sits on the picturesque banks of the Dornoch Firth in a tranquil setting just
outside Alness. It is one of my
favourite locations and a polar opposite to the panoramic heights of Dalwhinnie or the rugged, salty and weather battered Islay distilleries. The tour is free
but spaces are limited so there is a need with such an iconic brand to book
ahead. Sadly cameras and phones are not allowed on the tour so I can only offer
external shots. It is disappointing as the interiors ooze class and branding
but remain firmly off camera.
is instantly recognisable due to its use of the stag and refined imagery and
marketing. The distillery has been revamped much like the Dalmore bottles
themselves and the centre is a stark, modern
environment that emphasises style - even the flooring is marvellous. If you
prefer tartans and tourist souvenirs then this isn't the tour for you. The
luxurious styling a of the distillery may divide opinion but I am a fan as this
fits Dalmore. This is perfectly pitched towards the modern whisky enthusiast
and the rooms upstairs for those financially endowed investors wishing to
discuss their next purchase.
surprising aspect about Dalmore is the size of the distillery; small but
perfectly formed. It may have been extended in recent years but it retains the
character of the original distillery and old sits alongside the new in perfect
harmony. The stills themselves are unique with their flat tops adding unique
characteristics to the malt. The actual production areas are compact and
circled by photos and props.
worth mentioning are the staff who were more than happy to add further depth
and assist with questions even as they worked. Dalmore is a hive of production
yet you were made to feel at home by its friendly team. Another feature is the
range of new spirit where you could see the effects of distilling on the sample
visually and using your senses.
end of the tour you are lead into the sampling room, seated at a gloriously
opulent circular table, ready for a short film and then a taste of the 12 year
old. It is very drinkable yet it's hard to concentrate in a environment that
features 2 of the most expensive and luxurious whiskies ever. They need no
introduction as their 6 figure sums are mind boggling and beyond you and I,
this is the closest we will come to such a bottle. It makes for splendid
drinking company and I was also fortunate enough to be shown the latest Dalmore
extravagant release; The Constellation in its entirety laid out before me. A
marvellous experience and to see these bottles together, naked without their
luxurious packaging, is something I will remember.
Interestingly in the
warehouse we did see the 1951 cask. With Bowmore setting a new standard
recently with their 1954 release I'm predicting bigger things from Dalmore when
this hits the market, probably in 2013. It will be another luxurious entry in
the Dalmore annuals and another out of my reach!
As always the complete set of photographs (33 in total) are available here for further viewing.
Labels: dalmore, distillery, highlands, scotland, tour, whisky