What do you get if you mix whisky with Oysters?

12 Oct, 2018

Glenmorangie helps clean up Dornoch Firth with the addition of 20,000 native oysters

Oysters are not what you normally expect to see in the waters by a whisky distillery in Scotland, but if you head to Glenmorangie in Ross-shire on the banks of the Dornoch Firth, that is exactly what you will find – and there are a few more there from today.

20,000 oysters returned to the sea next to Glenmorangie

glenmorangie dornoch winerist

Dornoch Firth at Glenmoranigie. Photo credit:

At Glenmorangie in the highlands, the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP) is a collaborative project between the distillery, Heriot-Watt University and some Scottish Government agencies to restore oyster reefs that were fished to extinction in the 19th century – the first time this has been attempted anywhere in Europe. The DEEP plan is to enhance the marine biodiversity and help clean up the water, which oysters help to do naturally, acting as little oystery filters. The project was started last year when 300 native oysters were put back into the Firth to confirm that they would survive. They did and now, 20,000 oysters are about to be introduced back into the firth in a bid to recreate entire oyster reefs.

The 2017 native oysters were created from waste shell and all grown in the UK, before being cleaned and checked for disease. The hope is that within five years, the addition of the 20,000 oysters in 2018 will build up to 4 million over 40 hectares. Thomas Moradpour, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “DEEP is a vital part of our vision for a fully sustainable business. Supported by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and our partners, we’ll do all we can to champion this innovative project, soon to be showcased at our Open Weekend at The Glenmorangie Distillery.”

DEEP glenmorangie dornoch

Photo credit:

Oysters and whisky? What a pairing!

This exciting, environment-saving project has other benefits too: oysters and whisky make a fantastic food pairing. We were lucky enough to try them three ways with three blends while last up there. You’ll see everything in the TV series The Three Drinkers Do Scotch Whisky, out on Amazon Prime at the end of November this year. If you want to see for yourself however, get up to Glenmorangie on the weekend of the 13th and 14th. The Distillery is open and has a lot of free activities, tours, tastings and masterclasses. Booking is advisable for cask filling and rolling, masterclasses, talks and tours. Contact  or call 01862 892477.

Help support the project

For each bottle sold of limited-edition Glenmorangie Dornoch, a donation is made to the Marine Conservation Society to support DEEP. RRP: £69.

Want to visit Scotland and go whisky tasting? Check out our exclusive 4 day whisky tours in Scotland. Maybe you want to know more about whisky? If so, see this piece on investing in whisky and the world’s weirdest whiskies to try.

Join our mailing list to stay up to date on our top travel tips and giveaways