Dalmore Highland Whisky Distillery
With profits allegedly from dealing in opium in the Far East Alexander Matheson founded Dalmore in 1839 and leased the distillery located on the shore of the Cromarty Firth near inverness to the Sutherland family. Coincidentally this was the year the opium war broke out between China and Great Britain. The lease passed to Robert Pattison in the 1860’s before the Mackenzie family who also owned Dailuiane distillery in Speyside. Dalmore stayed in the Mackenzie family for almost a century before Whyte & MacKay of Glasgow bought Dalmore in the 1960’s during a whisky boom. This Mackenzie family are remembered on the whisky bottle to this day with the Mackenzie badge appearing on the label. Dalmore is now owned by the Indian United Brands Group (at the time of writing).
Dalmore had its own pier on Cromarty Firth which made the transportation of raw materials such as locally grown barley and fresh cut peat easy to bring to the distillery as well as ship off the final product. Due to its location the warehouses were used by the British Navy during World War 1 and the maturing whisky was relocated to other distilleries. The River Alness provides the water supply flowing down from Loch Kildermorie.
Dalmore covers 25 acres, much of that space taken up with the warehouses where the spirit matures. There are about 100,000 casks on site. The oldest whisky still mellowing there in wood is a 1939 distillation.
Although the owners of Dalmore (Whyte & Mackay) went through various company structural changes over the ensuing 30 years Dalmore continued to produce some very fine Single Malts left to mature in their vast warehouses. The credit for this largely attributed to Richard Paterson whose 62 year old bottle broke the world auction record for a single bottle of whisky selling at £26,000 and another of his bottles went for £37,000 in 2005.
Taste: The most common 12 year old is malty, fruity and sherry sweet with a dry nutty finish.
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