Glen Mhor, pronounced Glen Vawr to rhyme with law, along with it’s sister distillery Glen Albyn were among the 11 Distillers Company Limited (now Diageo) distilleries lost in the 1980s. Although commonly referred to as a Highland distillery however Michael Jackson (who’s classification system I use) places this distillery in Speyside.
Founded in 1892 by John Birnie, the former manager of Glen Albyn left after being refused a share in the distillery and James Mackinlay of the Leith based blenders Charles Mackinlay and Co. This turned out to be the right choice as, after years of collaboration, Glen Mhor bought out Glen Allbyn in 1920.
From 1923 the Scottish author Neil Miller Gunn was posted as an Excise man at Glen Mhor. One of the most noted Scottish novelists of his generation he is perhaps best known within the whisky industry for his call to arm in defence of malts over blends in “Whisky & Scotland: A Practical and Spiritual Survey”. He also, in perhaps the most poetic outburst about whisky since Burn’s “Freedom an’ whisky gang thegither!” wrote
"These generous whiskies, with their individual flavours, recall the world of hills and glens, of raging elements, of shelter, of divine ease. The perfect moment of their reception is after bodily stress - or mental stress if the body be sound. The essential oils that wind in the glass then uncurl their long fingers in lingering benediction and the whole works of creation are made manifest. At such a moment the basest man would bless his enemy.“
Glen Mhor’s peat source was Dava Moor, and the distillery had only one wash still and one spirit still. In 1954, the distillery became one of the first distilleries to introduce the Saladin Box malting process. Alas being acquired by Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) a subsidiary of DCL in 1972 onsite maltings ceased in 1980 and the distillery itself was mothballed in 1983. It’s selection for closure was noted as due to high running costs. The site was demollished in 1986. Glen Mhor distillery stood by A862 near Caledonian watercourse at the west side of the city of Inverness.
|Name||Pronounced||AKA||Region||Country of Origin|
|Glen Mhor||glen vawr||Speyside||Scotland|
|Status||Active||Whisky Type||Website||Tours Available|
|Closed||1892 - 1986||Malt||Glen Mhor||Not Available|
|Manager||Distiller||Blender||Owned by||Parent Group|
Glen Mhor Timeline:
1892: Glen Mhor is founded
1920: Glen Mhor took over neighbouring Glen Albyn
1954 : Saladin maltings are installed at Glen Mhor
1963: Both stills were converted from direct heating to steam heating
1973: Both Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn to Distilleries Company Limited
1980: The Saladin floor maltings were stopped due to high running costs
1986: The distillery is demolished