Glen Elgin

Glen Elgin Distillery, which sits in the Speyside region of Scotland, has a selection of official and independent bottlings for whisky aficionados to choose from. The distillery’s official range consisted of a 12 year old, 16 year old, 20 year old and 32 year old.

Information about the Distillery
74 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.277144 57.599485
Active
Diageo
3 x 7,000 l
Pear
3 x 8,000 l
Pear
6 x 40,000 l
8 t
1898
1,870,000 l
Average Tasting Notes Calculated from 30 Tasting Notes
Nosing
Fruit
Vanilla
Oak
Almonds
Spices
Malt
Apple
Pear
Dried Fruit
Orange
Raisin
Dark Chocolate
Green Apple
Floral
Caramel
Honey
Alcohol
Sweet
Tasting
Fruit
Spices
Oak
Plum
Oil
Honey
Sherry
Vanilla
Peat Smoke
Almonds
Alcohol
Malt
Banana
Orange
Dark Chocolate
Caramel
Ginger
Sweet
Finish
Sweet
Fruit
Vanilla
Chocolate
Malt
Oak
Spices
Oil
Sherry
Nuts
Peat Smoke
Salt
Caramel
Ginger
Honey
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Glen Elgin Distillery, which is located in the Speyside region of Scotland, has a selection of official and independent bottlings for whisky aficionados to choose from. The distillery’s official range consisted of a 12-year-old, 16-year-old, 20-year-old and 32-year-old. Today there is only the 12-years-old is left. The 12-year-old malt was originally released in 2001 as part of Diageo’s Flora and Fauna range, but in 2002 it was re-released as part of the Hidden Malt range. There have been a number of independent bottlings carried out over the years by a number of third part bottlers, including Signatory Vintage, Adelphi, and Gordon & MacPhail. The Glen Elgin malt is also a major component in the White Horse blended whisky.

The Production

Nestled in a stunning location in the heart of Speyside’s rolling hills, Glen Elgin is a relatively small distillery, with the capacity to produce 1.8 million litres of pure alcohol a year. The distillery draws the water used in its production from the springs of the beautiful Millbuies Loch, located to the southeast of the distillery.  

The inner courtyard of the Glen Elgin distillery.
The inner courtyard of the Glen Elgin Distillery

The Pot Stills

Glen Elgin has three wash stills, which each have a capacity of 7,000 litres, and three spirit stills, which have a capacity of 8,000 litres.  Glen Elgin’s wash and spirit still set up is a unique part of the distillery’s identity. All six have an unusual “small tall” shape, although the spirit stills have a flatter pot than the wash stills. The lyne arms have a gentle incline, which leads outside to the worm tubs.  Additionally, Glen Elgin has one of the highest ratios of washback size to still size of any distillery in Scotland, with the six larch washbacks having a 40,600 litre capacity compared to the 7000 litre capacity of the wash stills. Glen Elgin is one of the few remaining distilleries, that still use copper worms to cool the alcohol vapours.

The wash spirit still of Glen Elgin
The Pot Stills of the Glen Elgin Distillery

Malting

The distillery has a huge capacity for malted barley, with their 36 malt bins having a total capacity of 400 tonnes. Glen Elgin used its own floor maltings until they were decommissioned in the 1960s.  The distillery now sources its malt from one of Diageo’s industrial sites. 

Warehouse

Glen Elgin has a few small dunnage warehouses on the distillery’s grounds, which mainly hold casks from some of the distillery earlier productions.  

A cask deff.
Cask at the Glen Elgin Distillery

History

Glen Elgin marks a turning point in the history of single malt.  The distillery was founded in 1898, making it the last distillery to be built in the boom years of Scotch whisky production. After its completion, its architect, Charles Doig, made a fateful prophecy that it would be the last distillery to be built in Speyside for 50 years.  His prediction was impressively accurate, with Tormore being the next distillery to be constructed, in 1958.  

Glen Elgin’s first few years of production were plagued by a series of starts and stops. Although the distillery was founded in 1898, production did not start for another two years.  A mere five months into production, the distillery was forced to close. It sold at auction with an enormous loss in 1901. During the next few decades the distillery changed hands a few more times, accompanied by frequent periods halted of production in between transactions. 

Things started to change for Glen Elgin in 1936, when the distillery was purchased by a DCL subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers. After being owned by DCL for a few years, the license passed to White Horse distillers, which marked the beginning of Glen Elgin’s use in their blend.  

The second half of the 20th century brought a lot of changes to Glen Elgin, both in terms of production and maintenance. Until the 1950s, the distillery was entirely operated and lit by paraffin, which was not the safest choice for an establishment that produces millions of litres of pure alcohol each year. In 1964, the entire original distillery, which had been designed by Charles Doig, was demolished and a new facility was built in order for the capacity to be trebled. The number of stills was increased from two to six, taking the production capacity of the distillery up to its modern day level.  Despite this large-scale rebuild, the distillery still maintains the feel of a small, traditional distillery. The distillery has rejected a number of modern innovations and still maintains an extremely hands-on approach to distillation.  Today Diageo owns Glen Elgin, but it still proudly displays the White Horse emblem on its label, staying true to its roots. 

Visitor Centre

Sadly, Glen Elgin is not open to the public.

Chronological rating history

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