Alexander Matheson founded the Dalmore distillery in 1839. The distillery overlooks the bay Cromarty Firth, allowing a lovely view over The Black Isle on the opposite shore.
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 Dalmore whisky.
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.
Production at Dalmore
The DalmoreDalmore 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.
Map The DalmorePhone: +44 (0) 1349 882362
Manager: Drew Sinclair
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.
Owner: Whyte & McKay