery's fortunes changed and its whisky was well received. By 1948 Glenmorangie was operating at full capacity. This lasted until the mid-1970's when its production capacity was expanded. A few years later, the future of the distillery looked dark, proposed housing developments posed a very serious threat for the distillery's water source. Swift action was taken and the land around the Tarlogie Spring was bought.
Glenmorangie whisky was a resounding success in the local and export markets. Production capacity was expanded in the early 1990's and again in 2009. The Louis Vuitton - Moet Hennessy Group (LVMH) bought the distillery in 2004. They have relaunched the brand and renamed its various releases.
The character of Glenmorangie is shaped by its massive pot stills (the tallest in the industry). A long fermentation period and its policy of using barrels just twice also contributes to its delicate, malty and fruity character. Uniquely among Scottish distilleries, hard water is used during fermentation.
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