Glenmorangie open experimental distillery

Glenmorangie single malt has opened the Lighthouse, the brand’s first innovation distillery created for experimentation.

The Lighthouse, designed by Paris-based Barthélémy Griño Architects, has been built on the site of Glenmorangie’s Highland Distillery, overlooking Dornoch Firth.

“Our Lighthouse is the new home of imagination,” said Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of whisky creation who will head up the experimentation team at the Lighthouse.

“Here, we’ll indulge our most fantastical ideas as we strive to create a whole array of different flavours. We will play with raw ingredients and make small adjustments and big changes in ways never tried before. Nothing is off-limits, as long as it’s delicious.”

The new facility contains a stillhouse, equipped with two giraffe-high stills modified to alter spirit character by acting as if they were shorter or taller, a brewhouse for experimentation involving barley, water and yeast during mashing and brewing, and a sensory laboratory for experimentation on raw spirit.

The building will be powered in part by biogas, created from the by-products of distillation.

Under the direction of Dr Lumsden, Glenmorangie has been an experimental force in the world of Scotch single malt for several decades having put wood-finishing whisky on the map in the mid-1990s.

Since then, experimental releases, such as the mocha-inspired Glenmorangie Signet have affirmed that reputation.

“Global demand for Glenmorangie is growing significantly,” said Thomas Moradpour, president and chief executive of The Glenmorangie Company.

“The first of its kind, our Lighthouse experimental distillery is the keystone of our plans to stay at the forefront of taste innovation. By giving our talented creation team free rein, we will welcome even more consumers worldwide to enjoy delicious whiskies.”

To celebrate the opening of the Lighthouse, Glenmorangie has announced the release of a limited 3000 bottle run of Glenmorangie Lighthouse. The 12-year-aged whisky, created with bourbon and sherry casks, is available exclusively from the Distillery for rrp £85.