Matheson founded the Dalmore distillery in 1839. The
distillery overlooks the bay Cromarty Firth,
allowing a lovely view over The Black Isle on the
Mr Matheson maintained ownership of Dalmore for several
years, but leased it to several families. We have not
been able to determine who actually ran the distillery
before 1867 when the Mackenzie family got the lease. In
the 1870s, Dalmore was the first distillery ever to
export whisky to Australia. Perhaps the income from that
venture gave the Mackenzies the money they needed; in
1886 they bought the distillery from the Matheson
family. An interesting fact in Dalmore’s history is that
the Mackenzie family crest is the source of the
twelve-pointed stag that still adorns every bottle of
During WW1 the US Navy manufactured mines at the Dalmore
grounds. However, that activity was discontinued when
the distillery was virtually ruined by a large fire.
Because of the fire, Dalmore could not commence any
whisky manufacturing until 1922. Fortunately, they at
least had their old stock left since all casks had been
moved to another storage facility. In 1960 Dalmore
Distillery merged with the current owner Whyte & McKay.
Dalmore 12 yo 40%
Dalmore 1973 30 yo Byass Sherry Cask
Dalmore Cigar Malt 40%
Dalmore 50 yo Crystal Decanter
Dalmore 50 yo Black Ceramic
Dalmore 21 yo Sherry
The first distillery to
export whisky to Australia.
Distillery uses water from the river Averon which runs
from the lake Loch Kildermoire. The barley which is
slightly peated is purchased from Baird’s Maltings in
Inverness. The mash house was built in 1991 and has a
large mash tun made from stainless steel which holds 9.2
tons. They have eight washbacks, all made from Oregon
pine. The oldest wash back was built in 1953. Dalmore
Distillery has been using eight stills since 1966. The
stills are very unusual with their straight necks with
flat tops just above where the lyne arms lead off.
Several types of casks are used to store the whisky.
Bottling is done in Leith, Edinburgh. Dalmore’s annual
production is 3 million litres. They have 10 warehouses
on-site which are all open to visitors.
Visitors: Dalmore opened a new visitor centre 29
May 2004. The centre holds an exhibition area, showrooms,
a bar used for whisky tasting and a well-stocked gift
shop. Free admission. Opening hours are Monday to Friday
10am -5pm. Guided tours by the hour.
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