Scotland: Highland Region
I think it’s quite a cunning ploy… locate your distillery high in the mountains of the Highlands, where the peaks always seem to have some snow on them, forcing people to down warming drams to stave off impending frostbite. It’s a great mingling of two very important marketing principles: “Appeal to people’s survival instincts” and “Location, location, location.” Other marketers can learn a thing or two from Dalwhinnie Distillery.
We certainly got caught by this sophisticated sales technique. And by “caught”, I mean “went specifically to visit Dalwhinnie and throw lots of money at them, leaving with a car boot load of stock”. Hey, the rest of Scotland can be cold too, and it helps having plenty of liquid fire to drink when circumstances require. It’s purely practical, you understand.
Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland, situated 326m (1073ft) above sea level. It is a visually stunning complex, with its white-painted buildings and two distinctive pagodas. The name of the distillery means “meeting place” in Gaelic, a reference to Dalwhinnie’s position at pretty much the geographical centre of the Highlands, where the old cattle droving routes used to converge.
Its position has also resulted in Dalwhinnie operating as an official meteorological station, and one of the distillery manager’s tasks is to take readings of pressure, temperature and rainfall each and every day. This can be quite a hair-raising job in a place that has one of the lowest recorded temperatures in the UK, and where distillery workers have apparently had to leave for work during heavy winter snowfalls by climbing out the upstairs windows of their homes.
But enough about the weather. Dalwhinnie forms part of Diageo’s Classic Malts, chosen as an excellent example of the Highland region. The whisky produced here is smooth, with notes of heather and honey, and a gentle peatiness. The two main bottlings are the Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old, and the Distillers Edition, which has an extra tinge of sweetness from being partly matured in Oloroso sherry casks.
General Tasting Notes
After reading all about the Dalwhinnie distillery, we bet you’re curious to taste their whisky – click here to buy a bottle of Dalwhinnie now!
Distillery Contact Information
Address: Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire, PH19 1AB
Tel: +44 (0)1540 67 2219
Fax: +44 (0)1540 67 2228
Tours: Tours take place every day, though opening times are restricted during the winter months. The distillery also closes over the festive season. Tours cost GBP5.00 per person, which includes a GBP3.50 voucher to use towards purchase of bottle of whisky in the shop afterwards.
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