Longmorn single malt Scotch whisky logo with train graphic

Longmorn Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Two silver medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Gold Medal from the International Spirits Challenge in 2021.
Phone Number
  • +441542783042
  • Longmorn Cres, Elgin IV30 2SJ, United Kingdom

Aerial view of Longmorn Distillery complex and surrounding landscape.

History of Longmorn Distillery

Founding and Early Years

  • Establishment: Longmorn Distillery was founded in 1894 by John Duff, along with his partners George Thomson and Charles Shirras.
  • Location: Situated by the river Lossie outside Rothes, near Elgin, the distillery was built on a historic site, previously home to a chapel dedicated to Saint Marnan or Saint Marnoch.
  • John Duff’s Background: Duff was an experienced figure in the whisky industry, having worked at GlenDronach and managing Glenlossie. He even attempted to establish whisky industries in South Africa and the USA before founding Longmorn.

Development and Expansion

  • Initial Struggles: Despite the high quality of its whisky, the distillery faced financial difficulties, leading to Duff selling his business to James Grant in 1899.
  • Masataka Taketsuru’s Influence: In 1920, Masataka Taketsuru, one of the fathers of Japanese whisky, trained at Longmorn, and the stills at Nikka’s distilleries in Japan are said to be modelled after Longmorn’s.
  • Expansion and Modernization: The distillery underwent significant expansions and upgrades over the years, including increasing the stills and switching to steam heating.

Ownership Changes

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Longmorn joined forces with Glenlivet and Glen Grant in 1970 to form The Glenlivet Distilleries, which was later acquired by Seagram in 1977. This group, minus Glen Grant, became part of Chivas Brothers.

Current Ownership: As of 2001, Longmorn is owned by Pernod Ricard.

Distillery Character and Products

  • Production Process: Longmorn’s production involves sourcing water from nearby underground springs and using sherry casks for maturation. The distillery used to malt its barley until 1970 when the floor maltings were converted into a stillhouse.
  • Whisky Characteristics: Longmorn whisky is appreciated for its rich, sherried style with hints of grapefruit. It’s a main ingredient in the Chivas Regal blend and is also popular among independent bottlers.
  • Single Malt Availability: Longmorn has been available as a single malt since 1993, starting with a 15-year-old expression and later a 16-year-old expression in 2007.

Recent Developments

  • Expansion and Upgrades: The distillery underwent refurbishing and extension in 2012, enhancing its annual production capacity and modernizing its equipment.

Awards Won by Longmorn Distillery

Longmorn 16-Year-Old Release: This particular expression replaced the 15-year-old variant in 2007 and has gained significant popularity. It has been awarded two silver medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, highlighting its quality and appeal.

Longmorn 18 Years Old: This single malt, part of the Speyside distillery’s core range, has been matured in American oak barrels and hogsheads. It received several awards from international tasting competitions, including a Gold Medal from the International Spirits Challenge in 2021.

Various Longmorn Expressions Rated by Malt Maniacs: Several Longmorn whiskies have been rated highly in the Malt Maniacs Awards. For example:

  • Longmorn 1973/2006 scored 92 points and was a personal favourite in the 2007 Malt Maniacs Awards.
  • Longmorn 1964/2007 and Longmorn 1972/2006 both received scores in the 90s, indicating their high quality.

Recognition by Whisky Critics and Connoisseurs: Longmorn whiskies have consistently received high scores and praise from whisky critics. They are noted for their complexity, balance, and distinctive flavour profiles ranging from rich, woody, and sherried to fruity and spicy.

The distillery’s unique approach to whisky making, which involves using water from the nearby Burnside wells, barley from Moray, and peat from Mannoch Hill, contributes to the distinct character of its whiskies.

Longmorn Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Longmorn Distillery, nestled near Elgin in Morayshire, Scotland, offers a unique and immersive experience for whisky enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note that the distillery does not have a visitor centre or a gift shop, and visits are possible only after making an advance booking.

During a tour at Longmorn Distillery, visitors can expect to explore various aspects of whisky production. The distillery, known for its rich and sherried whisky style, boasts of an impressive production process:

  • Water Source: Longmorn uses water from nearby underground springs for its whisky production.

  • Mashing Process: The distillery has a cast iron mash tun with a capacity of 8 tons, and the mashing process plays a crucial role in the flavour development of their whiskies.

  • Fermentation: Longmorn has wooden washbacks, each holding 38,500 litres, where the fermentation of the mash occurs.

  • Distillation: The distillery houses eight stills, four wash stills, and four spirit stills, updated over the years. Originally, the distillery had fewer stills, but the number was increased to facilitate higher production.

  • Maturation: Longmorn matures most of its whisky in sherry casks, stored in dunnage and racked warehouses. This maturation imparts distinct flavours to the whisky.

History and Heritage

Visitors will also learn about the distillery’s rich history, dating back to its founding in 1894 by John Duff and his partners. Longmorn has a long-standing reputation for producing highly appreciated whiskies in the blended industry.

Flask & Barrel Review of Longmorn Distillery

As a whisky collector on numerous distillery tours, I’d say my experience at Longmorn Distillery was a solid 4.7 out of 5. What sets Longmorn apart is their rich history and the unique production process.

The tour was insightful, especially seeing the traditional methods they’ve preserved. Their use of sherry casks for maturation adds a distinctive flavour to their whisky. The transition from direct flame to steam heating was a fascinating aspect.

It’s a bit of a letdown that there’s no visitor centre or gift shop, but the quality of the tour and the whisky itself more than made up for it. A must-visit for any whisky enthusiast!

What To Do Nearby Longmorn Distillery


Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Longmorn Distillery?

Pizzeria Toscana: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +441343551066. Their address is 20 Thunderton Pl.

The Drouthy Cobbler: This restaurant has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them at +441343666006. The address is 48a High St.

Scribbles: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. You can make reservations by contacting them at +441343542835. Their location is at 152-154 High St.

What hotels are near Longmorn Distillery?

Royal Golf Hotel Dornoch: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441862810283. Their address is The First Tee, Dornoch IV25 3LG, United Kingdom.

Courtyard by Marriott Inverness Airport: This hotel has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them at +441463423111. The address is Fresson Circle, Dalcross, Inverness IV2 7BL, United Kingdom.

Travelodge Elgin Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. You can make reservations by contacting them at +448719846560. Their location is 5 Coxton Park, A96, Elgin IV30 8AZ, United Kingdom.