Glen Mhor Podcast

By sharing the story of Glen Mhor, I hope to engage and inform listeners about this fascinating topic. Combining history and whisky may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the Glen Mhor project brings them together in a unique way. In an effort to shed light on this closed distillery, I decided to explore the world of podcasting. With its resurgence in popularity and convenience, it seemed like the perfect medium.

Television channels offer a variety of programming, including detective work and mysteries. This provides a welcome respite from superhero-related content, so why not a closed distillery? The audio series will cover the background of the distillery project and findings, followed by weekly discoveries.

It is available in multiple locations.



Apple Podcasts - available if you search for 'Glen Mhor' via your Apple podcast app

Google Podcasts


If you have a preferred podcast platform that is not currently available, please inform me and I will explore the possibility of signing up.

Season 1 covers the historical foundations, while Season 2 will include updates, news stories, and weekly articles. If you are new to Glen Mhor, start with Season 1 to develop an initial understanding. Before reaching Season 5, as we continue the journey.

Season 1

Episode 1 - Why Glen Mhor?

In this initial episode, I lay the groundwork as to why I picked the Glen Mhor distillery, given the more fashionable and better known closed options. My motivations and what to expect in coming episodes.

 Episode 2 - Glen Mhor Website

In this episode we delve into and reveal the various elements and their purpose.

Episode 3 - The co-founders of Glen Mhor

In this episode, we walk through the timeline that led to the creation of Glen Mhor distillery. The meeting of the Mackinlay family (blenders from Leith, Edinburgh) and John Birnie (former manager of Glen Albyn distillery) who would become co-owners in this new venture.

Episode 4 - 1893 Glen Mhor Distillery Plans

In this episode we discuss the original 1893 distillery plans for Glen Mhor as designed by Charles C. Doig and documented on our website in a 3-part series:

Original outline

Ground floor plans

First floor plans

So, pull up a chair, pour a dram and press play..

Episode 5 - 1914 Proposed Alterations at Glen Mhor distillery

In this episode we discuss the latest unearthed distillery plans for Glen Mhor, dating from 1914 and primarily focusing on new warehousing. As you'll hear and see, things are not what they seem, and we end up delving into a variety of sources to figure out when warehouses 7 & 8 actually were built. 

Season 2

Episode 1 - The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland Whisky History

On the eve of the publication of the Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland by James Eadie Ltd., with the assistance of the British Library, we discuss the Glen Mhor article which dates from 1924. This includes 2 previously unseen photographs and a concise summary of the distillery itself. 

My apologies as the audio cuts out at the end quickly, but I hope you enjoy this episode while it lasts. We'll also be publishing a more detailed look at the Glen Mhor chapter on our website next week and debating the information contained within. It certainly opens up new avenues of research and uncharted possibilities.

Episode 2 - 1904 Glen Mhor Workmen's Houses

In this episode, we discuss the latest update to the website which is the discovery of the workers houses that were on the distillery site.

What might seem a rather benign and insignificant find on paper, actually turns out to tell us much more than expected about Glen Mhor and the people who worked there to produce its whisky.

Episode 3 - A trio of newspaper articles

From across the decades, this trio of Glen Mhor related newspaper entries provides new insight into the distillery.

Episode 4 - Glen Mhor Logbook 22nd June 1937

What's in a distillery logbook? Well, there's only one way to find out and we're doing it page-by-page. 

This entry from 1937 is discussed and deciphered in a specific article online, but it is indicative of the information and insight that these records contain and the real detail they add to the Glen Mhor legacy.

Episode 5 - William Birnie Talk of the Town and Mackinlay's Old Scotch Whisky

A duo of articles in this update with the Talk of the Town and Mackinlay's Old Scotch Whisky as we head back to the 1960s and 1970s respectively.

Episode 6 - Glen Mhor Logbook 15th July 1937

In our latest look at the Excise logbook for Glen Mhor, we have a fairly routine request that reveals an old approach to protecting the still.

