Named after the site of the original Speyside town on which Dufftown was founded, Mortlach became Dufftown’s first legal distillery in 1823. The facility traveled a rocky road thereafter, changing ownership several times before shutting down in 1837. In the wake of this closure, the building served alternately (and somewhat paradoxically) as a church and a brewery. Finally, in 1852, John Gordon purchased the property and installed new distillation equipment. Eventually Mortlach came under the ownership of George Cowie Sr., a noted railway surveyor, and his son, Alexander Cowie. A plaque honoring this father-and-son team remains in the distillery today—a fitting memorial to the two men responsible for establishing Mortlach’s rich and powerful character.
Region: Speyside, Scotland