Dailuaine Distillery

Founded in 1851 by William McKenzie, Dailuaine is a distillery in Charlestown-of-Aberlour, Strathspey in the Speyside region, between the foot of Ben Rinnes and the River Spey. Its name comes from the Gaelic ‘dail uaine’, which means ‘green valley’, a name that perfectly describes the lush surroundings.

It rose to prominence in the late 19th Century thanks to an expansion and renovation in 1884, followed by a merger with Talisker that helped it to become the largest single malt distillery in Speyside.

Part of the renovation in that time included the installation of a pagoda on a kiln for the first time in Scotland, a design by Charles Doig that quickly became a common sight around Scotland. However, the original trailblazing roof was lost in a major fire in 1917 that destroyed the distillery. Dailuaine was rebuilt, reopening in 1920 only for another fire in 1959 to cause further serious damage and another temporary closure.

When it reopened in 1960, it had expanded from four to six stills, with malt produced on-site until the malting was closed for good in 1983. The water used at Dailuaine is sourced from the Bailliemullich Burn that runs alongside the distillery with the malt now being outsourced while the New Make Spirit is matured in ex-Bourbon casks at an off-site warehouse.

Today the distillery is owned by Diageo and mostly produces malt spirit for blending in Johnnie Walker. Only around 2% of its 3.3m litres a year production is sold as single malts through the Flora and Fauna range or through Gordon & MacPhail and other independent bottlers. However, it has never yet featured as part of Diageo’s Classic Malts range.

The spirits produced at Dailuaine usually have a rich and sweet flavour profile due to the long fermentation process, rapid distillation and use of stainless steel in the condensers and while its main role is for blends, the 16/17 year-old single malts are usually very sought-after when they go on sale.

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