"Many late Victorian distilleries were bravely sited; "madly
located" Dalwhinnie, one of the highest of all distilleries
- at 1073 feet - and now home to the Classic Malts’ delicate
and smoky 15 year old Highland malt, was no exception."
"Why on earth, you may think," continued the writer
of this memorable epithet, "would anybody choose to build
a distillery in this desolate, wind-sliced, rain-lashed patch
of Highland wilderness?"
A good reason, certainly, was that it was close to the geographic
center of the Highlands and so enjoyed easy access to the
reliable link to market offered by the new Highland Railway.
This helped the distillery to survive its often fragile beginnings,
just as surely as Dalwhinnie's setting had earlier helped
the village itself to gain an importance beyond its size.
The Gaelic word from which the name Dalwhinnie comes is Dail-coinneeamh,
also spelt Dail-Chuinnidh, which translates as "plain
of meetings." Here on these high windswept pastures between
the Grampian and Monadhliath mountain ranges, 18th Century
cattle drovers would pause on their journey south, over the
Drumochter pass to the great trysts or cattle markets of Crieff
and Falkirk. Where it can, Dalwhinnie retains the old ways.
Traditional wood is still used for its washbacks, for example.
Just two copper stills, as there have always been, send the
alcohol into the lye pipes on its way to the stillman. He
skillfully separates the "foreshots" and "feints"
before allowing the purest middle part of the distillation
to reach the oak casks in which Dalwhinnie™ will rest
on its way to maturity.
Increasingly rare wooden worm-tubs, a landmark outside the
distillery as distinctive as its pagoda roofs, help this remain
a spirit of real character. Old hands will say that the slow
deliberate condensation, which takes place in a copper worm,
can't be matched in more modern condensing vessels. Perhaps
it gives Dalwhinnie™ that little extra body?
As well as being a fine distillery, Dalwhinnie also has the
distinction of being an official weather station, with one
of the lowest recorded average temperatures in Great Britain!
THE DISTILLERY TODAY
An opportunity to sample the 'Gentle Spirit' of the glen at
one of the highest distilleries in the land, Dalwhinnie is
a wonderfully full-bodied, smooth and warming malt whisky.
Site Operations Manager
To avoid disappointment please telephone in advance to check
tour time availability.
***Tours will depend on weather conditions please
phone in advance to check availability. ***
1st February until Easter
Monday to Friday - 11am until 2pm with Tours at 11.15am, 12.15pm
Easter until 30th April
Open Sat 3rd April 9:30-5pm
Monday to Friday 9.30am until 5pm - Tours regularly throughout
1st May to 30th September:
Mon - Sat: 9.30am - 5pm
Tours regularly throughout the day. To avoid disappointment
please telephone in advance to check tour time availability.
July & August:
Also Sun: 11.00am - 4pm
Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm
November & December:
Mon - Fri: 11am - 2pm with Tours at 11.15am, 12.15pm &
To be confirmed.
1 hour before above closing times.
Admission Charges Apply:
Adults: £6.00 per person (includes a £3.00 discount
voucher redeemable on any 70cl bottle of malt whisky purchased
in the Visitor Centre Shop)
Children: £4 (8 yrs to 17 yrs inclusive)
Children under the age of 8 years old are welcome but are
not permitted on the distillery tour.
The visitors centre is now open 9:30-5pm Mon to Fri
PH19 1AB Scotland
Telephone: +44 (0) 1540 672219
Fax: +44 (0) 1540 672228
Courtesy of Dalwhinnie Distillery