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Dallas Dhu distillery set to reopen

Dallas Dhu Distillery

After years of speculation, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced that the mothballed Dallas Dhu distillery in Speyside will be reopened.

Dallas Dhu was one of 19 distilleries that closed in the 1980s and was owned by Scottish Malt Distillers (a precursor to Diageo). For a long time, Diageo showed no interest in restarting production; to be fair, it still doesn't.

Only a few years after Dallas Dhu closed in 1983, the distillery was given to state care. Since then, the distillery has been silent, with all the equipment still in place, functioning as a museum of distilling and a visitor attraction.

With the new wave of reviving once-closed whisky distilleries in Scotland, HES has been seriously looking into reviving the intact and well-preserved distillery for the past 10 years. In 2018, the state-operated museum was exploring investment opportunities to restore distillation.

In January 2024, it was reported that HES had been discussing the reopening with the property owner, Diageo, and finding a 'preferred partner' to operate the distillery if plans were to become reality.

Now, in July 2024, Aceo Distillers Company—known as an independent bottler of Murray McDavid whiskies—has been named the new manager of distillery operations, with HES retaining guardianship of the site. Even though no details of the soon-to-be-restored distillery's operation schedule have been announced, Aceo is said to implement a phased restoration of the site, starting from bonded warehouses. Ultimately, the goal is to get the distillery back up and running.

Dallas Dhu Distillery

Image by Visit Forres

Historic Scotland will keep operating the museum and visitor centre, both of which are due for an update. The new 'state-of-the-art' visitor centre will include exhibitions and tours focusing on the story of Scotch whisky and Speyside production, destined to become 'a leading, must-see destination' for whisky enthusiasts.

Dallas Dhu malt whisky was produced before closing mainly for blends such as Roderick Dhu. As a single malt, it has been bottled by independent bottlers, including Gordon & MacPhail and Cadenhead's, as well as officially by United Distillers (Diageo) as part of its Rare Malts Selection.

The Whisky Ardvark will keep reporting on the development.


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