The Victorians described Dalwhinnie as being “madly located”. Even through modern eyes, it’s possible to see where they were coming from. Dalwhinnie is the third highest located distillery in Scotland. Dalwhinnie’s isolated location is a key part of its history. “Dalwhinnie” means, “meeting place” in Gaelic, a nod to the distillery’s excellent central location. The Strathspey Distillery Company founded the distillery in 1897 and originally operated under the name “Strathspey”. Within the year the company went into liquidation, and the name of the distillery was changed appropriately as it switched hands to the Dalwhinnie Distillery Company.
Production continued, with the architect Charles Doig, who is responsible for the famous pagoda shaped roof, contributing to the expansion of the distillery. The distillery changed hands twice more. firstly owned by an American company, Cook & Bernheimer, making it the very first foreign-owned scotch distillery. In 1934, a fire destroyed the majority of the distillery and production had to be halted for four years for rebuilding. After the rebuild was completed in 1938, the distillery had to remain closed until 1940, due to wartime restrictions on barley. Since 1940, the distillery has produced whisky almost uninterrupted, save for a brief period in 1986 when the distillery underwent a complete refurbishment. Today, Dalwhinnie is owned by Diageo and is part of its Classic Malts range.