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What's In a Name - 20 Distillery Names Explained

Updated: Feb 29

Scotland has over 120 whisky distilleries and more are popping up every single year. Most of them have weird Gaelic names, but what do they mean? Here are 20 distillery names and their meanings explained, and for you to discover.

  1. Auchentoshan

This Glasgow distillery name means "Corner of The Field"

Image by Flickr


2. Glenmorangie

This Highland distillery is called "The Valley of Tranquility"

Image by NUVO Magazine


3. Knockando

Highland distillery that is in a "Little Black Hill"

Image by Planet Whiskies


4. Caol Ila

Located on an Isle called Islay it's only logical that this distillery carries a name that means "The Sound of Islay".

Image by Wikipedia


5. Glenfiddich

Considering that this whisky carries a stags head on its logo, you will understand why when you hear that the name means "The Valley of The Deer".

Image by Trip Advisor


6. Dailuaine

This Speyside distillery name means "The Green Vale"

Image by


7. Lagavulin

This classic Islay distillery means "The Hollow By The Hill"

Image By Visit Scotland


8. Laphroaig

This rival next door to Lagavulin distillery is named "The Hollow By The Broad Bay".

Image by Trip Advisor


9. Ardbeg

This Islay distillery is well known for its smoky whisky and is called "The Small Headland".

Image by Planet Whiskies


10. Cragganmore

"Big Rock"

Image by Visit Scotland


11. Glengoyne

This Highland distillery name means "The Valley of The Geese".

Image by


12. Tobermory (Ledaig)

This Isle of Mull distillery means "Mary's Well", but they also make a heavily peated whisky called Ledaig that stands for "Safe Haven".

Image by Whisky And Wisdom


13. Abhainn Dearg

This monstrosity of a name means "Red River".

Image by


14. Glen Mhor

This closed distillery was named "Great Glen (Valley)"

Image by Glen Mhor Whisky


15. Dalwhinnie

The distillery name stands for "Meeting Place".

Image by Viator


16. Bruichladdich

This Islay distillery means "Brae By The Shore".

Image by Malt Review


17. Bunnahabhain

Another Islay distillery with an interesting name, and it means "Foot of The River".

Image by


18. Oban

"Little Bay of Caves"

Image by Whisky Unplugged


19. Bladnoch

This recently reopened Lowland distillery name stands for "Place of Flowers".

Image by Visit South West Scotland


20. Edradour

This formally known as the smallest whisky distillery in Scotland means "Between Two Waters"

Image by Moulin Hotel


Additional Meanings

There are a lot of distilleries that have the prefix “Glen”, which means “Valley”, the second part of the name usually applies to the river that runs through the valley.

The prefix “Strath” refers to a wide valley.

The term “Ben” is a mountain.

The term “Inch” is the name of a small island, mostly.

The term “More” refers to something “big”.

“Craig” and “Craggan” refer to rocks or outcroppings.


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