I was reading the Scottish Law on scotch Whisky and in the back of the legal text is a listing of distilleries that are located in Scotland. What I noticed is that lots of distilleries have a name that begins with “Ben”, “Glen”, “Loch” or end with “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 Nevis
  • Benriach
  • Benrinnes
  • Benromach

“Ben” or ‘Beinn’ is a common Gaelic word for ‘mountain’.

road landscape water mountain
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  • Glenallachie
  • Glenburgie
  • Glencadam
  • Glendronach
  • Glendullan
  • Glen Elgin
  • Glenfarclas
  • Glenfiddich
  • Glen Garioch
  • Glenglassaugh
  • Glengoyne
  • Glen Grant
  • Glen Keith
  • Glenkinchie
  • Glenlossie
  • Glenmorangie
  • Glen Moray (also known as Glen Moray- Glenlivet)
  • Glen Ord
  • Glen Scotia
  • Glen Spey
  • Glenturret
  • The Glenlivet

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”.

a “Glen”


  • Loch Ewe
  • LochLomond

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

a “Loch”


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.

  • Ardmore
  • Aultmore
  • Bowmore
  • Dalmore
  • Mannochmore

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!

If there are any more of these indicators, please let me know!