Longmorn Distillery and its influence in Japan

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Founded in 1893 by John Duff, Longmorn Distillery is situated in Moray, in the Speyside region of Scotland. It was massively influential in the creation of Whisky in Japan.

Unsteady Beginnings

An ambitious businessman, John Duff played a bit part in the scotch industry . He had worked in the Whisky industry in many different capacities before he opened Longmorn.

He had worked at Glendronach, designed Glenlossie and even tried his hand at starting a Whisky industry in South Africa.

When his international adventures did not work out as planned. Soon he returned to Scotland and in 1893 and built Longmorn.

International Influence

In April of 1919 Masataka Taketsuru, who is largely regarded as the father of Japanese Whisky, held an apprenticeship at Longmorn Distillery.

It was here that he learnt the ins and outs of crafting exceptional malt. This was the knowledge that he later took home in 1920. From here, Taketsuru created the first Japanese Whisky.

Lasting Impression

To this day, the influence of Longmorn Distillery remains at Nikka. The stills used in both of their distilleries are supposedly based on the ones used in Longmorn.

Stills have a great effect on flavour, with some distilleries replicating dents when they have to replace old ones. It is a testament to the respect that Taketsuru held for Longmorn.

Largely regarded as one of the leading figures in developing Japanese Whisky, the time he spent at Longmorn clearly had an effect on Taketsuru.

He was a major player in the success of Kotobukiya, a company that was looking to make Japanese Whisky in the 1920s and the same company that would later go on to become Suntory. He helped them set up their first distillery at Yamazaki.

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Tags: JapanLongmornLongmorn distilleryScotlandSpeyside
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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