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No: 102
Producer: United
Region: Highlands
District: Speyside  -   Multimap view
OS Sheet 42 ; Map reference NN 639 855 ; Latitude 56 57° N, Longitude 4 14.6° W
Founded 1897 ; Operating Status (1999): operating

The highest distillery in Scotland, midway between Perth and Inverness and situated at 326m/1073ft. It is in a glen with the Monadhlaith Mountains on the one side, the Forest of Atholl, the Cairngorms and the Grampians to 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 is a barren and isolated spot and has, for instance, to be completely self-contained. It has a special hostel for catering for staff when blizzards or torrents cut them off from their homes.

Much whisky smuggling went on along this route. In front of the distillery is the river Truim, one of several that feed the Spey though it takes its water from the Allt an t'Sluic burn. The Dalwhinnie distillery was founded by James Buchanan and called Strathspey when it opened in 1897. Buchanan becamed well known for his "Buchanan" and "Black & White" blends. Stretching a point the distillery can regard itself as being on Speyside, though it is 5 miles or more from the beginning of the dense distillery country to the north. 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.

Their water comes from the Allt an t'Sluic spring, bedded in granite and which feeds the Spey. James Buchanan used Dalwhinnie as the core malt of the Buchanan's and Black & White blended whiskies. Like many other distilleries the current management will stress the tradidional wooden washbacks and distinctive lye pipes leading from the tops of the stills. [jhb/o.m.]

A copy of United Distillers' own illustrated pamphlet about Dalwhinnie can be found on Compustat and there is further UD-orientated material in their InfoCenter. here

Dalwhinnie, Invernessshire, PH19 1AB
Situation: Off the A9 at Dalwhinnie, up the A889
Tel: 01528-2264 or 01528-522208 (visitors centre)
Fax: 01528-2240

Passed by thousands of people who drive up the A9. They lay on a fine visit, with the tasting room having a range of interesting whisky memorabilia. Not commercialised (or wasn't last time I was there). [rb]


SMWS bottling 102.7, Dalwhinnie (14 years, 91.5%)
Undiluted, this had a distinctly smokey nose, which seemed heavier in alcohol than 50.4, despite being considerably less so. Undiluted, it's peaty taste belied its pale golden colour, but what a surprise on diluting! A surprising light sweetness appeared from nowhere, leaving a mustiness which was quite appealing. [rb]

Hear "Dalwhinnie/Strathspey" pronounced in AU or WAV format
Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Dalwhinnie/Strathspey
There just might be some news about Dalwhinnie/Strathspey in The "Scotsman" newspaper