Why Do Many Scotch Distilleries Start with “Glen”

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that many of the famous scotch distilleries follow the same naming convention: Glen as a prefix then something behind it. Someone asked me this very thing last month; Why do all of the scotches start with Glen?

Well, not all of them start with Glen, but a large number of the most successful ones do. Glenmorangie, Glenfarclas, Glenlivet, Glen Garioch, Glenfiddich to name a few. So why is this term used so often in the name of distilleries. Glen does not mean “scotch” and it does not mean “distillery”.

I’m sure you know that the definition of glen is a narrow valley. It can also be a general term to refer to an area of countryside. So, since scotch is often classified by and is often so diverse by the region in which it is produced, it’s not in surprising that the distilleries are named after the rivers they sit beside.

Glen Morangie sits near the Morangie Forest, Glen Livet is on the Livet River, Glen Garioch is with in the committee area of Garioch in Aberdeenshire and so on.

It seems that, within these distilllery names, Glen is just a general term used to identify the area of land being described. I’m sure it’s also a convetion that was just adopted early on when scotch distilleries, as we know them today, were first coming to fruition.

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