Episode 7 - From Smark's Drinks to Supermarket protestors and Golden Promise

Just the three articles to discuss from the Glen Mhor website including a drinks writer from down under claiming Glen Mhor is his favourite whisky. Confirmation in the late 60s that Glen Mhor was using Golden Promise and the debate about the future of the site in the 1980s.

Episode 8 - Glen Mhor Logbook 13th October 1937

It all comes together in this episode in some form of spectacular plan - except it isn't like that whatsoever. Just good solid research and small details adding to the bigger picture as we discuss the latest Distillery Logbook discovery.

Episode 9 - Glen Mhor Logbook 17th January 1938

A new year and a new leak in the Glen Mhor Logbook, as we speculate as what else is to come.

Episode 10 - Glen Mhor Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023

In this episode we take a look at the Malt Whisky Yearbook and its spotlight section that highlights Glen Mhor. This article was debated in greater detail in our online article

Episode 11 - Distillers to close Glen Mhor Maltings 1980

In this episode we discuss the news article from 1980, which confirms that the maltings at Glen Mhor (and Glen Albyn) are to be closed, which spells the end of onsite malting at both sites. 

Episode 12 - Highland Malt Distilleries 'A Broadcast'

We discuss a previously unpublished interview from 1953 with William Birnie on all things Scotch. It's a fantastic find and full of nuggets of detail.

Episode 13 - Breaking Point for Whisky?

n this episode we discuss a newspaper article from January 1972 with William Birnie about the overproduction of the Scotch Whisky industry.  Also, our forthcoming Glen Mhor tastings.

Episode 14 - Alarming Canal Incident 1904

A brief mention of flooding at the distillery is brought to light with a new discovery that gives the full details of what actually happened in the Muirtown area.

Episode 15 - Glen Mhor Footage 5th November 1949

An incredible discovery as we are able to appreciate the 'distillery end' of the neighbouring football stadium, which comprises of the warehousing.

Episode 16 - Glen Mhor Logbook 26th January 1938

What was a cancelled page in the distillery logbook, holds a tantalising detail regarding the stills and a retirement.

Episode 17 - Edinburgh Glen Mhor Tasting Revealed

Finally, the Edinburgh Glen Mhor tasting is announced, so get set for the 8th March 2023 and the 40th Anniversary of when the spirit last flowed off the stills. We'll be having a great evening to celebrate the distillery, its workforce and legacy, over five whiskies. Whisky history in liquid form! There will be an article on the Glen Mhor website from 9am on Thursday about the tasting as well.  

Episode 18 - Exports of Scotch Whisky Soar 1968

Appearing in the Aberdeen Press & Journal on 23rd January 1968, we have another of these articles based around William Birnie's statistics and the boom in Scotch.

You can see the full article on the Glen Mhor website.

Episode 19 - Glen Mhor Logbook 9th June 1938 & Death of Charles W. Mackinlay

Two articles in today's podcast are discussed, a rather routine silent season request from 1938 and a look at the death of Charles W. Mackinlay whilst visiting Glen Mhor and Inverness in 1896.

Episode 20 - Glen Mhor Logbook 23rd November 1938

great entry in the logbook allows us to talk about cock - that's a valve - and the old methods. It also highlights the maintenance work on the 3rd still at the distillery. 

Season 3

Episode 1 - Stillman Wanted 1895 & John Birnie Golden Wedding

In this episode we discuss an 1895 job advertisement for a Stillman and what it tells us. We also take time to reflect on John Birnie's Golden Wedding anniversary in 1934.

Episode 2 - Glen Mhor Logbook 12th December 1938

A fantastic entry in the logbook from 12th December 1938 brings new light to the washback area, an accident and the possibility of unbalanced distillation.

Episode 3 - Glen Mhor Logbook 16th April 1939

A doubleheader in this episode with a very short and sweet entry in the distillery logbook from 16th April 1939, but one that reveals a vital fact.  And an advert of employers from 1909 supporting the recruitment for the Territorial Forces. 

Episode 4 - Glen Mhor Logbook 24th & 25th May 1939

A doubleheader with 2 entries from the Glen Mhor logbook, a routine Silent Season request from 24th May, followed by a revealing request to replace internal copper components in the Low Wines No.2 Still. 

