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whisky art

Scotch Whisky by John Lamond

As we move through spring, the soil warms up, the young, green shoots poke their noses through the surface and the whisky companies finalize their budgets for the coming year. Their optimism of last summer and autumn is just a wee bit dampened by recession now, but the plans set in place a year ago cannot be halted.

Glenmorangie's four new stills have been sweetened. In an age-old custom, distillery manager Andy Macdonald and Dougie Murray, one of the "16 Men of Tain" who are entrusted to make Glenmorangie Single Malt, gathered "a unique botanical recipe of herbs, heather and lichen" from around the Tarlogie Spring (Glenmorangie's water source); these were immersed in boiling water and distilled through the stills just to "take the edge" off the new copper. Sweetening was last carried out at Glenmorangie in 1990 and it was Dougie's father, John, one of the 16 Men of Tain of 20 years ago, who assisted the manager on that occasion.

Dougie Murray said, "I remember my father talking about the sweetening of the stills when it last happened in 1990. He was immensely honoured to be involved and loved the attention surrounding it. It means a great deal to me to be able to carry on this Glenmorangie tradition which is now also a family tradition and I know my father would have been very proud."

The full text of this column is available in the Summer 2009 issue of Scottish Life.

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