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Glen Mhor

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GLEN MHOR   8 years old 40 %           
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   29 years old 40%                  
Distilled 1965
Bottled 1994
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   8 years old 57 %                   
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   14 years old 63,2 %                   
ORIGINAL ' CASK 'Strenght
Distilled: 1978
Bottled: 1992
Natural High Strenght,
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   13 years old 64,3 %    INFO     
Distilled Feb 79
Bottled Aug 92
Society Cask No. code 57.3
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh


GLEN MHOR   15 years old 40%            
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   16 years old 43 %                
Highland (1979 - 1995);
Distilled: 1979
Bottled: 1995
Stenen kruik
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

GLEN MHOR   12 years old 40 %                  
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR   20 years old 59,3%      
SILENT STILLS
Distilled 12.5.77
Bottled 28.10.97
Cask No. 1552
230 bottles
Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

GLEN MHOR   20 years old 43 %                
VINTAGE 1977
Distilled 12.5.77
Bottled 14.4.98
Cask No. 1546
348 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh


GLEN MHOR   22 years old 43 %                
VINTAGE 1977
Distilled 12.5.77
Bottled 7.12.99
Cask No. 1563
384 bottles
Natural Colour
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

GLEN MHOR   22 years old 61.0 %    INFO           
RARE MALTS SELECTION
Natural Cask Strenght
Distilled 1979
Bottled October 2001
Limited Edition
Genummerde flessen
Scottish Malt Distillers, Elgin.

GLEN MHOR   21 years old 40 %             
RARE OLD
HIGHLAND MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Distilled 1979
Bottled 2000
Proprietors: Mackinlay & Birnie
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

GLEN MHOR  21 years old 62,5 %           INFO                
SINGLE CASK SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Date Distilled Dec 81
Date Bottled Jul 03
Society Cask code 57.13
Outturn 420 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Moulin Rouge'.

GLEN MHOR   21 years old 62,7 %    INFO          
SINGLE CASK SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Date distilled December 1981
Date bottled October 2002
Society Cask No. code 57.11
Outturn 359 bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Snorkelling in molasses'


GLEN MHOR   21 years old 43%                 
SIGNATORY VINTAGE
VINTAGE 1980
Distilled on 4.3.80
Bottled 14.12.2001
Matured in a sherry butt
Butt No. 878
714 Genummerde flessen
Natural Colour
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

GLEN MHOR   Aged 29 years 42,5 %             
RAREST OF THE RARE
SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
A Historic Collection of
Cask Strenght Single Cask Whiskies
from Distilleries which no longer exist
Unique Whiskies of Distinction
Fons et Origo
D T C
Distilled:12.1975
Sherry Cask
Cask no. 4038
Bottled: 11.2004
Numbered Bottles
222 Bottles
No Chill Filtering or
Colouring of any kind
Duncan Taylor & Co, Ltd,
Huntly, Aberdeenshire

GLEN MHOR     25 years old 43 %                
Distilled 1979
Bottled 2004
Proprietors: MacKinlay & Birne
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
GLEN MHOR    28 years old 51,9 %     INFO         
RARE MALTS SELECTION
NATURAL CASK STRENGHT
Distilled 1976
Bottled April 2005
Limited Edition
6000 Bottles
Numbered Bottles
Scottish Malt Distillers, Elgin

GLEN MHOR            Aged 31 years 42,6 %                        
RAREST  OF  THE  RARE
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
A Historic Collection of
Cask Strenght Single Cask Whiskies
from Distilleries which no longer exist
Unique Whiskies of Distinction
Fons et Origo
D T C
Date distilled: 12.1975
Cask Number: 4031
Date Bottled: 05.2007
258 Numbered Bottles
No Chill Filtration or
Colourings of any kind
Duncan Taylor & Co, Ltd,
Huntly, Aberdeenshire

GLEN  MHOR      Aged 32 years  40.6 %            
1 9 7 5
RAREST  OF  THE  RARE
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
A Historic Collection of Cask                                                                        
Strenght Whiskies from Distilleries
which no longer exist
Unique Whiskies of Distinction
Fons et Origo
D T C
Distilled 12.1975
Cask no. 4041
Bottled 11.2008
Numbered Bottles
148 Bottles
No Chillfiltering or Colouring of any kind
Duncan Taylor & Co, Ltd, Huntly, Aberdeenshire

