Dalwhinnie shares the distillery site with a meteorological weather station that has its readings taken daily by the distillery manager. The information collected can be seen on the BBC weather website.
tel - +44(0)1528 522240
web - www.malts.com
Tours through Dalwhinnie Distillery are available Monday to Friday all year round plus weekends during summer. Charges apply but the tour is free if you join friends of the classic malts.
Dalwhinnie is one of the remotest distilleries in mainland Scotland It is located at the furthest most south westerly point of the Speyside region, high in the Grampian mountains. As a result, it is commonly regarded as a Highland whisky rather than a Speyside. The distillery is Scotland's highest at 326 metres (1070 feet) above sea level and takes its water from the highest water source of any distillery, the Allt-an-t'sluic spring at 610 metres (2000 feet). The distillery is owned by multi national drinks company Diageo and forms part of their Classic Malts series, representing the central Highlands region. This has helped Dalwhinnie to climb into the top 15 for worldwide single malt sales, despite only producing just over 1 million litres of whisky per year and having only two regular bottlings. These are a 15 years old and the more limited 'Distiller's Edition' which is 17 years old and finished for the extra two years in an oloroso sherry cask. The village of Dalwhinnie holds the enviable honour of having the coldest average annual temperature of anywhere in the mainland UK, with a chilly six degrees centigrade!
The distillery at Dalwhinnie was opened in 1897 by a trio of local businessmen called George Sellar, John Grant and Alexander Mackenzie. It has often been asked as to why they chose to spend their money and set up a distillery in such a remote location in the heart of the Grampian mountains. There are two possible answers. Firstly, the village of Dalwhinnie lies at a crossroads of two of the oldest trading routes in Scotland, with one coming from the western Highlands and islands and the other coming down from the north and connecting Inverness to Edinburgh. Secondly, the abundance of local water and peat that could be used exclusively by the distillery as it had no other competition as it would have done in other locations in Speyside.
They were soon in financial trouble and were bailed out by a co-operative of two companies, A.P. Blyth & Sons and John Somerville & Co. By November of 1898, they had the ownership of the distillery, renaming it as Dalwhinnie and extending its facilities. The distillery was in financial trouble again by 1905 and this time it was placed in administration and purchased by American company Cook & Bernheimer for just £1250 at auction. They were the largest distilling group in the USA and the first foreign owners of a Scottish distillery. There were concerns within Scotland that this takeover would lead to more foreigners taking over distilleries. In 1926, Dalwhinnie became part of the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) group, which over time has metamorphosised in to part of Diageo. A fire and the subsequent damage closed the distillery for four years in the 1930s and it was also closed for three years in the early 1990s for major refurbishment. Part of this was the construction of the visitor centre, which now attracts over 25,000 people per year, despite its difficult location.Dalwhinnie's whiskies