Longmorn Whisky Distillery & Story
Longmorn whisky distillery is a Speyside region whisky. Located 4 miles south of the Scottish town of Elgin on A941.
The Longmorn (long-morn) distillery is built on the site of a small church, dedicated to the Saint Marnan or Marnoch and was known as Lann Marnoch – the church of St Marnoch. Over time, the name evolved and was anglicised to become Longmorn.
How the Longmorn story began
Longmorn whisky distillery founded by John Duff and partners in 1893.
Prior to this, in 1876 Duff and two partners formed John Duff & Co, and built the Speyside Glenlossie distillery.
Duff himself took responsibility for the design and management of the distillery that became a great success.
In 1893, John Duff, in partnership with Charles Shirres and George Thomson formed the Longmorn Distillery Company.
They leased land at Longmorn farm, and Duff again took personal charge of the construction and fitting out of the Longmorn distillery. The cost of building Longmorn at the time was £20,000. (=£2.22million at today’s values).
Longmorn’s supply water comes from local springs, barley from farms in the fertile Laich of Moray and plentiful supplies of peat for the kilns were obtained from the nearby Mannoch Hill.
The motive power for the distillery was provided by a large water wheel. A branch line and sidings, to assist the shipment of whisky to customers, and the delivery of barley, coal and other materials to the distillery, connected with the Great North of Scotland Railway Company’s Longmorn Station.
The distilleries four stills commenced working in December 1894.
Soon, Longmorn malt whisky was commanding the high price of 3s 8d per gallon (approximately equivalent to £21.60 at today’s prices).
Quickly acquiring a good reputation among blenders for its quality and taste: Indeed, according to The National Guardian in 1897, it “jumped into favour with buyers from the earliest day on which it was offered.”
In 1897, Duff invested £16,000 (=£1.92 million at today’s values). in building a second distillery, The Benriach Distillery, on adjacent land to Longmorn. At the end of the year he bought out his remaining partner, and floated the business as The Longmorn Distilleries Ltd.
However, disaster struck in 1898. A deep recession that was to last many years hit the whisky market, precipitated by the failure, of at the time leading whisky blenders and apparent fraudsters, Pattisons Ltd, this ruined John Duff.
With much of his capital tied up in maturing whisky stocks, his wine and spirit business collapsed. He was forced to hand over most of distillery company shares as security to the bank.
However, there was a particularly strong connection with Hill, Thomson & Co Ltd (which used Longmorn as “top dressing” in its popular Queen Anne and the deluxe Something Special blends).
The bank sold the distillery to James Grant and his sons ran the distillery.
They became known as the “Longmorn Grants” and remained in control until 1970, when the company merged with The Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd and Hill, Thomson & Co Ltd to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.
In the same year the distillery’s own floor maltings are stopped.
However. the new company brought much needed investment for expansion at Longmorn.
In 1972 the stills where increased from 4 to 6, and then to 8 stills in 1974.
This was prompted by the high level of demand for Longmorn as the “top dressing” in many of Scotland’s best blended whiskies.
In 1978 The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd passed to Chivas Brothers, one of the Seagram family of companies.
In 2001 the Pernod Ricard Group acquired Chivas Brothers.
The Longmorn Whisky Distillery
Founded in 1893 by John Duff and partners.
Location; Speyside Region, Central district south of Elgin.
Water source; Local Springs.
Longmorn Whisky Distillery Equipment;
Installed in the 2012 refit
A new 8.35 tonnes Briggs Stainless steel Full lauter mash tun.
7 of the 8 Stainless steel washbacks. were re-sited in a new tun room, with 3 more wash backs added.
4 pairs of stills, all fitted with sub-coolers.
The 4 wash stills have external heat exchangers added.
Matured in American oak bourbon and European sherry casks.
Longmorn Single malt whisky was traditionally bottled as a 15 year old. this has been replaced with a no age statement Distillers Choice as the only core bottling.