GLEN  MHOR            1 9 6 5                                          
42 years old  43 %
Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1965
Bottled 2007
Glen Mhor Distillery, Inverness
Bonded and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin


GLEN  MHOR
31 years 43 %                                         
Single Highland Malt
Distilled 1980
Mackinlay & Birnie
Proprietors:
Bonded and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

Highland Malt
The Northern Highlands
GLEN MHOR  (1892 - 1983)


Inverness. Licentiehouders: Mackinlay & Birnie. Glen Mhor is onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.). De malt divisie van de Distillers Company Ltd. (D.C.L).
Gesloten in 1983, ontmanteld in 1988.
Gesticht in 1892 door John Birnie en James Mackinlay. Glen Mhor is Keltisch en beteknt groot dal, vernoemd naar het grote dal dat loopt van Fort William naar Inverness.
John Birnie, eerst bedrijfsleider van Glen Albyn ging een compagnonschap met James Mackinlay van Charles Mackinlay & Co, whiskyblenders en handelaren te Leith.
Het ontwerp was van Charles Doig. In December 1894 werd Glen Mhor opgestart. Het water voor de produktie van Glen Mhor kwam van Loch Ness.
In 1906 werd John Walker & Sons Ltd eigenaar van 40 % van de aandelen van Glen Mhor.
De distilleerderij werd toen ook uitgebreid.
Mackinlay & Birnie Ltd kochten in 1920 de Glen Albyn distilleerderij.
Beide distilleerderijen waren in zowel de eerste- als de tweede wereldoorlog gesloten.
Neil M. Gunn, die veel over whisky heeft geschreven was hoofd van de accijnzen van Glen Mhor van 1923 tot 1937 en had een grote voorliefde voor deze whisky.
In 1949 werd de vloermouterij door het Saladin systeem, maar werd gesloten in 1980.
Charles Mackinlay & Co werd in 1961 overgenomen door Scottish & Newcastle Breweries en werd de Schotse whiskydivisie van de Waverley Group tot 1985 toen Mackinlay werd overgenomen door Invergordon Distillers voor E 17.5 000.000.
Glen Mhor en Glen Albyn werden in 1972 overgenomen door Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, (S.M.D.) die al via John Walker & Sons, aandeelhouder was in de distilleerderijen.
Glen Mhor en Glen Albyn werden gesloten in 1983 en ontmanteld. Glen Mhor had één Wash Still en één Spirit still.

Opposites attract
The Story of Glen Mhor Distillery, Inverness-shire.
The story of Glen Mhor begins across the road - the Great North Road at Inverness, where in 1884 corn merchants, Grgory & Co, had built a new distillery at Glen Albyn, on the site of the ruined Muirtown Brewery. Well situated on the Caledonian Canal where it falls to the sea, and supplied with water from Loch Ness, the new distillery prospered, thanks in no small part to its energetic manager, John Birnie.
Unable to see his efforts rewarded by a partnership, he set up a rival business with his friend and customer, Leith merchant Charles Mackinlay.
In 1892 the pair engaged Charles Doig, doyen of distillery designers, to build a brand new distillery directly opposite. There was, after all, no shortage of water supply. Meeting succes the partners formed a private company in 1906, now backed by their trade customers John Walker & Sons.
In 1920, they were able to complete their conquest by buying Glen Albyn.
The two distilleries were worked in partnership for the rest of their lives, joining first Scottish Malt Distillers, then the Distillers Company before finally each falling victim to the rapid expansion of Inverness in the 1980s.

October 2005

Diageo has announced that its 2005 Annual Rare Malts Selection will be the last.

The collection will consist of four cask strenght single malts from closed distilleries; Glen Mhor 28 years old, Millburn 35 years old, Glendullan 26 years old and Linkwood 30 years old.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan, global malts marketing director commented: 'As the Special Releases are now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series of Rare Malts with his own separate indentity'.
In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in the annual Special Releases series.

