Glen Elgin logo

Glen Elgin Distillery

  • Scotland
Phone Number
  • +441343344130
  • United Kingdom, Longmorn, Glen Elgin Rd, Glen Elgin Distillery

Industrial distillery building with storage tanks.

History of Glen Elgin Distillery

The Glen Elgin Distillery, founded in 1898 by William Simpson and James Carle, is a notable Scotch single malt whisky distillery in Fogwatt, Moray, Scotland.

It’s part of the Speyside region, renowned for its whisky production. The distillery was purchased by Scottish Malt Distiller, a subsidiary of The Distillers Company, in 1936 and became part of Diageo in 1997 following a series of mergers.

Early Years of Glen Elgin Distillery

Glen Elgin was established during the boom years of Scotch Whisky production, marking a significant point in single malt history.

Despite its founding in 1898, production faced initial challenges, with starts and stops in the early years, including a closure and auction in 1901.

Ownership Changes and Development

The distillery changed hands multiple times, with frequent production halts. In 1936, it was acquired by Scottish Malt Distillers, marking a stable period in its history.

The distillery’s whisky became a key component in the White Horse Blended Whisky.

Modernization and Expansion

In the 1950s, the distillery underwent significant changes, including a rebuild to increase capacity and modernize operations. Despite these updates, Glen Elgin maintains a traditional approach to whisky production.

Product Ranges from Glen Elgin Distillery

Historically, Glen Elgin produced a range of whiskies, including 12-year-old, 16-year-old, 20-year-old, and 32-year-old variants. Currently, the distillery focuses on its 12-year-old malt, a major part of its product line since 2001.



Production Capacity and Techniques

With a capacity of 1.8 million liters of alcohol per year, Glen Elgin uses traditional pot stills and sources water from Millbuies Loch Springs.

The distillery’s unique still setup and use of copper worms for cooling alcohol vapors are notable aspects of its production process.

Glen Elgin Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting the Glen Elgin Distillery offers a unique and insightful experience into the whisky production process, although it’s important to note that the distillery is not regularly open to the public.

Here’s a detailed overview of what you can expect from a visit, based on a special tour conducted during the annual Spirit of Speyside Festival:

  • Exclusive Access: The distillery typically doesn’t offer public tours, but an exclusive tour called “The Laich of Moray” is available once a year during the Spirit of Speyside Festival. This tour covers four Diageo single malt distilleries in the Elgin area of Speyside, including Glen Elgin.
  • Historical Significance: Founded in 1898, Glen Elgin has a rich history and was designed by the renowned distillery architect Charles Doig. Since 1930, its single malt has been a key component in the famous White Horse blended whisky.
  • The Tour Experience: Upon arrival, visitors are taken through various production areas, starting with the malt bins capable of storing 400 tonnes of grain, leading to the milling room, and then to the cramped mash room. The mash tun holds 8.2 tonnes of mash, a mix of grist, water, and soluble sugars.
  • Fermentation Process: The tour proceeds to the fermentation room, where huge wooden washback tanks made of larch are used for the fermentation process. There are nine washbacks in total, with six in the distillery building and three in a new extension.
  • Distillation Room: The still room, housing six stills (three wash and three spirit stills), is more spacious and gives a clear sense that Glen Elgin is a working distillery. The stills are tarnished from hard work, reflecting the distillery’s high production capacity.
  • Traditional Methods: Glen Elgin uses traditional wormtubs for condensation, a rarity in modern distilleries. These large vats with coiled copper tubes condense the spirit vapours back into liquid.
  • Maturation and Tasting: The new make spirit is matured at two local distilleries, Auchroisk and Glenlossie, but some older stock is housed in Glen Elgin’s dunnage warehouses. The tour often concludes with a tasting of Glen Elgin’s 12-year-old single malt, the primary expression available on the market.
  • Visitor Information: Though not open to the public for regular tours, the distillery can be contacted for information at Glen Elgin Distillery, Longmorn, Elgin, Moray, IV30 8SL, Tel: +44(0)1343-862100.

Flask & Barrel Review of Glen Elgin Distillery

As a whisky collector who’s seen more distilleries than I can count, my visit to Glen Elgin was a delightful surprise.

Tucked away near Elgin, this distillery’s tour is a rare treat, only available during the Spirit of Speyside Festival. The vibe? Authentic, no-frills whisky-making.

From the historic milling room to the wormtub condensers, it’s all about tradition here. The highlight? Tasting their 12-year-old single malt – a smooth, complex flavor that speaks volumes.

Why not a full 5? Well, I always think there’s room for that little extra something. But, at 4.7 out of 5, Glen Elgin is a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast. Cheers!

What To Do Nearby Glen Elgin Distillery

  • Elgin Cathedral: A historical gem known as the ‘Lantern of the North.’ Explore the ruins of this medieval cathedral for a trip back to the 13th century. Climbing its towers gives you fantastic views of Elgin​​.
  • Mossend Farm: Alpaca Days Out: For animal lovers, this is a dream. Get up close with Scottish alpacas and enjoy some farmhouse hospitality with coffee and cakes​​.
  • Elgin Distilleries: Don’t miss the chance to tour other famous distilleries in Elgin. Each offers a unique whisky experience, making it a must-do for whisky enthusiasts​​.
  • Cove Bay: A beautiful, hidden bay north of the town. It’s perfect for a peaceful day by the sea, with a trail walk and a nearby car park​​.
  • Pluscarden Abbey: Experience the tranquil and historical setting of this 13th-century abbey, a few miles south of Elgin​​.
  • Spynie Palace: Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this royal site, home to Scotland’s largest tower by volume, David’s Tower​​.
  • Duffus Castle Gallery: Explore this impressive castle dating back to the 1140s, only a 10-minute drive from Elgin​​.
  • Biblical Garden Elgin: Open from May to September, this garden is a serene spot featuring over 100 plant species and mosaic artworks​​.
  • Moray Motor Museum: A haven for car enthusiasts with a collection of vintage vehicles​​.
  • Elgin Museum: One of Britain’s oldest museums, showcasing the rich history of Elgin and Moray​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Glen Elgin Distillery?

  • Scribbles: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441343542835. Their address is 152-154 High St, Elgin IV30 1BD, United Kingdom.
  • The Drouthy Cobbler: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441343666006. Their address is 48a High St, Elgin IV30 1BU, United Kingdom.
  • Ada Turkish | Café And Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441343556464. Their address is 29 South St, Elgin IV30 1JZ, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Glen Elgin Distillery?

  • Travelodge Elgin Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +448719846560. Their address is 5 Coxton Park, A96, Elgin IV30 8AZ, United Kingdom.
  • Premier Inn Elgin: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +443337777926. Their address is 15 Linkwood Way, Elgin IV30 1HY, United Kingdom.
  • The Milton: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441343545806. Their address is 59 Main St, New Elgin, Elgin IV30 6BH, United Kingdom.