Episode 5 - Glen Mhor 1976 Hart Brothers & Friars' Court

I said to expect more Glen Mhor whisky reviews in 2023 and I meant it; the Hart Brothers 1976 21yo is up first. Then, we reference an 1882 Banffshire Fiars' Court article mentioning John Birnie at the beginning of his career. 

Episode 6 - Gordon & MacPhail 1979 25yo Glen Mhor & Logbook 29th June 1939

A great doubleheader as we talk about another Glen Mhor review with a 25yo Gordon & MacPhail bottling, before discussing a great entry in the logbook from 1939 featuring an indulgence and the old Low Wines Still. 

Episode 7 - Death of Inverness Ex-Provost & 1954 Cask Sale

Another doubleheader as we catch up with the relentless pace of the website. We touch upon John Birnie's passing via the Scotsman obituary and a recent auction of a bill of sale for 10 casks of Glen Mhor from 1954.

Episode 8 - Glen Mhor Logbook 28th June & 7th July 1939

Two more tales from the Glen Mhor logbook with an entry confirming the work to replace the copper plates has been completed alongside a very detailed report on the work around the Low Wines No.2 Still.

Episode 10 - Glen Mhor Logbook 27th March 1940

We're into the 1940's as we continue to explore the Customs & Excise logbook for Glen Mhor Distillery. In this entry, an indulgence around rule 162 of the distillery instructions is granted

Episode 11 - Glen Mhor Logbook 4th April 1940

In this episode, we see the impact of new regulations on distillers in Scotland the actual versus predicted production at Glen Mhor Distillery.

Episode 12 - Glen Mhor Logbook 23rd April & 28th August 1941

Two logbook entries are discussed in this episode, firstly another appearance of indulgence 162 and then we're reminded of the business of filling and sending casks over the border and what happens when things don't go according to plan.

Episode 13 - Glen Mhor Edinburgh Whisky Tasting

I reflect upon a wonderful Edinburgh tasting celebrating the legacy of Glen Mhor distillery. My thanks to everyone for making it a special evening.

Episode 14 - Glen Mhor Logbook 26th June 1942 & Cask bill of sale 1955

In this episode, we unearth a fire at Glen Albyn distillery during World War 2 which has never been recorded until now. No resting up on that achievement, we also take in a cask bill of sale from 1955. Groovy finds in our ongoing research project.

Episode 15 - Glen Mhor Logbook 15th September 1942 & 27th March 1943

An amazing duo of entries on the podcast for this episode.

Episode 16 - Glen Mhor Logbook 22nd & 24 April 1943

Two wonderful logbook entries, revealing life at Glen Mhor Distillery during the war years and specifically April 1943.

Recorded just 2 days apart, the 22nd April is a surprising entry from Gilbert W. Peterkin about distillery conditions, while 24th April, highlights the difficulties of deal with traders when it comes to cask sales.

Episode 17 - 1987 Phillip Morrice Glen Mhor Chapter & Logbook 15 May 1943

In this episode I discuss being able to republish the 1987 Glen Mhor chapter from Phillip's increasingly sought after and rare book, thereby allowing more to read the entry. Also, the oddity of Glen Mhor firing up for a short run of production in 1943, just a couple of months after it had closed due to the war restrictions.

Episode 18 - Glen Mhor Logbook 18th February 1944 & 6th August 1945

Still in the war years, we have the only recorded war related damage at Glen Albyn distillery (by the British Army) and a loss at Glen Mhor distillery as it returns to production and prompts a Customs & Excise investigation on site.

Episode 19 - Glen Mhor Logbook 5th & 7th September 1945

We're back, with 2 entries from September with the regular appearance of an indulgence from the distillery logbook and also a recreation of a loss in the still room.

Episode 20 - Glen Mhor Signatory 16yo Ceramic & Logbook 23rd March 1946

The last episode of Season 3 takes us into the merky realms of the Signatory Glen Mhor ceramic 16yo and a wonderful logbook entry from 23rd March 1946 that provides some fascinating post-war insight.