1892   Built by John Birnie, Manager of Glen Albyn distillery, and James Mackinlay
of Charles Mackinlay & Co, whisky blenders, Leith, under the firm of
Mackinlay & Birnie Ltd, Principal shareolder is Charles Mackinlay
Architect is Charles Doig

1893   Production starts in December

1906   A large shareholding being taken by John Walker & Co

1920   Mackinlay & Birnie Ltd, buys Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn distilleries

1954   A Saladin box replaces floor maltings which makes Glen Mhor one of the
first distilleries to introduce mechanical malting

1972   Glen Mhor is bought by Distillers Company Limited (D.C.L.)

1980   Own maltings is decommissioned

1983   Glen Mhor closes

1986   The buildings are demolished

2001   Glen Mhor 22 years old from 1979 is launched as a Rare Malt

     2005    Glen Mhor 28 years old from 1976 is launched as a Rare Malt

THE RARE MALTS SELECTION
The Rare Malts Selection, now drawing to a close after ten years, has always been made from remarkable cask-strenght single malt Scotch whiskies; among the rarest, most precious stocks to survive in Scotland.
Looked after undisturbed by careful hands since birth, each has been nurtured to perfection, then selected on merit by a distinguished panel of experts.
Often twenty or more years of age, many Rare Malts have been so rare that they will never be seen again.
Connoisseurs have appreciated their full rich colour and enjoyed their true depth of flavour, thanks to unfiltered cask-strenght bottling.
Nosing them has been an act of reverence to enjoy in itself. When tasting, it has always been advised that the correct dilution for a cask-strenght Rare Malt should be two parts water to one of whisky.
Each individually numbered bottle has revealed a most intriguing character, its individuality emphasised by a quirk peculiar to natural cask strenght bottlings.
So small has been each bottling run that every Rare Malt, drawn from casks, which naturally differ, has had its own unique strenght.
The Rare Malts Selection: each unique to taste, give, collect and now, to remember with affection.

THE LAST RARE MALTS SELECTION
The Rare Malts have always been, by definition, rare. They have never been on widespread sale. Available only in selected outlets, each has been released as a strictly limited edition of individually numbered bottles.
As with fine vintage wine, the supply of Rare Malts has been restricted by availability.
Once each was exhausted, its place in the Selection was taken by an equally rare bottling of a similarly fine old single malt.
And now, the stocks from which the Rare Malts were drawn are almost exhausted, the very last selection has been made.
It is limited to no more than 6000 bottles of each make, and is additionally distinguished by coming in part from closed distilleries.
The last of the last. Truly, these are The Rare Malts.

Glen Mhor was one of a number of single malts which were being bottled in the late 19th and early 20th century, a further demonstration that the commonly held notion that this was a 1960s concept is not borne out by historical evidence.


A small two-still operation, it is now very rarely seen although SMWS and Gordon & MacPhail have, on occasion, bottled it. Bottlings show it to be a big, fat and quite muscular malt with a meaty and lightly smoky undertow.

It re-emerged most recently when it was named as one of the malts in the Mackinlay’s blend which was found entombed in ice under Ernest Shackleton’s hut. The distillery’s other claim to fame was as the place where Scottish novelist, and author of the polemic Scotland and Whisky, Neil M. Gunn, was first based.

Clearly in 1892 when John Birnie, the manager of Glen Albyn (which sat opposite) entered into a business partnership with Leith blender Charles Mackinlay, he was thinking commercially. The new distillery was designed by the leading architect of the era, Charles Doig, and located between the Caledonian Canal and the railway giving it superb communication links. In 1920, Mackinlay & Birnie bought Glen Albyn.

Unusually, the distillery remained water-powered until the 1950s and had Saladin maltings installed in 1954.

In 1972, it became a late addition to the DCL portfolio, although it would only remain with the industry giant until 1983 when it was another of Scotland’s smaller stills to close. Three years later it was demolished.

Seen from a modern perspective in which the importance of whisky tourism is a major consideration, the fact that the capital of the Highlands doesn’t have a single distillery might seem strange.  It’s easy to forget how vey different the business was only a few decades ago.

