A DISTILLERY conceived as a whisky makers’ playground has opened on the Dornoch Firth.

Glenmorangie said the team at its new “innovation distillery” will seek to redefine all aspects of whisky-making, creating “game-changing, spirit-led single malts” with appeal for whisky lovers around the world.

The distillery features a 20-metre high still house which offers visitors a glimpse of its two copper stills through glass walls.

Above the still house is a purpose-built sensory laboratory where director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden and his team will study raw spirit, rather than the mature spirit they would more usually work with, and carry out experiments.

The Lighthouse innovation distillery has been supported by a £1 million research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Thomas Moradpour, president and chief executive of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “Global demand for Glenmorangie is growing significantly.

“The first of its kind, our Lighthouse experimental distillery is the keystone of our plans to stay at the forefront of taste innovation.

“By giving our talented creation team free rein, we will welcome even more consumers worldwide to enjoy delicious whiskies.”

The innovation distillery stands at the heart of Glenmorangie’s Highland Distillery near Tain.

The Lighthouse will be partly powered by biogas, created in Glenmorangie’s own anaerobic digestion plant, from the by-products of distillation.