Glen Mhor Distillery
Stills: 1 Wash 1 Spirit
Water Source: Loch Ness
1950s-1983: Saladin Boxes and Eccentricity.
Glen Mhor had a Saladin box installed in place of its traditional floor maltings in 1954. It subsequently had its stills converted to steam in 1963 but otherwise its production methods remained fairly traditional and basic. The saladin maltings were discontinued in 1980 and the distillery obtained malt from external commercial sources for the remaining three years of its life. It was closed, like so many other smaller, more individual distilleries in 1983.
The earliest bottlings of Glen Mhor are, unusually, official ones. It was bottled as a 10yo as far back as the 1950s so it is possible to taste Glen Mhor from a pre-modernisation era, although a bottle will be exceptionally hard and expensive to find. More easily available are the official 10yo bottlings in the old pinched Isle Of Jura style bottles from the late sixties onwards. These bottlings are much easier to find and show a big, oily, boisterously grassy type of make with a narrow, austere fruitiness and lots of powerful, farmy highland style characteristics.
Glen Mhor is most readily available in independent bottlings these days with bottlings still appearing occasionally from various bottlers. Although stocks are inevitably drying out and due to the nature of the distillate and inconsistent wood policies throughout its latter years, bottlings can be a little hit or miss. Latter era Glen Mhor is a big, grassy, grumpy and austere spirit, characterized by big mineral and waxy notes often with lots of vegetal, cereal and hone notes with many strange subtleties thrown in at random. The best of them are beautifully old school and compelling while the worst are frustrating and strange. What is certain is that Glen Mhor is a whisky that will never bore you and is a great cure for a palate bored by the superficial nature of some modern distillates.