1892
Glen Mhor distillery is built by John Birnie and Charles Mackinlay
1906
The firm is incorporated as Mackinlay & Birnie
1954
Saladin maltings installed at Glen Mhor
1972
The distillery joins the DCL portfolio
1980
Glen Mhor's maltings is closed
1983
The distillery closes and is demolished
OWNERS

Diageo
1997 - present
PREVIOUS OWNERS

United Distillers
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1972 - 1986
Mackinlay

Glen Mhor was one of a number of single malts which were being bottled in the late 19th and early 20th century, a further demonstration that the commonly held notion that this was a 1960s concept is not borne out by historical evidence.

A small two-still operation, it is now very rarely seen although SMWS and Gordon & MacPhail have, on occasion, bottled it. Bottlings show it to be a big, fat and quite muscular malt with a meaty and lightly smoky undertow.

It re-emerged most recently when it was named as one of the malts in the Mackinlay’s blend which was found entombed in ice under Ernest Shackleton’s hut. The distillery’s other claim to fame was as the place where Scottish novelist, and author of the polemic Scotland and Whisky, Neil M. Gunn, was first based.

Clearly in 1892 when John Birnie, the manager of Glen Albyn (which sat opposite) entered into a business partnership with Leith blender Charles Mackinlay, he was thinking commercially. The new distillery was designed by the leading architect of the era, Charles Doig, and located between the Caledonian Canal and the railway giving it superb communication links. In 1920, Mackinlay & Birnie bought Glen Albyn.

Unusually, the distillery remained water-powered until the 1950s and had Saladin maltings installed in 1954.

In 1972, it became a late addition to the DCL portfolio, although it would only remain with the industry giant until 1983 when it was another of Scotland’s smaller stills to close. Three years later it was demolished.

Seen from a modern perspective in which the importance of whisky tourism is a major consideration, the fact that the capital of the Highlands doesn’t have a single distillery might seem strange.  It’s easy to forget how vey different the business was only a few decades ago.

1892
Glen Mhor distillery is built by John Birnie and Charles Mackinlay
1906
The firm is incorporated as Mackinlay & Birnie
1954
Saladin maltings installed at Glen Mhor
1972
The distillery joins the DCL portfolio
1980
Glen Mhor's maltings is closed
1983
The distillery closes and is demolished
OWNERS

Diageo
1997 - present
PREVIOUS OWNERS

United Distillers
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1972 - 1986
Mackinlay & Birnie
1892 - 1972


NEIL M. GUNN

Novelist Neil M. Gunn was one of the leading figures of the Scottish renaissance of the early 20th century. But long before he established himself as a writer, he was an exciseman whose work took him frequently to Scotch whisky distilleries. Gavin D Smith tells his story.

Neil M Gunn
Rod and line: Gunn’s job as an exciseman enabled him to enjoy outdoor pursuits in his youth (All photos: The Neil Gunn Trust)
Neil Miller Gunn was born at Dunbeath on the Caithness coast in 1891. At that time, herring fishing was a booming industry, providing a living for many folk in the Highlands and Islands, and Gunn’s father was skipper of a successful fishing boat.

In 1911, Gunn entered the Civil Service, and was posted to London and Edinburgh before returning to the north of Scotland as a Customs & Excise official.

Based in Inverness, he worked as an ‘unattached officer’, covering for periods of holiday or illness all over the Highlands and Islands and dealing with all matters that concerned Customs & Excise – though it seems that he particularly enjoyed his visits to distilleries.

Through the excise service, he made friends with another officer who would also go on to be a successful novelist, the Kerry-born Maurice Walsh. Gunn described to his co-biographer Francis Hart how, while Walsh was stationed at Benromach distillery in Forres: ‘I’d write ahead and say: “Look here! I’m coming to replace you. Kindly see that the books are all in perfect order and that there is absolutely no work to be done.”’

The pair would fish and shoot all over the Highlands, and Gunn features in Walsh’s best-known novel The Key Above The Door, published in 1926. He is fictionalised as Neil Quinn, who invites the narrator to stay with him near Talisker distillery on Skye, where he is covering for the resident officer’s period of leave.

Neil M Gunn

On the road: Gunn spent his early career as a travelling excise officer in the Highlands

The visit was real enough, and Gunn later recalled that the pair stopped off at an inn on their way home from a day’s fishing for ‘two drams of Talisker whisky, 12 years old, out of a Sherry hogshead’.

