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Issue 72 - The dynasty of Dallas

Whisky Magazine Issue 72
June 2008

 

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The dynasty of Dallas

Gavin D Smithlooks at the fascinating history behind Dallas Dhu

In the last issue we featured a ‘lost' distillery that could still be revived, in the shape of Caperdonich, and this time around we are focusing on the story of a unique ‘lost' distillery that has become Scotland's only dedicated ‘whisky museum.' Dallas Dhu is situated just south of the town of Forres,between Inverness and Elgin, and its location was chosen because the area was prime barley-growing country, with good supplies of locally-available peat. It was also conveniently close to the Highland Railway's line between Forres and Aviemore, an important factor in the days when many of the raw materials required for distilling were transported by rail, with casks of spirit being shipped out from distilleries in the same manner.

The name Dallas Dhu is derived from the Gaelic for ‘Black Water Valley,' and the distillery was originally called Dallasmore for a very brief period. It was designed by that doyen of ‘whisky architects' Charles Doig,being constructed during 1898 and 99 on the estate of local laird Alexander Edward of Sanquhar.Production commenced in April 1899, and the following year Edward passed the distillery onto the Glasgow blending firm of Wright & Greig Ltd, principally to provide supplies of malt whisky for its Roderick Dhu blend, which was notably popular in Australia,New Zealand and India during the later decades of the 19th century.

After a brief period in the hands of JP O'Brien & Co Ltd, from 1919 to 1921,Dallas Dhu was acquired by Benmore Dist...

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