Owner.. Morrison Bowmore. (Suntory)
Region.. Eastern highlands.
Capacity.. 1 370 000 litres
Tel.. 01651 873450
One of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland – and its most easterly – Glen Garioch (pronounced Geery in the ancient Doric dialect still spoken in these parts) has been making its mighty malt in the quaint and historic market town of Oldmeldrum, near Aberdeen in North East Scotland, ever since 1797. Shielded from the world’s prying eyes, deep in the fertile ‘Granary of Aberdeenshire’, and only ever produced in small, precious batches, Glen Garioch is a rare find indeed, but warmly appreciated by those who like a hearty Highland malt, non chill-filtered as nature intended, with a wholesome maltiness, honeyed sweetness and delicious creamy texture to savour.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to explore our corner of the Highlands, or even paid a visit to our little distillery you’ve probably heard phrases such as “Fou’syerdous?”,“Gang yer ain gate” or even “Gie’s a bosie!”. You would be forgiven for regarding these as a foreign tongue, when in fact it is the local Scot’s dialect Doric.
To all of us here at Glen Garioch and the communities of North East Scotland Doric is still in everyday use. However, for those of you who are less familiar with our dialect, the phrases above translate to “How are you doing?”, “Do it your own way” and “Give me a hug!”.
The name “Doric” goes back to Ancient Greek and Roman culture but it first appears as a reference to our quaint dialect in the 18th Century. Poet Allan Ramsay used the term with affection to mean a language associated with the countryside – a simple, ‘pure’, or plain-speaking language, something that sounds right by us a few hundred years later. Over the many years since, Doric has become one of the most distinct Scot’s dialects and comes as naturally as night follows day to those of us in The Garioch.
Now, this leads us back to Glen Garioch. In our corner of the world it’s pronounced ‘Geery’, to rhyme with ‘cheery’, much like the folk around here. Not that we’d begrudge anyone the mispronunciation. As long as we’re still making whisky and there are folks enjoying it around the world, we’re chuffed (happy).