Mortlach History and Whisky Walk

Presented at Highland Spirit, a historically listed building and the locally famous home of Grant the Coppersmith, lodgings of the Mortlach Exciseman and the old North Bank of Scotland.


The first legal distillery in Dufftown and one of the oldest in Scotland

Enjoy a welcoming dram of the new release Mortlach "Wee Witchie" 12 Year Old.  You will first hear the history of Mortlach distillery, (established 1823, the first legal distillery in Dufftown).  This was where William Grant of Glenfiddich fame learned his trade.

See how the original smuggling flasks made by the Coppersmith were used to steal whisky?   How did Mortlach whisky pay for health care?  Drink a Mortlach dram to find out.

How was illicit whisky made in the Clock Tower when the town was full of Excise Men?


Visit the 566AD church where the Celtic Monks first distilled aqua vitae

A short walk to Mortlach Kirk to see where the Celtic Monks first distilled in 566AD.  The Kirk is the oldest, continually used religious site in the UK.   You will try some of the Monks' aqua vitae.  We visit the grave-robbers watchers hut, the Grant Family grave, have a dram with Dr Cowie and  hear about the legendary battle with the Danes.   What do the symbols on the 6th Century Pictish stone mean?


The unique 2.81 distillation

A stop at the historic kiln of Mortlach Distillery and sip on the renowned but discontinued 16YO Flora and Fauna.  Why the odd 2.81 distillation process?    Learn how the traditional worm-tubs and "Wee Witchie" give Mortlach its oily robust notes.  How did the iconic Pagoda's of Scotland's distilleries come about?  Why does the new pipeline make the cows unhappy?

Return to Highland Spirit passing by the old Temperance Hotel - a paradox of maturation.









Measure whisky like the Exciseman

You will hear about the role of the Mortlach Exciseman and will have a go using some of his original instruments to measure the strength/volume of alcohol.   

Lastly a 30YO dram from 1984!   (Distilled before the cast iron mash tun was removed).

Lots more besides.


8 drams and an aqua vitae £79

- 12YO Mortlach "Wee Witchie" (the new official release, bourbon and sherry casks)

- 18YO JW Ultimate (a rich hedonistic whisky)

- 1998 G&M Reserve (1st Fill Bourbon Single Cask for medicinal purposes)

- Aqua vitae from Lindores Abbey (the first making of whisky)

- 15YO Games of Thrones (The Battle of Mortlach)

- 20YO Cowie's Blue Seal (what Dr Cowie considered to be the best Mortlach)

- 16YO Mortlach Flora and Fauna (the perennial favourite of the Connoisseur)

- 19YO  The Coopers Choice  Mortlach 1996 (ex-bourbon single cask)

- 30YO Mortlach 1984 (beautiful sherry butts)

[may change from time to time and are complimentary for the stories and tales]


Price and Booking

The easy walk is just over a mile long, lasts up to 3 hours and is accompanied by 8 whiskies and an aqua vitae presented in whisky-tasting glasses.  Price £79 per person (minimum 2 people).  Offered by Alistair as a qualified walking guide and whisky buff, by arrangement for you.   Can be booked as an extra with your room or book separately by phone or email or in person.

Mortlach Dufftown Walk