Dailuaine Distillery

‘D’ is for Dailuaine Distillery, another enormous Diageo distillery, which at one time was the largest in Speyside. Its Gaelic name translates to ‘green valley’ and its location in the Spey valley just between the villages of Ballindalloch and Aberlour certainly warrants the name. Established in 1852 by William Mackenzie, perhaps Dailuaine’s biggest claim to fame is the fact that it was the first distillery in Scotland to install a pagoda roof. Unfortunately, the original pagoda was lost in a fire in 1917 but the tradition of the pagoda roof lives on as an iconic part of Scotland’s rich distilling history.

On site at Dailuaine is a dark-grains plant. What is this exactly?  This industrial operation takes all of the spent grains from nearby Diageo sites and processes them into cattle feed. In the recent past, farmers would simply pull up their tractors to collect draff for their livestock but nowadays this is big business as the industry focuses on sustainability and environmental impacts. In any event, the feed makes those famous Highland cows a happy bunch.

For a Speyside malt, Dailuaine is more meaty than most, thanks to its longer fermentation period, rapid distillation and stainless steel condensers. Its palate is described as both sweet and rich at the same time.

Primarily used in the Johnnie Walker blends, single malt bottlings of Dailuaine are seldom and usually only appear in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series. Unfortunately, that series is not imported to the U.S. market. Fortunately, independent bottlers, including Dràm Mòr have sourced casks from Dailuaine and offer them as single malt, single cask releases.

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