Mortlach Speyside Whisky Distillery
Located in the capital of Speyside whisky production Dufftown, Mortlach was the first distillery in the town founded by James Findlater, Donald Mackintoshin and Alexander Gordon in 1824. This remained the only distillery in Dufftown until the worldwide whisky success story Glenfiddich opened its doors over 60 years later. Dufftown now has a massive 7 scotch whisky distilleries. A site of previous illicit whisky production by smugglers Mortlach was built there to take advantage of the water supply from Highland Johns well. James Findlater found it difficult to make a success of Mortlach distillery and sold it 7 years later for just £270 however the new owners never made a better fist of it and it was operational only periodically the distillery being used amongst other things as a place of worship by the Free Church of Scotland when their distillery was being re-built.
J & J Grant took ownership in 1837 and promptly stripped Mortlach of its equipment to set up Glen Grant and Mortlach lay silent until being used as a brewery before whisky production was reborn in 1852 by John Gordon who humbly named his new malt whisky ‘The Real John Gordon’. By 1865 a surveyor George Cowie bought Mortlach and an employee by the name of William Grant started to work at Mortlach doing bookkeeping. After 20 year working at Mortlach he decided enough was enough and went off to set up his own distillery, you may have heard of it, it was called Glenfiddich.
Towards the end of 19th century the distillery was modernised with electrics, hydraulics and a railway siding were added this allowed Mortlach to increase the number of stills to 6. In 1923 the Cowie family relinquished ownership to John Walker & Sons (owners of Johnnie Walker) who later rebuilt Mortlach on 1964 however the old stills were retained. Mortlach remains to this day a key component in Johnnie Walker Whisky.
Taste: Most expressions of Mortlach available are not easy drinking with out the addition of water but of good quality with the right amount of water added. Almonds, grass and liquorice with notes of honey.