Glenmorangie is a producer of single-malt Scotch in the town of Tain, in the Highland region of Scotland. Glenmorangie makes a wide range of Scotch, each identified by the type of barrel used to finish-age the spirit. Glenmorangie is owned since 2004 by Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy (LVMH). The sale brought on a redesign of the bottles and labels for the brand, in an attempt to position the distillery as a luxury product.
Glenmorangie's history dates back to 1843, when William Matheson installed two used gin stills at the Morangie brewery, which he had bought and converted to a distillery, which he renamed Glenmorangie. Matheson ran the company until 1918, when he sold it to the firm of MacDonald and Muir.
Like all distilleries in Scotland, the first part of the 20th century was difficult. Wars and austerity led to shortages in raw material for distilling, and export markets were devastated by the fighting. It was only in 1948 that full production resumed at Glenmorangie. In 1977, two new stills were added to keep up with demand. In the 1980's, the MacDonald family secured 600 acres around Tarlogie Springs, the water source for Glenmorangie. In 1990, they added four new stills and in 2002, two new fermentation tanks (washbacks).
With the sale of the company to LVMH, four new stills were added, bringing the total to twelve. These stills are 26 feet tall, ensuring only the lightest fraction of alcohol makes it to the condenser.
With LVMH in control of the distillery, Glenmorangie revamped their bottles and labels. They now make about a dozen expressions of their single malt, all beginning with The Original, which is aged in used Bourbon casks for ten years. These casks are made from white oak from Missouri which are leased to the Heaven Hill distillery and are used to age Bourbon for four years. They are then shipped to Scotland and used to age Scotch.
This ten year aged Scotch is then finished in a variety of used barrels for two years: Lasanta in Sherry casks, Quinta Ruban in Port barrels, Nectar d'Or in Sauternes barrels, and Sonnalta PX in Pedro Ximinez Sherry casks. They also make Astar, a 114 proof version aged in barrels that are more porous, and Finealta, a lightly peated Scotch aged in American white oak and Oloroso sherry casks. None of these have an age statement on the label.
Glenmorangie also makes an 18 and a 25 year old expression, and a label called Signet, which is a blend of very old (30 year old) Scotch and newer make whiskey. Finally, they make Pride 1981 - aged for 18 years in used Bourbon barrels, and 10 years in barrels that have held Sauternes from the Chateau d'Yquem (another LVMH property).
Some popular cocktails containing Glenmorangie
- Silver & Sand — Cherry Liqueur, Scotch, Aromatized wine, Grapefruit bitters, Egg white, Lemon juice
- Trilby Cocktail #2 — Scotch, Parfait Amour, Sweet vermouth, Absinthe, Orange bitters, Orange peel
- Boxing Day — Scotch, Port, Swedish Punsch, Lemon juice, Cinnamon syrup
- (the) Minty — Whiskey, Sweet vermouth, Mint Bitters, Plum liqueur