Glenmorangie opens Lighthouse Distillery

An experimental distillery on the Glenmorangie site in Tain


A 20 meter high glass cube now rises on the site of Glenmorangie Distillery: The Glenmorangie Lighthouse is an own small distillery. In it, Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Whisky Creation, can indulge his passion for innovative ideas and experiments with his team.

It is not only a lighthouse because of its towering shape, but also because new, groundbreaking accents are to be set there, new directions in the matter of whisky production are illuminated. The building was designed by the Paris-based architecture firm Barthélémy Griño Architects.

Variable necks and experiments with condensation

The stillhouse houses two of the giraffe-high stills that characterise the Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky in its fruitiness and lightness. However, in contrast to the stills in the main distillery, the experimental stills are equipped with necks in which modifications reproduce a change in neck size up or down. With these necks the distillation process in the new system can be varied as well as through different condensations over copper or stainless steel and the optional use of a purifier.

The Glenmorangie Lighthouse also has its own brewhouse, reports Moet Hennessy’s latest press release. In it, the experiments with malt, yeast and water, which Glenmorangie has been doing for some time already, can be intensified. A sensory laboratory on the upper floor of the lighthouse offers the possibility of accompanying, documenting and varying all processes at any time.

A house of fantasy

“Our lighthouse is a house of fantasy. Here our creative ideas can be brought to life and aromatically developed. From the raw materials to the distillation process, we can make minor or major changes that were previously impossible. There's no taboo as long as it's delicious,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden.

Thomas Moradpour, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, added: “The global demand for Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky is growing significantly. Our Lighthouse, the experimental distillery, is the first of its kind in the industry. A cornerstone of our plans to continue to be the leader in delicious whiskies. We are giving our talented team a free hand to bring delicious whiskies closer to consumers around the world."

As part of a tour of the Glenmorangie Distillery, visitors will in future be able to have a look at the outside of the lighthouse.

The special release Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 Years, which was launched on the occasion of the opening of the experimental distillery, limited to 3,000 bottles, is only available in the shop of the distillery in Tain. The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, the staves of which serve as wall cladding in the Glenmorangie Lighthouse.

Image: Moet Hennessy