Season 4

Episode 1 - Two New Warehouses & Logbook entry 10th November 1947

A double bill that unearths two previously undocumented warehouses at Glen Mhor in published texts and also a Logbook entry from 1947 that records the failure of the spirit pump and the team working together to resolve the issue.

Episode 2 - Glen Mhor Logbook 28th December 1947 & Grand Old Man of Whisky

We discuss the passing of William Birnie, remembered in this Aberdeen Press & Journal article from 1973. Also, the latest logbook entry from 1947 gives us insight into distilling practices and new legislation around distilling on a Sunday and the festive period.

Episode 3 - Welcome for Curler Aged 83 & the Glen Mhor Purifier.

This week a 1971 article highlights William Birnie's involvement in the local curling community and we discover that one of his trophies (the Willie Birnie cup) is still competed for to this day. Then, the value of these podcasts, and little details, throws open a new mystery with the existence of at least one purifier at Glen Mhor.

Episode 4 - Glen Mhor Stills Revisited and Logbook 31st March 1950

We revisit the Glen Mhor stills to document exactly what we know about this area of the distillery using unearthed information and photographs. Then, thanks to a 1950 logbook entry about a faulty hydrometer, the Exciseman compares the new instrument versus the old one, across a series of 1939 warehouse casks. In doing so, he gives us the ability to record and document how efficiently maturation at Glen Mhor was, including any potential losses. End result, these warehouses were very efficient and effective.

Episode 5 - Retirement of Robert Ferguson Exciseman & 1977 Signatory

We take in the retirement of Robert Ferguson, Glen Mhor's original exciseman in 1907 before reviewing a 1977 Glen Mhor from Signatory, with plenty of insight in-between.

Episode 6 - 1926 Additions to the Manager's House Glen Mhor Distillery

In this episode we discuss these humble plans and use this as a springboard for all manner of discoveries. 

Episode 7 - Development Company Press On & Glen Mhor Logbook 26th February 1952

In this episode we consider a 1980s newspaper article on the redevelopment of the Glen Mhor site and local opposition. Then, a remarkable logbook entry from 1952, where the outer security features at a distillery warehouse (number 3) were tested by unknown individuals.

Episode 8 - Robert Robertson Estate & 1899 New Whisky Prices

In this episode, we report the Robert Robertson's estate and what Glen Mhor was charging for its produce in 1899 - both small details but another layer to the fabric of this ongoing research.

Episode 9 - Northern Scot 1898 & Glen Mhor Logbook 31st March 1952

An update on the acquisition of Glen Mhor documents, a look at a 1898 newspaper article that confirms things were going well at the distillery, plus a logbook entry about double time.

Special Episode - Glen Mhor Documents Part 1

Join me as I open up the first cache of Glen Mhor documents kindly acquired after contributions from readers and whisky fans made this all possible. In the first of two specials, I look at the Highland Railway Company invoices and deliver my first impressions.

Special Episode - Glen Mhor Documents Part 2

What joys and discoveries await us in the second half of the document collection? A unique listen awaits as first impressions are caught and documents debated.

Episode 10 - Glen Mhor Logbook 19th March 1962 & 1943 Prisoner of War Week

In this episode we're back to normal with the focus on two website articles including a fascinating 1962 Logbook entry and a cask sale to raise funds for the 1943 Prisoner of War Week.

In this episode we have the rarity of a cancelled page in the Glen Mhor logbook from 1962 - why was it cancelled? We'll discuss.

Also, a 1894 Glen Albyn warehouse build which isn't actually for Glen Albyn distillery...

Episode 12 - Glen Mhor Logbook 7th September 1966 &  1926 Additions to Manager's House

We look at the corrected logbook entry that appears a day after the prior cancelled page discussed on our last episode. There's also the 1926 additions to the Glen Mhor Distillery Manager's house that take us on a merry journey.

