Founded at the end of the whisky boom in 1898, Glen Elgin was designed by the distillery architect Charles Doig of Elgin. Today, as the summer house-martins swoop among the worm tubs at the distillery on the edge of the Royal Burgh of Elgin, little seems to have changed in over a hundred year.
Glen Elgin is an unusually distinctive Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, from a little known traditional distillery, that finds its home 10 miles south of where the river Lossie exits to the sea.
In walking around the distillery you are struck by the contrasts in old and new, big and small.
The distillery has a huge storage capacity for malted barley. The 36 malt bins can hold 400 tonnes - more than the 3 other distilleries in the Elgin group combined. However the ISR (intermediate spirit receiver) which collects the spirit from the stills is very small and has to be pumped empty 3 times a day.
Recent investment has seen a new full lauter mash tun installed, replacing the old traditional tun with its geared rakes. The mash is now continually sparged as opposed to adding separate waters. The worts however are transferred to traditional wooden wash backs for fermentation. The distillery's floor maltings were decommissioned in the 1960s with the malt being supplied by large industrial maltings. However, worm tubs were retained for the cooling of the distillate.
Although the distillery has seen major refurbishment it retains the look and feel of a small, traditional distillery. There are no space-age computer panels and the highly regarded whisky continues to be made with a hands-on approach.
For generations this little-known Speyside distillery has lent its distinctive flavour to one of the world’s most famous blends. Fortunately for all Scotch lovers, today Glen Elgin whisky’s honey-sweet character is available to sample in its own right.
A characteristic heather-honey on the nose leads on to a pleasant malty palate, but never too rich. Sweet to start, then fruity, Glen Elgin whisky is a typical Speyside – complex, fragrant, with a delicious orange blossom finish.