Glenmorangie Opens Its Own Experimental Distillery in Scotland

Glenmorangie has opened a new experimental distillery in Scotland

© Photo provided


Glenmorangie has opened a new experimental distillery in Scotland

© Photo provided

Whisky is usually associated with tradition and craftsmanship, but Glenmorangie now wants to challenge this image and tinker with new, unconventional production methods. So it has opened a distillery overlooking Scotland's Dornoch Firth specifically for experimentation - a unique move in the whisky industry.

Glenmorangie is already pushing the boundaries of single malt production, with the Men of Tain constantly exploring new and unusual paths, from creative post-maturing in different wooden casks and innovations like Glenmorangie Signet with mocha flavours to the Private Edition range.

Dr Bill Lumsden, director of whisky creation, is tireless in his experimentation to create delicious and unusual whiskies. The central aspect of his work is always the question: "What if...?". To answer that, Glenmorangie has opened 'The Lighthouse', the first innovation distillery created exclusively for experimentation. A playground to bring Dr Lumsden's fantasies and extraordinary ideas to life. 

The Lighthouse was named after its pioneering status in whisky production. Like a real lighthouse, the 20-metre-high glass cube designed by Paris-based Barthélémy Griño Architects, is visible from afar. It offers unique flexibility in the distillation process. The stillhouse includes two giraffe-high stills allowing for changes to the character of the spirit by acting as if they were shorter or taller. 

The specially built, traditional-style brewhouse offers space for countless experiments with barley malt, water and yeast. The sensory laboratory on the top floor allows the raw spirit to be examined and further varied during the distillation process. Dr Bill Lumsden says: "Our Lighthouse is a house of imagination. 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 is no taboo as long as it is delicious".

Thomas Moradpour, the president and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, sums up the project: "The global demand for Glenmorangie single malt whisky is growing significantly. Our 'Lighthouse' experimental distillery is the first of its kind in the industry. A cornerstone of our plans to continue to be at the forefront of delicious whiskies. It gives our talented team a free hand to bring delicious whiskies to consumers worldwide."

To mark the opening of Glenmorangie Lighthouse, a special bottling is only available at the distillery shop in Tain. Limited to 3,000 bottles, Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 Years is a mildly fruity whisky matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks.

The staves were recycled and used as wall cladding in the experimental distillery. In addition to the main distillery, the Glenmorangie Lighthouse is heated independently and sustainably from the distillery's own bio-gas plant. Visitors to Glenmorganie won't be able to tour around the inside of the Lighthouse but will be able to see through the windows. 

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