The Dalwhinnie Distillery

The Dalwhinnie Distillery, a Highland whisky company that needs superlatives to be described: the northernmost distillery at one of the coldest places of the UK, with some of the greatest whiskies in the world.

Dalwhinnie Highland Single Malt Whisky Logo | Dalwhinnie logoFounded in 1898, the Dalwhinnie Distillery settled down in the small village Dalwhinnie in the Scottish Highlands. The name comes from the Gaelic Dail Chuinnidh and means meeting place . While during the 18th century cattle drovers used this spot to have a break on their way to the cattle markets, today it is a meeting place for whisky enthusiasts. The reasons for starting the business right there were the fresh water from the Allt an t'Sluie Burn, the constant supply of peat from the surrounding bogs and the good link to the market because of the Highland Railway.

When George Sellar, John Grant and Alexander Mackenzie started their business in 1897, the distillery was called Strathspey. They started the production in 1898 but unfortunately did not survive the first year. The three businessmen sold the distillery to A P Blyth & Sons and John Sommerville & Co and it was renamed as Dalwhinnie. In the early 21st century it became known as the first Scottish distillery that was acquired by a foreign company. The American company Cook & Bernheimer became the new owner and produced blended whiskies for the US market. Today again it is controlled by a Scottish company, which is named Diageo.

Dalwhinnie Highland Single Malt Whisky Distillery
2012 - Jeremy Carter | The Dalwhinnie destillery

The Dalwhinnie Distillery prides itself to stick to old traditions. Thus, as many decades ago, the wooden washbacks are still to be found and as always, two copper stills are used to produce the spirit. Just the malting floors were put out of service in 1968 and during the 1990s, the whole complex was renovated. Since 1991 the visitors centre is welcoming whisky enthusiasts and offers tours the combine the amenities of handmade whiskies and handmade chocolate.

Dalwhinnie Whiskies - Taking deep breaths of fresh Highland air

Dalwhinnie Highland Single Malt Whisky 15 Year Old | Dalwhinnie  15 Years OldDalwhinnies current product range consists of three whiskies. Dalwhinnie Highland Single Malt Whisky 15 Years Old, which received Jim Murray s Liquid Gold Award in 2014, is the youngster of the three. The double matured Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition is the second Scotch and matured firstly in ex-bourbon casks and was finished in ex-Oloroso casks. The third one is the Dalwhinnie 25 Year Old, has a strength of 52.1 % of alcohol by volume, and was released as a limited edition. All of those whiskies are renowned as excellent, award-winning products.

Another interesting fact is, that Dalwhinnie is an official weather station. One of the lowest temperatures in Great Britain was recorded in this small village. This temperature range from below -20C to more than 20C has a special impact on the maturing process of the Scotch.

It could be said that the spirit is taking deep breaths of fresh Highland air during the strong wintertime. Because of the coldness, the liquid contracts and sucks air into the casks. When it is getting warmer again, the spirit expands and pushes the air out. Thus, the whisky is breathing the pure air of Dalwhinnies surrounding.

Dalwhinnie Highland Whisky is part of the Classic Malts series

Along with Talisker, Lagavulin, Oban, Cragganmore and Glenkinichie, Dalwhinnie was one of Diageo s Classic Malts series that started in 1988. To this day seven further brands were added (Caol Ila, The Singleton, Cardhu, Clynelish, Knockando, Glen Elgin, Royal Lochnagar).

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