When the water you start with comes from the highest mountain source of any malt, you expect something rather fine. And Dalwhinnie™, for whisky writer Roger Voss a “surprisingly soft whisky…from Scotland’s highest, most remote distillery”, does not disappoint. The source, Lochan an Doire-Uaine, (Gaelic for “lake in the green grove”), lies at 2,000 feet in the Drumochter Hills. From it, all the pure spring water used in distilling Dalwhinnie™ flows over rich local peat through Allt an t’Sluic, the distillery burn. No other distillery may use the water from this source – therefore no other distillery is able to yield Dalwhinnie’s™ uniquely clean, accessible, malty-sweet taste, giving way to a smooth and smoky Highland mouthfeel.
Dalwhinnie distillery, which was originally named Strathspey, was founded in 1897 by John Grant, Alexander Mackenzie and George Sellar. The distillery is situated between the gentle, grassy style of the Lowlands and the austere, firm body of Speyside, which begins some 25 miles to the north. The style is that of the Highlands; a resilient marriage of gentleness and spirit. As befits a malt from such a place, Dalwhinnie™ defies simple description. Too gratifying for an aperitif alone, yet too gentle and delicate to be thought rugged or unapproachable; this combination of delicacy and depth sets it apart. Dalwhinnie is now owned by Diageo and represents the Highlands in their Classic Malts range.