Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain, Ross-shire.
FROM Balblair we drove to Glenmorangie, through a series of gentle uplands and well cultivated farm lands, calling on our way at the residence of Mr. Matheson, who received us courteously and entertained us hospitably. We then drove with him to the Distillery, some half-mile distant, which is certainly the most ancient and primitive we have seen, and new al most in ruins. It is splendidly situated on the margin of the Dornoch Firth, and the sad sea waves wash its foundations. The building dates back to 1738, and was formerly an old brewery, noted from Tain to Inverness for its fine ale.
“Let husky wheat the haughs adorn,And aits set up their awnie hom,And peas and beans at e’en or morn,Perfume the plain.Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,Thou king o’ grain!“On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,In souple scones, the walt o’ food,Or tumblin’ in the boilin’ floodWi’ kail and beef.But when thou pours thy strong heart’s blood,There thou shines chief.“Burns
In 1843 this old brewery was turned into a Distillery by William Matheson, and ever since has had to be renewed and repaired to keep it together. At the time of our visit, the proprietor was arranging to build a new Distillery on the same site. The water, which is of excellent quality, comes from the hills of Tarlogie, and is used both for driving the water-wheel and for distilling operations. As the old place is so soon to be pulled down, we need not describe the interior arrangements, except to say that only Pot Stills have been in use.
Peat of fine quality is dug in the district, and is the only fuel used in the establishment.
The Whisky is pure Highland Malt, and well known in the Scotch and English markets. The annual output is 20,000 gallons.
When the new Distillery is built, double the quantity will he turned out meantime, Mr. Matheson informed us that he holds a large stock of not less than five years old Spirits, with which to supply his customers during the rebuilding of the Distillery.