Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery

Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery & Story

Dalwhinnie whisky distillery is located in the centre of the Scottish Highland region.

Situated 31 miles north along the A9 from Pithlochry on the road to Inverness. The white buildings of the Dalwhinnie (dal-whin-nay) distillery dominate the local landscape.

Dalwhinnie house style is a light delicate malt whisky. The Winters Gold expression is a soft fruity creamy whisky.

How the Dalwhinnie story began

The Dalwhinnie whisky distillery is the highest in altitude of the Scottish distilleries at 1057 feet above sea-level.

The pure abundant water from the Lochan an Doirre-uaine high in the mountains, an ample supply of peat and good communications by road and rail. Were the deciding factors in building the distillery at Dalwhinnie in 1898.

The distillery founded by a partnership of: John Grant (solicitor) Alex Mackenzie, who designed the distillery and George Sellar (Grocer).

They formed the Strathspey Distillery as it was first called, at the end of the 1890’s speculative boom in the industry. Only months after it first began production sever recession hit the whisky market and the company went into liquidation.

Shortly afterwards AP Blyth & Sons and John Somerville & Co acquired the rights to the distillery. They change the distillery name to Dalwhinnie and call in the renowned distillery architect, Charles Doig of Elgin, to improve the building and equipment.

In February 1905 Dalwhinnie is sold for £1250 at auction. (£137,500 at 2016 values) to Cook & Bernheimer of New York and Baltimore, at that time the largest distillers in the United States. They place the distillery under the control of James Munro & Sons.

Following the introduction of prohibition in the US (1920) the Dalwhinnie Distillery is sold to Macdonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd of Leith.

Who in turn are taken over by the Distillers Company Ltd in 1926. They license the Dalwhinnie to James Buchannan & Co.

From 1930 Dalwhinnie was operated under the DCL subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.

In the early 1930’s Dalwhinnie was still untouched by many of the services of the 20th Century. There were no telephone and electricity connections in the village, paraffin lamps illuminated the distillery and equipment was powered by steam engines.

However in 1934, a severe fire caused extensive damage. The distillery was rebuilt and refitted, and opened in 1938.

Only to shut down again during the Second World War as a result of Government restrictions to conserve barley for food supplies.

Dalwhinnie was refitted again in the 1960’s and the malt barns were converted to warehousing in 1979.

British Rail closed the private railway siding in 1979, and a new stretch of the A9 bypassed the village and the distillery.

The Dalwhinnie 15 year old is launched as one of the “Classic Malts” by United Distillers in 1987.

In 1991 a visitor centre is added. The following year the distillery closed for a £3.2 million refurbishment.

Re-opening in March 1995, employing 6 people in the production of the “Gentle Spirit”.

In 1998 the distillers edition Dalwhinnie is released. A 1980 vintage finished in Oloroso casks.

This is followed by a 36 year old in 2002. A 20 year old in 2006.

A Managers Choice 1992 Vintage in 2010. A 25 year old in 2012.

The Non Age Statement, triple matured is released for “The Friends of the Classic Malts” is released in 2014.

The following year Dalwhinnie Winters Gold is added to the core range.

The Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery

Founded in 1898 by John Grant, George Seller and Alex Mackenzie.

Location; Highland region, Southern district.

Water source; Loch an Doirre-uaine.

Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery Equipment.

7.3 tonne full Lauter stainless steel mash tun.

1 Oregon pine and 5 Siberian pine washbacks. Fermentation time 60 hours.

1 pair of large onion shaped pot stills.

Traditional copper worm condensers.

Matured in American oak bourbon casks.

Dalwhinnie house style is a light delicate malt whisky and the core range consists of Dalwhinnie 15 year old malt whisky.

The Winters Gold is a No Age Statement expression and is a soft fruity creamy whisky.

The Distillers Edition whisky is finished in Oloroso sherry casks. That impart rich fruity sherry Notes.

There is also a limited edition 25 year old and a distillery exclusive for visitors,

Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery Stills
Photography by: Angus Bremner Tel: 07713161963 www.bremnerphoto.co.uk
Dalwhinnie whisky distillery label
Dalwhinnie whisky distillery label

Our Top 3 Dalwhinnie whiskies

Dalwhinnie Whisky Casks Maturing
Photography by: Angus Bremner Tel: 07713161963 www.bremnerphoto.co.uk

Take a tour of the Dalwhinnie distillery

The Dalwhinnie distillery visitors centre is well worth a visit and regularly run guided tours of the distillery throughout the course of the day.

A number of the tours include tasting sessions where you can sample some of the drams they have to offer.

Click here for more information on the Dalwhinnie visitors centre.

As this is the highest distillery in the land and weather conditions can be severe, it is always best during winter months to phone in advance (01540 672219) to see if they are open to visitors.

Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery
Photography by: Angus Bremner Tel: 07713161963 www.bremnerphoto.co.uk

Our Dalwhinnie Whisky Range - In stock and available to buy