I was reading the Scottish Law on scotch Whisky and in the back of the legal text is a listing of distillerys that are located in Scotland. What I noticed is that lots of distillerys have a name that begins or end with “Ben”, “Glen”, “Loch” or “More”.
Since I’m Dutch I had no clue what those words mean, so to further my own know how I looked it up and asked people for help!
Ben or ‘beinn’ is a common Gaelic word for ‘mountain’.
Glen Moray (also known as Glen Moray- Glenlivet)
Glen Ord Glenrothes
A glen is a valley, typically one that is long, deep, and often glacially U-shaped, or one with a watercourse running through it. Whittow defines it as a “Scottish term for a deep valley in the Highlands” that is “narrower than a strath”.
Loch (/ˈlɒx/) is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word for a lake and a sea inlet. It is cognate with the Manx lough, Cornish logh, and the Welsh word for lake, llwch
The Ben, Glen and Loch all seem to indicated locations of the still or locations of the water sources. In this light I thought the “more” was a reference to a bog or “Moor”. Especially since peat is the product of such a wetland. I was mistaken.
Bowmore comes from the Gaelic Bogh Mòr, where Mòr means great/big (and Bogh is sea reef)
So no reference to a “moor” but just something rather big!
I am a dad and husband first. I have a job designing train interiors. As a hobby I try to learn everything I can about what makes whisky what it is. This blog is a nerdy effort to document my findings in a diary kind of way. (bribes are welcome!)