1) There is now a Co-op store where the Glen Mhor distillery used to be.
2) In 1954 Glen Mhor was the very first malt whisky distillery to use the Saladin Box malting process.
This process was abandoned in 1980, probably due to the relatively high costs.
3) In 1972, William Birnie (the son of John Birnie, then 80 years old) sold Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn to DCL.
4) The area around Inverness is dominated by the famous Loch Ness - only one of the many freshwater lakes of Scotland. All in all, Scotland has more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes.
5) The very first recorded appearance of the elusive Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a "water beast" attacked one of St. Columba's followers in the loch.
6) The name 'Glen Mhor' means 'Great Glen' - which pobably refers to the Glen which is home to Loch Ness.
7) The peat source for the Glen Mhor distillery was Dava Moor.
Glen Mhor 27yo 1982/2010 (55.8%, Riverstown, c#1348, 259 Bts.)
Nose: Big, round and sweet. bakery aroma's. Water Melon. Mellow with some faint perfumy notes emerging.
Taste: Medium sweet start. Fairly harsh finish. Very pronounced tannins. Over time some perfumy traits emerge.
Score: 81 points - it lost two or three points when the dry pine & menthol in the finish became overwhelming.
Glen Mhor 44yo 1966/2010 (49.7%, Blackadder Raw Cask, Refill Sherry Butt c#1898, 428 Bts.)
Nose: Wow! Very big, fruity and expressive. Subtle complex sweet notes. A hint of smoke emerges with time.
After it had had time to breathe, all sorts of complexities evolved in the smoky part of the spectrum.
Taste: Smoky start, leaning towards perfumy. Quite hot and harsh in the centre. A hint of pine, perhaps?
Score: 87 points - I contemplated a score in the 90's for a few minutes, but the palate drags it down a bit.
In fact, it would be best to finish this whisky within 10 minutes; after that it starts to drop off...
Glen Mhor 22yo 1979/2001 (61%, UD Rare Malts, 70cl)
Nose: Very spicy. Deep, dry sherry elements. Banana. Great complexity. Some liquorice. Sherry.
Taste: Very hot and powerful at C/S. Sour and woody. Not really drinkable. Becomes grittier with some water.
Score: 80 points - barely recommendable, which is a little bit below par for a UD Rare Malts bottling.
Glen Mhor 20yo 1977/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage, 70cl)
Nose: Starts off rather strange & sweet - not your typical Speysider. Smoky too. And of course the liquorice.
Taste: Assorted sweets and liquorice. Menthol. There was also something 'fishy' (literally) in the taste.
Score: 71 points - not really an encouragement to hunt down more bottles from this obscure distillery.
Glen Mhor 12yo (40%, G&M, bottled early 1990's, 70cl)
Nose: Rich and malty, then fruitier. Spices? A distant hint of rancid butter? Not very 'pronounced'.
Taste: Smooth & a little bittler in the start. Malty, sweeter center. Long, hot finish. Not a lot of individuality.
Score: 76 points - A faily old bottling from the days that I had just discovered single malt whiskies.
Glen Mhor 8yo (70 Proof, G&M, Bottled 1970's)
Nose: Coffee and mocca. A hint of oil. Not a lot of other elements that stand out.
Taste: Flat and tired at first, but it improves after a while. The whisky grows chewy and a tad winey.
Score: 80 points - a surprising score for a malt this age (both young and old at the same time...)
Glen Mhor 8yo (100 Proof, G&M, Bottled 1970's)
Nose: Organics. Sweet and sherried. Mash tun. More character than the 70 Proof variety.
Taste: Sherried, woody and quite dry. A tad bitter in the finish but still a better dram than the '70 Proof'.
Score: 83 points - even better than the '70 proof' version; an exceptional look into the past.
These were not all (official & independent) bottlings of Glen Mhor Scotch whisky I've tried over the years.
Besides, these tasting notes only reflect my own, personal opinion; your tastes might be different from mine.
