Ormiston Whisky is a project developed by Mark and Matt, two British guys who now reside in Germany.
They both bring their business skills and knowledge of whisky together to source interesting bottles of whisky and make them available to whisky fans, collectors and investors.
Where does the name Ormiston come from?
Ormiston is the ancestral family name of one of the partners in the business, Matt. He can trace his family all the way back to the Pictish Kings of Scotland of the 8th and 9th centuries.
The word Ormiston is derived from a half mythical Anglian settler called Ormr, meaning ‘serpent’ or ‘snake’. ‘Ormres’ family had possession of the land during the 12th and 13th centuries. The latter part of the name, formerly spelt ‘toun’, is likely to descend from its Scots meaning as ‘farmstead’ or ‘farm and outbuildings’ rather than the meaning ‘town’.
Today, the town of Ormiston is in East Lothian, situated 30 minutes drive east of Edinburgh. It is one of the most famous planned 18th century villages. Ormiston was built as a result of the zeal of John Cockburn of Ormiston Hall to improve agriculture and encourage industry in his estate.
Cockburn’s father had rebuilt the church in 1696 on its present site and Cockburn laid out his village along the present Main Street, clearly defined by the sharp bend at the south end.
The village and fields were laid out by Lord Gordon, a London civil engineer who himself built a house. Timber and stone were provided by Cockburn for those who took plots.
The design of the houses was the responsibility of their owners but they were controlled by some extend by Cockburn for he wrote:
‘I can give my consent to no house being built on the main street of the town but what are 2 stories high. Every man concerned in the place has an interest in having the main street appear as handsome and to look as well as it can and not have little paltry houses’.
Building was begun in 1735 and by 1746 the town was finally accomplished.
Enclosed fields and modern methods of farming had been introduced on Cockburn’s estate from the beginning of the 18th century and between 1736 and 1747 the agricultural club met at the village inn.
There was briefly a Whisky Distillery in Ormiston between 1821 and 1825.