The Glenmorangie distillery was established in 1843, on the Dornoch Firth by brothers William and John Matheson. The site originally held a farm distillery under the name Morangie. There is evidence that distillation was carried out at this site during the early 18th century. Production began in November of 1849. During the latter part of the 19th century Glenmorangie began overseas exportation and destinations included Europe and the United States.
Such was the dependence on foreign trade that the distillery closed in 1931 following the enactment of US Prohibition and the Great Depression. The distillery remained closed until November of 1936. Macdonald and Muir Ltd, who purchased the company over the early part of the 19th century, put Glenmorangie Plc up for sale. Glenmorangie Plc included the distilleries Ardbeg, Glen Moray and Glenmorangie and, after frenzied bidding, the group was acquired by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey for £300 million.
To some extent, Glenmorangie were pioneers in the field of wood finishes. Delectable examples include the Sauternes-finished Nectar D'Or and the Côte De Beaune-finished twelve year-old. 2008 saw a rather unusual release; Glenmorangie's Signet. Signet is a single malt whisky distilled from chocolate malt and has a delightful flavour. The range is large and features a number of finished whiskies as well as the more traditional core expressions, like the cherished Glenmorangie 10.
In 2009, four more stills were added along with a larger mash tun and extra washbacks. Clearly that wasn’t enough, as in July 2018, construction began on a new stillhouse which will create space to house two more stills, as well as another building to house another two washbacks. It is due to be completed in 2019.
Quinta Ruban is initially matured in bourbon casks before being moved over to ruby Port casks, imparting waves of scrumptious fruit and chocolate notes to the spirit. Superb as a postprandial dram.
Nose: Summer fruit tart with a sprinkling of icing sugar, aromatic cedar, milky coffee and almond pastries.
Palate: Chocolate mousse, Bourbon biscuits, orange oil, more almond notes (now toasted), blackcurrant and raisin.
Finish: Lasting richness of stewed berries and dark chocolate.