Invergordon

Invergordon is a fairly new distillery, having only been founded in 1960, with the intention of being a large-scale grain whisky production. Invergordon Distillers Ltd established the distillery, and it began with only one tall column still. In 1963, two more column stills were added, and in 1978, a final, much larger one was added.

Information about the Distillery
60 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-4.158713 57.697201
Active
Whyte & Mackay Ltd
1960
40,000,000 l
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 10 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Sweet:
Nuts:
Spices:
Fruit:
Sherry:
Vanilla:
Oak:
Dried Fruit:
Malt:
Berries:
Orange:
Raisin:
Floral:
Hazelnut:
Oil:
Nutmeg:
Fig:
Honey:
Cinnamon:
Herbs:
Zitrus:
Red Currant:
Tasting
Sweet:
Sherry:
Spices:
Fruit:
Peat Smoke:
Vanilla:
Nuts:
Caramel:
Alcohol:
Dried Fruit:
Oak:
Orange:
Floral:
Oil:
Nutmeg:
Fig:
Chili:
Herbs:
Herb:
Zitrus:
Finish
Malt:
Spices:
Wheat:
Sweet:
Nuts:
Oak:
Oil:
Fruit:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Alcohol:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Invergordon is quite remarkable for a number of reasons. To begin with, it is a grain whisky distillery, which means that the whisky is made from grains rather than from malt. Grains means unmalted cereals like wheat or corn (maize). The site actually only has one official bottling - a 10 year old single grain. Independent bottlings are almost as scarce, although slightly easier to track down. Duncan Taylor, Signatory Vintage and Douglas Laing have all performed bottlings, which provide a good variety of different ages. 

The vast majority of the spirit distilled at Invergorden goes into the Whyte & Mackay blends, which is one of the reasons that it's so hard to source. 

The Production

Invergordon has the distinction of being by far the most northerly grain whisky distillery. The majority of its compatriots are located near to the Lowlands in Scotland, while Invergordon is located a good few hundred miles north, in the Northern Highlands. Invergordon has an absolutely staggering production capacity of 40'000'000 liters per year. The water used in production is sourced from the nearby Loch Glass.

The cask stock and the warehouses of the Invergordon distillery.
The cask stock of the Invergorden Distillery

The Pot Stills

Unlike malt whisky, grain whisky is not produced in a traditional distillery with pot stills. A grain whisky facility resembles an oil refining facility more than it does the aesthetically pleasing, stoney walls of a single malt distillery. The spirit isn't produced in pot stills, but rather in tall column stills, which almost resemble skyscapers. Invergordon has five such stills, four of which are used to produce grain whisky, and one of which is used to produce neutral spirit. These tall stills are also called Coffey stills, and behave like a series of pot stills formed in a tall, vertical line. 

Maltings

As Invergordon is not a single malt distillery, it does not use malted barley! The starch in the cereal corns is converted into sugars by the use of heat and pressure in a cooking process. Once the long chains of starch are cut down into sugar molecules, the yeasts can act and produce the alcohol for the later distillation process.

The Warehouse

Grain whisky is aged in the same manner that single malt is. At Invergordon, the vast majority of the spirit is transported offsite to be used in blending, while the few casks that are intended to be sold as single grain, are stored on-site in dunnage warehouses. Invergordon uses Europe and and American Oak casks in which to age the spirit.

The warehouses of the Invergordon distillery.
Some warehouses of the Invergorden Distillery

History

Invergordon is a fairly new distillery, having only been founded in 1960, with the intention of being a large-scale grain whisky production. Invergordon Distillers Ltd established the distillery, and it began with only one tall column still. In 1963, two more column stills were added, and in 1978, a final, much larger one was added. This final Coffey still was used only for distilling neutral spirit. In 1993, Whyte & MacKay, the Indian-owned whisky production giant who still own the site today, engulfed Invergordon Distillers Ltd. For a brief period of time, between 1965 and 1977, the site also played host to the Ben Wyvis single malt distillery.

Visitor's Centre

Sadly not. The distillery and its grounds is an industrial complex and is closed to the public.

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