Dalwhinnie Distillery, Highlands

Dalwhinnie Distillery, Highlands

The Dalwhinnie distillery, currently owned by Diageo, was founded by James Buchanan and called Strathspey when it opened in 1897. It is the highest distillery in Scotland, located midway between Perth and Inverness and situated at 326m/1073ft.

It is in a glen with the Monadhlaith Mountains on one side, the Forest of Atholl, the Cairngorms and the Grampians on the other. Dalwhinnie is Gaelic for meeting place, and the village stands at the junction of old cattle-droving routes from the west and north down to the markets of Crieff and Falkirk in the Central Lowlands.

Dalwhinnie was damaged by fire in 1934 and reopened in 1938. The distillery also serves as a meteorological observation point, and every day the distillery manager treks, wades or slides across the lawn to the 'Stevenson Screen' to record the day's observations.

Only 10% of the production is marketed as single malt, the remaining being used, among others, in the Buchanan’s and Black & White blends. The single malts are worth seeking out though, with a fresh pine needle and heather character. The palate is always fruity with a subtle sweet honey note and often the slightest hint of peat.

(Adapted from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2024)

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