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Issue 118 - A whisky trip from source to bay

Whisky Magazine Issue 118
March 2014


This article is 4 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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A whisky trip from source to bay

Following the course of the Spey

According to the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2014 there are currently 46 working distilleries in Speyside, one museum (Dallas Dhu), four closed or demolished and three in the planning or building stage. This famous triangular-shaped whisky region, deriving its name from the river Spey, has always been rather widely interpreted with Balmenach at its southern tip, Benromach the most western, Inchgower the most northern and Strathisla the most eastern.

From a strictly geographical point of view the first Speyside distillery one can encounter, coming from the south, should be Dalwhinnie. Standing in splendid isolation it can be seen alongside the well-travelled A9, at the Drumochter Pass, closely situated near the source of Scotland's fastest flowing river. This is where my journey along the “100 per cent” Speyside distilleries starts. Dalwhinnie is a must see anyway, with its beautiful double pagodas and traditional wooden worm tubs, once doubling as a weather station due to its high elevation.

This single malt has been part of the Classic Malt range since 1988.

Leaving the parking lot I turn back to the A9 in northerly direction through stunning scenery. Close to Aviemore I leave the road and join the A95 towards Grantown-on-Spey. Just outside this lovely little town it is time for a short stop at the old stone bridge and a wander along the shore. At this particular point, a quarter of a century ago, I dipped my bare feet into the river Spey for the very first time, scooping a ...

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