In 1921, Neil Gunn became eligible for his first fixed assignment, and one of his fellow officers joked that he would probably be sent to Wigan. And sure enough, when the orders came through, Wigan it was!

While there, he married his fiancée Daisy, and after a year the couple returned to the Highlands, with Gunn appointed as resident officer at Glen Mhor distillery in Inverness in 1923. Glen Mhor and its neighbour Glen Albyn were then owned by John Birnie, who became a friend and mentor to the new officer.

The ‘exciseman’ was unquestionably the most powerful figure in any distillery, as he was the representative of HM Government with the authority to stop whisky-making if he was not satisfied that all proper practices were being observed to ensure that the government received its full duty payment.

As Gunn himself wrote, however:

‘Long experience has created an almost perfect system of supervision, interfering so little with practical operations and supplying such figures of liability or accountancy as distillers unhesitatingly accepted, that normally the relations between the Excise official are pleasant and charged with mutual respect.’

Certainly, Gunn found time to spend most afternoons at home writing, while the business of distillation carried on. His literary career blossomed, and in 1937 he felt sufficiently confident in making a living from it that he resigned from the Excise service and took to writing full-time.

Neil M Gunn

On the beach: Gunn didn’t let his job as exciseman interrupt his writing endeavours

Of the 27 books he published, the best known is undoubtedly the 1941 epic novel about the fishing boom of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, The Silver Darlings. A website devoted to the author declares it to be ‘widely acclaimed as a modern classic and considered the finest balance between concrete action and metaphysical speculation achieved by any British writer in the 20th century’.

Two years before leaving Glen Mhor, Gunn penned Whisky and Scotland, subtitled A Practical and Spiritual Survey and described by publisher George Routledge & Sons as ‘this witty, indignant little book’.

As a writer about whisky, Gunn is the antithesis of the Victorian ‘distillery-bagger' Alfred Barnard. Whereas Barnard took delight in chronicling the dimensions of everything he saw in each distillery he visited, Gunn was much more of a broad-brush man.

For him the mystique of whisky-making and its role in Scottish history, legend and everyday life was what made it worth writing about, though he also demonstrates the ability to describe traditional whisky-making practices in clear and engaging terms.

Faced with a washback, Barnard would have asked its capacity, whereas Gunn wrote: ‘I have heard one of those backs rock and roar in a perfect reproduction of a really dirty night at sea.’

Neil M Gunn

Whisky writer: Gunn was interested in the broader cultural context of Scotch

This is a whisky book written by a writer, rather than a book written by a whisky writer. Just consider the lines: ‘To listen to the silence of 5,000 casks of whisky in the twilight of a warehouse while the barley seed is being scattered on surrounding fields, might make even a Poet Laureate dumb.’

Gunn’s is also a book about much more than whisky, with the subject only really receiving dedicated coverage from page 125 onwards out a total of 198. For Gunn, Scotland’s whisky and its heritage are inextricably interwoven with its nationhood, and the ardent Scottish nationalist – and ally of poet and essayist Hugh MacDiarmid – has much to say on the subject.

He also has much to say about the prevailing fashion for light-bodied, easy-drinking blends, declaring that ‘…the blender has become the dictator of the pot still, whose product he uses. To survive, the pot still must sell as cheaply to him as possible and must therefore contrive to get the maximum amount of spirit out of the minimum amount of barley’.

He further writes:

‘A fine pot-still whisky is as noble a product of Scotland as any Burgundy or Champagne is of France. Patent-still spirit is no more a true whisky than, at the opposite extreme, is any of those cheap juices of the grape heavily fortified by raw spirit which we import from the ends of the earth a true wine.’

Gunn was, of course, writing at a time of global economic depression, to which the Scotch whisky industry was far from immune. He notes:

‘In 1921 there were 134 distilleries at work in Scotland. In 1933 there were 15 (including six patent stills). Last year, the number of pot stills at work had increased again. But the future of Highland malt whisky, other than as a flavouring ingredient of patent spirit, is very obscure.’

Neil Gunn died in 1973 but, were he alive today, he would surely take great pleasure in the renaissance which single malts have undergone during the past few decades.

He would also have delighted in the number of independent distilleries that are springing up all over Scotland. He would, however, have been rather less thrilled about the result of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence…
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