Whisky Magazine Issue 7
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Great whisky, great scenery, great climate. Dalmore has just about got it all, as John D Lamond reports.
Richard Paterson is a gentleman – a gentleman of the old school. He is the master blender of Whyte & Mackay, as was his father before him. Richard has a passion. That passion is the spirit produced at Dalmore distillery.
And a lovely little distillery it is, situated on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth, with its toes dipping into the sea strand. The proximity of water raises the site's humidity which beneficially influences the maturing spirit.
Its location gives it a wonderful southerly aspect with views over the sparkling Cromarty Firth and the Black Isle to the snow-sprinkled Cairngorms. As such, it receives the warmth of the sun's rays all day and, when it rains, it has a softness normally only found over on the west coast.
People spend lifetimes searching for such a site and then pay several small fortunes to build a home on it. It has that indefinable something which city-dwellers label ‘quality of life', a laid-back, loosening of the shoulders, kind of quality.
Searching for the distillery, which is built on the hill slope, you almost stumble over it. The ground falls so steeply to the shore that heavy lorries off-loading grain do so at the top of the slope and supplies have to be conveyed down to the distillery. There is, of course, a second entrance, through the so-called golden gate at shore level, to enable empty casks to be delivered and full barrels shipped out.
The distillery was originally established in 1839 by the then landowner, Alexa...