Speyside distillery Dallas Dhu could be set to reopen

Dallas Dhu, a Speyside distillery that has not produced whisky since it closed due to a water shortage in 1983 may be set to restart production.

Published 17th Sep 2015
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Following a 2013 “feasibility study” by the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland is now considering beginning production after a 20-year period of silence.

The site, which is currently used as a visitors centre and museum by Historic Scotland, has been closed several times since it was first established in 1888 by entrepreneur Alexander Edward.

Having closed during the First World War, the distillery changed owners in 1921 only for the firm to go into liquidation shortly after. Benmore Distillery then took up ownership but was sadly closed once again during the Great Depression and subsequently ruined by fire a few years later.

A spokesperson for Historic Scotland explained: “We are currently undertaking work to explore the feasibility of distilling whisky again at Dallas Dhu, building on an initial feasibility study completed in 2013.

“Subject to the outcome of this work, we intend to develop a business case and will progress with next steps over the upcoming months.”

Dallas Dhu (pronounced Dallas Doo) derives its name from the Scottish Gaelic Dail Eas Dubh which means black water valley.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead, welcomed the move in 2013 saying: “Dallas Dhu is already an important visitor attraction for Moray and could have enormous potential as a working distillery attraction and a national focal point for whisky tourism.

“While many distilleries have excellent visitor facilities their production arrangements change over time with the development of new and more efficient distilling technologies. At Dallas Dhu I believe there could be an opportunity to showcase traditional distilling techniques as a living history attraction.”

He continued: “ That would be a unique and memorable experience for visitors from home and abroad offering an insight into the production of our most famous product, which is also our very own national drink."

The distillery’s guidebook states: “Whisky is Scotland’s national drink. It has evolved out of our landscape and history. While the march of change has transformed many distilleries, and closed others, Dallas Dhu remains – a perfectly preserved time capsule.”

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