Dallas Dhu

Dallas Dhu was established in 1898 by Alexander Edward. Unfortunately the distillery was closed in 1983 and now serves as a museum. Read more about it below.↓

Information about the Distillery
42 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.614410 57.589490
Inactive
Historic Scotland
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Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Official bottlings of Dallas Dhu are hard to come by, as the distillery closed in 1983. The distillery did have a few licensed bottlings, which were carried out by Gordon & MacPhail. Dallas Dhu was also bottled by UDV in their “Rare Malts” range. Dallas Dhu single malt was also used in the “Roderick Dhu” blended whisky produced by Wright & Greig Ltd, which has since been discontinued but was one of the most popular blended whiskies during the early 20th century.

The Production

The distillery’s source of water was the Altyre Burn, known locally as the Scourie Burn. The water has an excellent quality, being clear and fresh, and has often been praised for its contribution to the sophisticated taste of the single malt. The distillery currently has no production capacity, as it has been closed for over thirty years. However, due to the efforts of Historic Scotland, who are now responsible for the site, the distillery has remained in full working order, perched in a ready position to re-launch production if it were ever to have the opportunity.

The distillery house of Dallas Dhu
View from the street of the Dallas Dhu distillery

The Pot Stills

Dallas Dhu has one wash still at a capacity of 6,300 litres and one spirit still at a capacity of 5,600 litres. The wash still is pear-shaped, with a round, circular spherical lid, and a long neck that gradually becomes narrower. Additionally, the distillery also has six wash-backs.

Spirit still of the distillery.
The Spirit Still of the Dallas Dhu distillery

Malting

Dallas Dhu has its own long, two-story malt barn where until 1968 all the malting for the distillery was being done. In 1968, the distillery started to source their malt from the industrial SMD Maltings plant in nearby Burghead. Dallas Dhu peated their malt gently, using only a lightly peated fire in the kiln.

The malting floor of the distillery.
The malting floor of the Dallas Dhu distillery

Warehouse

Dallas Dhu’s warehouse was located on-site, and today houses a museum. The last bourbon cask being filled in March 1983. The warehouse actually continued to work in a fully functioning capacity until Dallas Dhu’s distilling license was formally cancelled in 1992, almost a decade later. 

The warehouse of Dallas Dhu.
The warehouses of the Dallas Dhu distillery

History

Dallas Dhu has a long and complicated history, with the distillery changing hands a number of times during the 20th century. “Dallas Dhu” means “Black Water Valley” in Gaelic, an appropriate nod to the densely wooded Speyside valley in which the distillery sits. The distillery was originally founded in 1899, and was the last Scottish distillery to be built in the 19th century. The distillery was originally named “Dallasmore” by its founder, Alexander Edward, a prominent Speyside distiller. Ownership switched to Wright & Grieg Ltd, a blending company from Glasgow, which was in part owned by Alexander Edwards. The single malt enjoyed a high level of praise, due in part to the quality of the water at the site. During the first half of the 20th century, the distillery changed hands another three times. Distilller’s Company Limited, having newly obtained Dallas Dhu, closed the distillery in 1929 to work on the expansion of the site. However, an enormous fire destroyed the still house and much of the equipment in 1936, and the subsequent outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 meant that it took until 1947 before the distillery recommenced operations. Additionally, due to the isolated location of the distillery, Dallas Dhu operated without electricity until the 1950s. Until the introduction of electricity, the distillery got its power from an on-site water wheel.

DCL decided to close Dallas Dhu distillery in 1983. This came as a response to the loss of profits of the “whisky loch” situation, where distillers found that the amount of whisky being produced far exceeded the demands of the market in the big British recession. Dallas Dhu was not the only distillery to suffer as a result of the deadlock – DCL alone closed another seven distilleries during the first half of the 1980s.

Visitor Centre

There is not a visitor centre as such, as the distillery is now closed, but Historic Scotland have superbly preserved the distillery, and the old warehouse is now used as a museum, chronicling the history of Speyside whisky in Scotland. As part of the museum, there is a complete self-guided tour through the complete distillation and maturation process. The site is open year-round.

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