Distillery Log Book


One of the most fascinating and detailed finds when researching Glen Mhor, is the above log book. This records any requests that required approval from the onsite Customs & Excise representative of the government. 

This particular book covers 1936 until the 1960s when the excise operation in Inverness was replaced - gone were specific stationed Customs & Excisemen and instead the city had its own office.

The log is held at the Highland Archives Centre in Inverness (HCA/D31/4/1/25) and I'm thankful for access to it. As its pages have been relatively undisturbed for decades, this research project will go through each entry and debate its contents. This will shed new light on life at the distillery and give us insight into its workings. Our timeline will be updated with any entries of note. 

Also worth highlighting is the log features the work of Neil M. Gunn, who was stationed at Glen Mhor until his retirement in 1937 to become a full-time writer. In doing so, one of Scotland's greatest writers was born.

As each of the pages will receive their due focus and consideration, this page lists every article in chronological order. Posts themselves are a specific hashtag here. These logs were a necessary administrative feature of any distillery of the period, hopefully we can find the precursors to 1936, as earlier records would have been complied in a similar form.

My thanks also go out to Alan Winchester for his insightful thoughts on these entries from a distilling perspective.

1st June 1936

A request for works during the silent season at Glen Mhor.

July 2nd 1936

The worms are tested for a leak.

July 3rd 1936

Spirit Safe receives a new feature to make distilling easier.

July 22nd 1936

A request to replace piping between the Feints Charger and No.2 Low Wines Still.

October 21st 1936

A problem with the wash still anti-collapse value prompts a risky decision.

April 29th 1937

A decline in volume leads to the discovery of a leaky still.

June 22nd 1937

Routine requests during the silent season, shed new light on the inner workings.

15th July 1937

A request to repair the spent Lees Receiver number 2, reveals a siphon device meant to increase the lifestyle of the stills.

13th October 1937

A request for the spirit stores to be left open at both Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor, reveals a previously unknown upgrade.

17th January 1938

leak is identified, and work takes place to correct the issue.

26th January 1938

A remarkable entry, which confirms the original Low Wines Still was mothballed when Glen Mhor's 3rd still was installed. The new manager wishes to ascertain its state for future use?

9th June 1938

Nothing much to see as silent season marks the arrives of the routine maintenance request.

23rd November 1938

The newer of the 3 stills requires some urgent attention.