Dailuaine

William Mackenzie, a farmer from the Speyside town of Carron, built the Dailuaine distillery in 1852. Dailuaine derives from the Gaelic ‘An dail uaine’ meaning ‘green valley’. Read more about it below.↓

Information about the Distillery
71 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.272691 57.452527
Active
Diageo
3 x 18,700 l
Normal
3 x 20,500 l
Normal
8 x 56,000 l
12 t
1852
2,750,000 l
Average Tasting Notes Calculated from 24 Tasting Notes
Nosing
Fruit
Oak
Sherry
Sweet
Vanilla
Grass
Spices
Peat Smoke
Tropical Fruit
Banana
Pinapple
Lemon
Chocolate
Nuts
Malt
Grape
Raisin
Hay
Tobacco
Pear
Honey
Alcohol
Tasting
Sweet
Oak
Spices
Pepper
Malt
Fruit
Alcohol
Chili
Sherry
Lemon
Vanilla
Chocolate
Nuts
Dark Chocolate
Oil
Grass
Coffee
Peat Smoke
Banana
Orange
Heather
Barley
Lime
Wheat
Finish
Spices
Fruit
Malt
Sherry
Chocolate
Nuts
Oak
Heather
Dark Chocolate
Pepper
Oil
Almonds
Chili
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Single malt bottlings from the scenically located Speyside distillery Dailuaine are few and far between. The distillery only releases a handful of official releases through the Diageo Flora and Fauna range, and occasional “Manager’s Drams”. Most of the bottlings that are available are aged either 16 or 17 years. There has been more extensive independent bottling with the principal independent bottler being Gordon & MacPhail. Only about 2% of the distillery’s production is marketed as single malt, with the bulk of the malt spirit produced at Dailuaine being used for blending in Johnnie Walker. The spirit is filled at Cambus and then transported to Blackgrange Bond for maturation in the Diageo-owned warehouses.

The Production

The water used in the production of Dailuaine is sourced from the Bailliemullich Burn, located next to the distillery. Since Dailuaine was taken over by United Distillers (now Diageo) in 1987, the capacity of the distillery has increased from 2.75 million litres (in 1991) to its present functioning capacity of 3.3 million. Additionally, the distillery has a full lauter mash tun and eight wash backs using larch wood. 

The Dailuaine distillery house.
View of the Dailuaine distillery

The Pot Stills

Dailuaine has three wash stills with a capacity of 18,700 litres, and three spirit stills with capacities of 20,500 litres. The wash stills have the traditional Speyside shape: a tall and conical neck rising up from the round spherical lid. The stills at Dailuaine have a constricting piece in the intermediate section of the wash stills, between the spherical lid and the neck, which results in a higher level of reflux. The Speyside pot stills actually form the original blueprint for a pot still, with each region and distillery adapting the template to fit their own needs and requirements. 

The Dailuaine pot stills
The Pot Stills of the Dailuaine distillery

Malting

Historically, Dailuaine used its own maltings until 1960, when the distillery was expanded from four to six stills and the floor maltings were replaced by a new device, the so-called 'Saladin Box'. The Saladin Box (named after its inventor, Charles Saladin) is a large, flat device that mechanically turns the germinating barley inside and allows air to pass through. In 1965 the stills were converted to internal heating, which uses steam. The Saladin Box at Dailuaine was closed in 1983 when the distillery started to purchase its malted barley from one of the large 'industrial' maltings instead of using its own. Today, the distillery continues to source its unpeated malt from the same industrial source.  

Warehouse

There are eight granite warehouses on the distillery site, but they’re no longer used. The distillery uses ex-bourbon casks to age the  malt. The malt is now aged at a Diageo warehouse off-site. 

The malt mill in the Dailuaine still house.
The warehouses of the Dailuaine distillery

History

William Mackenzie, a farmer from the Speyside town of Carron, built the Dailuaine distillery in 1852. Dailuaine derives from the Gaelic ‘An dail uaine’ meaning ‘green valley’. Considering the distillery’s idyllic placement among the gentle green undulations of the Spey valley, it’s easy to understand how it earned the name. After William passed away in 1865, his widow Jane decided to lease the distillery to James Fleming, a banker from nearby Aberlour. In 1879, Jane’s son Thomas and James Fleming formed “Mackenzie & Company”. Between 1884 and 1887 they rebuilt and expanded the distillery, making Dailuaine one of the largest distilleries in the Highlands at that time. In 1889 Dailuane became the very first distillery in Scotland to be fitted with a “pagoda” roof, designed by Charles Doig. Many other distilleries followed suit, including Aberlour, Ardbeg and Benriach. This architectural gem was tragically lost in 1917 after a fire raged through the buildings. The distillery was forced to close to rebuilt, but opened again in 1920. The second expansion in the distillery’s history came four decades later, in 1960, when the distillery expanded from four to six stills. 

Just like many other distilleries, Dailuaine became part of industry giant Diageo when United Distillers (UD, a division of the Guinness Group) and International Distillers & Vintners (IDV, a division of Grand Metropolitan) merged in 1998.

Visitor Centre

Dailuaine is not open to the public. It has been known to grant private tours – if you wish to take one, you should contact the distillery directly. 

Chronological rating history

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Top 5 rated Dailuaine whiskies
Original bottling - Flora & Fauna
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Original bottling - Flora & Fauna
Signatory Vintage - The Un-Chillfiltered Collection - 21. May. 1997 / 25. Jun. 2014
Original bottling - Managers Choice