Fortunately, you can find the scores and tasting notes from up to two dozen other whisky lovers in the 'Malt Maniacs Monitor' - an independent whisky database with details on more than 15,000 different whiskies from Scotland and the rest of the world. Visit the Glen Mhor page on the MMMonitor and select 'scorecard view' if you want to know how other whisky lovers felt about the dozens of Glen Mhor expressions that were released in recent years. However, if you'd like to learn more about whisky in general (and single malt Scotch whisky in particular), you might want to check out the Beginner's Guide to Scotch whisky (10 chapters filled with everything you need to fully enjoy and appreciate a glass of single malt whisky) or the mAlmanac (sort of a rudimentary whisky shopping guide.)
Glen Mhor (Pronounced: Glen VHAR)
Highlands (North) - some say Speyside (Inverness)
57°28'53.6808 N, 4°14'35.2932 W
Glen Albyn, Millburn, Glen Ord, Royal Brackla
Closed in 1983 (demolished in 1986)
1 Wash still, 1 Spirit still
Diageo / DCL / UDV
Great North Road, Inverness, IV3 5LU (Co-Op Store)
Not recently, except for some UDRM bottlings
Below, on WhiskyFun and on the Malt Maniacs Monitor
Scores & tasting notes:
The history of Glen Mhor is closely linked to that of the nearby
Glen Albyn distillery, also located in Inverness. It was founded
in 1892 by Mackinlay & Birnie; the first whisky was produced
in december 1894. Glen Mhor was acquired by the DCL in 1972
and licensed to SMD, together with Glen Albyn.
Glen Mhor operated for less than a century. The distillery was
closed in 1983 and demolished in 1988. The third distillery in
Inverness, Millburn, was closed in the 1980's as well. Official
bottlings of Glen Mhor were never released - unless you count
the UD Rare Malts expression depicted below. Apart from that
28yo version from 1976 the only other UDRM bottling (as far
as I know) has been a 22yo version from 1979. However, in
the 1990's semi-official bottlings were relatively easy to come
by; Gordon & MacPhail released quite a few different versions.
These days, Glen Mhor has disappeared from the marketplace.
I'm afraid there's not much more to tell about Glen Mhor...
Well, at least there wasn't when I wrote the first version of this distillery profile.
Fortunately, fellow malt maniac Michel van Meersbergen managed to dig up some more information about this long gone distillery. I'll gladly share these nuggets on this page...
The construction of the Glen Mhor distillery was initiated in 1892 by John Birnie and James Mackinlay of Charles Mackinlay & Co., blenders from Leith. Birnie had left the Glen Albyn distillery two years earlier after a dispute about shares in the distillery. Distillation of malt whisky at Glen Mhor began in 1894 and in 1906 a limited company was formed. The Mackinlay Company became the biggest shareholder.
The two distilleries worked closely together for years and in 1920
the Glen Mhor Company took over the Glen Albyn distillery entirely.
In 1954 Glen Mhor was the first distillery to use a Saladin box for
the malting process. In 1972 William Birnie (the son of John Birnie)
sold both Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn to DCL, Diageo's predecessor.
Due to the high costs, DCL stopped using the Saladin box malting
in 1980; since then malting for Glen Mhor was done elsewhere.
In 1983, a downturn of the market forced DCL to close Glen Mhor.
Several factors caused the costs of running the Glen Mhor distillery to be relatively
high - and the output to be relatively low. An expensive renovation was needed
to change these circumstances, but the bad whisky market of the early 1980's did
not support such a major investment. So Glen Mhor was closed in 1983 and three
years later the buildings were demolished and replaced by a shopping centre.
This was the end of almost two centuries of malt whisky distillation in Inverness.
The history had started in 1807 with Millburn (before whisky distillation had even
been fully legalised) and a few decades later the Glen Albyn distillery was founded.
Glen Mhor was the latest addition - and it was the first to be closed down again
(although the Glen Albyn distillery was closed virtually at the same time).
The Millburn distillery followed a mere two years later in 1985.
In a way, it is curious that these Inverness distilleries were written off so quickly.
After all, just a few decades earlier they had been the focal point of innovations
and upgrades. I already mentioned the Saladin box which was first used at the
Glen Mhor distillery in 1954, and in 1963 both stills were converted from direct
heating to steam heating - which was still something of a novelty in those days.
And that was the most important information about the Glen Mhor distillery.
Of course there is more background information and trivia for those that want to
dig even deeper, but that falls outside the scope of this website.
Is the distillery or