Adventures in whisky: immersive experience at reimagined Glenmorangie House
Deep in the rugged Highlands of Scotland, Glenmorangie Distillery and House offers an immersive whisky experience unlike any other
Of the world’s great drinks, single malt whisky, and the places where it is made, are particularly well endowed with heritage, culture, and beautiful surroundings. Glenmorangie Distillery, deep in the rugged Highlands of Scotland, has channelled these attributes towards creating an immersive whisky experience that offers the chance to appreciate every part of the whisky story at its source.
Visitors may elevate their single malt adventures with a stay at Glenmorangie House, which is nestled in the stunning Highland landscape and only moments away from the distillery. The beautiful 17th-century house is surrounded by fields of barley, from which whisky is made, and has recently undergone a dramatic reincarnation that takes guests on an exciting sensory journey through the whisky-making process.
Designed with exuberant flair by Russell Sage Studio, every space is a window into the whisky world. Take a seat in the morning room, which, with its golden, hand-painted Fromental wallpaper, nods to a sun-filled barley field before harvest. The dining room, meanwhile, suggests the heat and grandeur of copper stills. Each of the luxurious bedrooms reflects an enticing aspect of whisky’s colours, tastes and scents, and is scattered with quirky and delightful details.
Russell Sage remarks on the ‘aim to create a joyful experience’ and for ‘people to have a real sense of surprise and discovery’. The drawers in the sunset room, for instance, are lined with maps of Jerez – a reference to Glenmorangie’s Lasanta expression, which is finished in sherry casks from Jerez in Spain.
A sense of place and community is enhanced by the celebration of local artisans, who have been called upon to craft unique pieces, from paintings and prints to hand-tufted rugs, blown glass, and woven willow baskets.
The world of whisky is steeped in history and heritage, but that is not to say that it is positioned in the past; far from it, the whisky experience is constantly moving forward with our modern world, and in addition to the reimagining of the house, the distillery has now revealed The Lighthouse research and innovation lab designed by architects Barthélémy Griño, a groundbreaking multi-million pound expansion to its existing stone buildings.
Glenmorangie Distillery extension
The Lighthouse may be seen as a whisky maker’s playground, where Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of whisky creation, continues his pioneering work in pushing the boundaries of single malt production.
The 20m-high glass building takes its place as a dramatic modern feature of the Highland coastline, with the signature, tall copper stills visible through the glazing. The custom-designed stills feature a host of modifications that hugely expand what is possible with the raw ingredients for producing whisky (there are only three: barley, water and yeast). A laboratory is housed above the still house, in which Lumsden and his team experiment.
The combination of heritage, technology, and exceptional expertise yields delicious results that are all to be explored at Glenmorangie, whose portfolio is showcased at the distillery and the house, where you may retire at the end of a glorious Highland day, reflect on the magnificent experience, and savour a cocktail by the fire. §