Glenmorangie Distillery

Bringing oysters back from extinction

Diver with oysters

Pronounced: glen-m-ORangey

Meaning: The glen of tranquillity

Our Interesting Fact;  Glenmorangie has the tallest and most elegant pot stills in Scotland today reaching a height of 5.13 metres / 16 feet 10 inches.

Eco and sustainability 

Working with the Marine Conservation Society & Heriot Watt University, native European oysters have been retuned to the Dornoch Firth following their extinction from the area.  Together the partners created Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project, with the very apt acronym DEEP, was formed.  The objective was to research and improve the water quality and biodiversity in the firth.

Starting with a new anaeorobic plant, 95% of the waste for the distillery is cleaned.  The remaining 5% could be cleaned by oyster beds, but the native oysters had become extinct in the nineteenth century.  The partnership began by placing 300 oysters on new natural beds, made of waste scallop shells.  The viability of the oysters was confirmed and growth has been astonishing, with a long term ambition of £4 million oysters over a 40 hectare reef.  The success of the project has allowed it to be replicated elsewhere in Europe.

In 2020 Glenmorangie turned its attention to a taller conservation project working with Edinburgh Zoo.  The height of Glenmorangie’s copper pot stills through which their elegant spirit flows, stand at 16 ft 10 inches (5.13 meters), the same as a giraffe!  As a quirky and memorable fact, and a key aspect to the uniqueness of the distillery this was a perfact partnership.  With numbers of giraffes having fallen almost 30% in just 30 years, and some populations now critically endangered, Glenmorangie forged a conservation partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to protect giraffes in the wild and provide a habitat for the animal at Edinburgh Zoo.