Glen Mhor Log Book 27th March 1940


We're in the war years and work continues at Glen Mhor distillery. This entry from the 27th March leaves us wanting more detail as it refers to previous indulgences and repeating this again. In the words of Faith No More, what is it?

While I cannot give you the answer right here, right now. A distillery instruction book will exist somewhere and we can shed light on this entry in greater detail. I'm certainly on the hunt for such a document now, which will bring us further insight into these logbook pages.

While the logbook reflects a degree of control, it does allow us to see the working relationship between the Exciseman and distillery team. A marriage of purpose, where the ultimate power resided with the government official, and yet, clearly as we're seeing, there were allowances and some relaxations given. Certainly, not around the production of the spirit and where it resided until bottled, but small gives that made the process and work slightly easier. 

We know from Neil M. Gunn's accounts, he had a good working relationship with Old Birnie (John Birnie), despite their political differences. And enjoyed many conversations about topics outside of whisky production, with both individuals learning from one another. As the distillery and excise offices were next door neighbours in the early version of Glen Mhor, it made sense to get along as best they could.

The entries we've seen from Gilbert W. Peterkin, so far, underline the efficiency and knowledge expected of an Exciseman, but also a fairness when piecing together events that have lead to a loss. A mutual respect from the distillery team and recognition that rather than a hinderance, the excise officer was a valued member of the distillery framework.  

'Customs & Excise

Glen Mhor Distillery


27th March 1940


I beg to forward the enclosed application from Messrs Mackinlay's Birnie Ltd. for indulgences for Glen Mhor Distillery, which the collector may consider under par 162 of the Distillery Instructions.

A similar application has been granted in previous years.

Yours obediently,

Gilbert W. Peterkin, officer


Sir, Granted at your discretion.

Please note locally

W.N.N. Cole 28/3/40

- this was noted by the officer'

What is, or was, rule 162? This is an aspect I can return to at a later book. The materials will exist if standardised across the industry. Funnily, today's Customs & Excise 162 rule entry actually relates to the production, storage and accounting of cider and perry - something we know wasn't produced at Glen Mhor.

And we will see this rule quoted on several entries, begging the question, what indulgence was the distillery being granted on a regular basis? 

This Log Book comes from the Highland Archives Centre (HCA/D31/4/1/25) and is watermarked for its protection. As with any images on this website, please ask first before using and always give credit. My thanks to the Centre for their assistance.