Episode 13 - William Birnie Family Memories & 1924 New Offices At Glen Mhor

Two great articles are discussed in this episode as revisit new information from Linda about her memories of Uncle Bill (William Birnie) and some family photographs also with John Birnie.

There's also the 1924 plans for the Glen Mhor Offices that would be the iconic building on the Telford Street side of the site, including a personal sample room for the manager.

Episode 14 - Glen Mhor Logbook 26th December 1966 & 21st February 1967 

Two great entries from the Glen Mhor Logbook in this episode.

We have the first recorded break-in and theft at the distillery which I discuss in greater detail. Then, a prior recording error is corrected as the cask is about to be moved for blending.

Season 5

A Glen Mhor whisky review this week with a 1976 offering from Cadenhead's. Then, a 1926 article about the Northern Infirmary Fund.

1946 means plans at Glen Mhor as the distillery gears up for production and a new dawn arrives. We have the June 1946 plans that deal with a new spirit store and then the latest in a series of alterations to existing distillery accommodation.

A stunning find around a new housing application submitted in 1946, which confirms a building associated with Glen Mhor lives on to this day. We also have a bill of sale from 1956 which shows continued orders from a Montrose firm.

I look back on two fantastic discoveries this week. An image from the 1920s gives us a unique perspective of the distillery site, and then from 1938, two new photographs (thanks Mark!) give us a great level of clarity into rarely seen areas of the distillery. All this and more in the Glen Mhor podcast!

The end of the road for the Glen Mhor logbook as we discuss the final entries from the 12th April regarding extra man hours and a similar theme for upgrades at both Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor on 28th November 1967.

In this episode I discuss the first two documents from the recently acquired collection: a simple receipt to John Birnie for work at a new distillery from 1894, and later that year, a local carting invoice shows us the essential goods being delivered to Glen Mhor as it prepares to go into production. 

A lovely invoice from 1894 is the focus of this week's podcast including news of new finds and discoveries that are incoming!

We're back and in this episode focus in one most aged and tatty of the documents in the recent collection. What can an old insurance document tell us about Glen Mhor? Actually, quite a bit after some analysis. 

This week one of the least elaborate documents comes up for discussion and it's all about banking. 

It is amazing what a simple bit of paper can reveal after 130 years. This Fountain Brewery invoice being the perfect example, because it is all about the yeast.

The next document in our collection is a second appearance from local carting firm, Donald McDonald, nearly 20 years later. 

John Walker & Sons of Kilmarnock is a strong candidate in the most fanciful document stakes. Their legacy is firmly established in history as Johnnie Walker and this official invoice remains as striking and impressive as it did in June 1917 when it arrived at Glen Mhor distillery.

The invoice indicates a new era at Glen Mhor with the inclusion of Glen Albyn in the letterhead, after its acquisition by Mackinlay & Birnie in 1920.

As we'll see from the next invoice, this template is the standard issue for Mackinlay & Birnie, allowing the office to type in the blanks and keep a record of any transactions, details and approvals. 

Apologies for the variable sound here, not sure what happened as it was recorded immediately after episode 12.

Episode 14 - 29th July 1978 Caley vs Glasgow Rangers

Yep, a football match and thanks to Alex and his Kodak camera, we're able to relive the moment and taken in the Distillery End of the football ground. 

Episode 15 - Glen Mhor Neil M. Gunn photograph

A new image of Glen Mhor is always a cause for celebration and this one, provides a wonderful view into the heart of the distillery complex.

Episode 16 - Glen Mhor Distillery Team 1939

A tremendous find this week as we're able to reveal an image of the distillery team taken in 1939. Hugely exciting to be able to see the individuals that made Glen Mhor tick, and thanks to relatives, we're able to actually name some of them.

Episode 17 - Mackinlay & Birnie Eday Peat

This week is all about Eday peat, as we discuss this 1921 invoice which confirms 134.5 tonnes were delivered and the mention of Glen Albyn distillery.

Episode 18 - Glen Mhor June 1916 Highland Railway Company

This week I look at the first in a series of Highland Railway Company invoices from 1916, which offer us a unique glimpse into the movement of goods to and from the distillery.