Major developments to Glenmorangie Distillery and its sister hotel, Glenmorangie House, transform the experience whisky loving travelers encounter in this inviting pocket of Scotland.
Scotland’s legendary Glenmorangie Distillery has distilled whisky on shore of Dornoch Firth, north of Inverness, since 1843. The distillery has long taken pride in the creativity of its whisky makers, with a stream of boundary-pushing blends coming from its famously tall—the tallest in Scotland—copper stills mimicking the necks of giraffes.
The creativity that’s seen in the whisky making process runs equally through Glenmorangie’s hospitality offering introducing visitors to the historic distillery and hosting guests in the nearby boutique hotel and gastronomic destination, Glenmorangie House.
This summer, Glenmorangie House emerged from a bold transformation, enhancing the overall whisky-led experience in interiors that are inspired by the whisky making process, with September then seeing the opening of the distillery’s new innovation hub resulting from a multi-million-pound expansion of the historic site.
A section of the distillery dedicated solely to innovation, Glenmorangie Lighthouse is designed to bring new tastes to single malt, with flavor identified as the foundation of the distillery’s future growth. Conceived as a whisky-makers’ playground, this gleaming glass tower promises to ultimately put flavor before yield to create game-changing single malts that appeal to whisky lovers both new and old.
The 20-meter-high glass still house is a striking addition to the picturesque whisky distilling site set alongside Tarlogie Spring, where this whisky production’s water is sourced from, discovered on tours from the visitor center complete with whisky tasting bar.
The distillery’s hospitality arm, Glenmorangie House is a 20-minute drive from here on an elevated patch of coast overlooking the Moray Firth. First acquired in the ‘80s as a venue for entertaining corporate clients before being made a hotel for guests to the distillery in the ‘90s, this former farmhouse lies within sprawling grounds, also home to ruins of a 13th-century castle and surrounded by fields yielding the barley used for some of Glenmorangie’s whiskies.
The newly transformed hotel retains its original spirit and approach to hosting—think gastronomic dinner parties and whiskies by an open fire—but new energy has been brought to the house with the maximalist interiors of Russell Sage Studio and a more playful guest experience overall.
The hotel’s public areas downstairs now represent elements of whisky making through their eclectic design. The Morning Room evokes the feeling of walking through a field of barley and the Tasting Room draws inspiration from whisky production’s use of water. The Dining Room represents the copper stills’ molten heat and the Buffalo Room celebrates the time whisky spends ageing in casks.
The house’s six bedrooms upstairs represent different blends of Glenmorangie whisky through color, artwork and a curated collection of curios, with the three standalone cottages outside reflecting the malting process, cask innovation and director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden’s approach to blending.
Guests are introduced to whisky, local produce and the house’s bucolic surroundings through foraging excursions, whisky and cheese pairing sessions, a sensory whisky experience and demonstrations of how different whisky blends can be used in food.
The house’s head chef John Wilson leads the kitchen in creating nightly four-course menus in which dishes either use, take inspiration from or pair with whisky blends while also celebrating locally sourced ingredients of the season. All guests are brought together for dinner-party-style meals and dinner is followed with drams of whisky by the Buffalo Room’s crackling fire.