Ord Whisky Distillery
The Glen Ord Distillery
visit to Glen Ord, on the edge of the Black Isle in the Highlands
west of Inverness, is a delight to both the eye and the palate.
Watch our distillers at work creating a magicial malt whisky
which is sweet, malty and dry on the palate.
January - March
Monday - Friday: 11am - 4pm
Friday, Saturday, Monday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12noon - 4pm
Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm
11am - 5pm
Sundays July to September 12noon - 4pm
Monday - Friday: 11am - 4pm
between Christmas & New Year.
One hour before closing
admisson charges includes a discount voucher, redeemable
at the distillery against the purchase of a 70cl of single
under 8 years are welcome but not admitted into the production
to maintenance requirements it's not always possible to tour
the distillery. Please call and check in advance to avoid
18 miles north of Inverness. Take the A832 road from Muir
or Ord (the link to Contin and the A835 Kyle of Lochalsh road)
- three quarters of a mile you will see the distillery on
the junction of the A832 and the Altgowrie road. The distillery
is on the right after the towering Glen Ord Maltings.
The car park is on the right just before the distillery
warehouses and reception. There is a friendly welcome at the
desk and a spacious exhibition area where you can wait for
your tour guide.
Glen Ord Distillery,
Muir of Ord, Ross-shire
+44 (0) 1463 872004
Fax: +44 (0) 1463 872008
History of Glen Ord
1838 The MacKenzies of Ord feature largely
in the development of the distillery. The family was granted
lands in the west of Scotland by King Alexander III as early
as 1263. Thomas MacKenzie of Ord inherited the estate in 1820
and set about rejuvenating the area. He leased land for the
distillery to be built, as he envisaged an industry where
local men could have all-year round employment. It also gave
him a ready market for his barley.
was competition from 9 small licensed distilleries in the
area, most being run as co-operatives of 10-12 tenant farmers.
The entire barley crop was used for distilling - the quickest
means of turning it into cash to pay the rent.There
are records of an ale house and meal mill on the Glen Ord
site in 1549, the meal mill finally closing in 1958. There
was also an extensive piggery, taking advantage of by-products
from distilling. The distillery employed 18 people.
distillery was water-powered by 2 large water wheels driven
by water from Loch nam Bonnach and Loch nan Eun. Water for
mashing was then taken from the Cuckoo Well and added to the
whisky’s distinctive character.
first licence holders were Robert Johnstone and Donald McLennan,
trading as Ord Distillery Company. They both subsequently
1870 McLennan died and his widow married
a bank clerk from Beauly, Alexander MacKenzie, who was put
in charge of the business. Around this time, Glen Ord was
sold in Singapore, S. Africa and other British Colonies. In
1880, some Glen Ord was being sold as Glen Oran.
The distillery was sold at a price of £15,800 to James
Watson & Son, whisky blenders of Dundee. This was their
4th acquisition of a distillery as they were committed to
obtaining high quality whisky - sales were principally of
blended whiskies, particularly 'Watson's No. 10'.
Glen Ord was closed by government order during the First World
War, in the interest of conserving barley for foodstuffs.
Watson’s went into voluntary liquidation. The distillery
was sold to Thomas Dewars & Sons of Perth, who amalgamated
with the Distillers Company Ltd.
1930 Ord was transferred to the ownership
of Scottish Malt Distillers, a subsidiary company of DCL.
1939-1945 Closed again for greater part of
Second world war.
Electricity came to Glen Ord, until then the distillery was
lit by paraffin lamp.
Meal mill closed and the single malt was sold as Or.
Closure of floor maltings; new Saladin boxes built.
The 2 coal-fired stills increased to 6, all of which were
fitted with steam-heated coils.
A large mechanical floor maltings was built beside the distillery
to meet the needs of 7 SMD distilleries, however Glen Ord
continued to use their own Saladin boxes until 1983.
Guinness take-over. Malt and grain distilling becoming United
1994 Was indeed a pivotal year for Glen Ord
whose roots are deeply entwined with Scottish history and
lore. Known outside Scotland by only Whisky aficionados, Glen
Ord’s reputation begins to flourish. In this year Glen
Ord 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky brings home three international
awards including the World’s most prestigious spirit
award the IWSC Gold Medal, the overall malt whisky category
trophy for, “Best Single Malt up to 15 years.”
and the title of Malt of the Year 1994-1995.
Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merge to form DIAGEO, with
head offices in London.
1998 Glen Ord is recognized and available
throughout the world and sought out by those who appreciate
unique characteristics of this unique “Whisky from the