In 1823, in the wake of a new Excise Act, Mortlach is founded on the ideal site of an illicit distillery. Mortlach was the first legal distillery in Dufftown, which would soon become the capital of Speyside whisky. George Cowie was a young man, who went to work for two of Scotland’s great civil engineers, Thomas Grainger and John Miller. In the golden age of early Victorian engineering he goes on to help develop vast segments of Britain’s railway infrastructure; bridges, viaducts, tunnels and stations. In 1853, Cowie went back to Dufftown to apply the same precision to whisky as he had to the railways.In 1867, aged 51, George becomes sole owner. Mortlach enters a golden age, during which sales begin in London. Revered for a depth of flavour others cannot offer, it becomes a malt whisky of choice for blenders. Cowie's son,Alexander studied medicine and this job took him worldwide.Early in 1896 Alexander returns from Hong Kong to assume control at Mortlach, opening a new chapter in its story. Late that year, after a long and illustrious career, his father George dies at the age of 80. Alexander increases the number of stills from 4 to 6 - the 2 new stills are larger than the original 4. Mortlach went from strength to strength, and after a closure during the Prohibition, Mortlach were once again producing their fine whisky. As well as they own range, Mortlach whisky is used in various blends, including Johnnie Walker.

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