Sitting beside the clear waters of the Manachy Burn at the heart of Speyside whisky region, Dallas Dhu Distillery (the name means ‘Black Water Valley’ in Gaelic) produced a flavorsome single malt known as Roderick Dhu from 1898 until 1983. As one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, it was then closed down and today it is run as a museum showcasing early whisky production.
As much of the whitewashed distillery was rebuilt after a fire in the 1950s, the equipment on show dates from that time. Tours are by handheld audio guides that take visitors through the process of whisky making, including the barns in which the barley was stored, the still house where the uisge beatha (water of life) was distilled and the bonded warehouse where the finished product was aged for three years.
There’s a visitor center in which to sample a dram or two as you watch documentaries on the art of whisky making; true aficionados will relish the choice of malts in the museum store. Dallas Dhu can be visited along with the 50 distilleries and cooperages found in the Speyside countryside.
The distillery is open April–September daily from 9:30am–5:30pm, October–March Sat–Wed 10am–4pm. Admission for adults is £5.50; while seniors & students are £4.40; children aged 5–15 are £3.30 and they must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass. Dallas Dhu Distillery is just south of Forres off the A96 in Speyside; Inverness is 56 miles (90 km) by road and the journey takes about 90 minutes. The area is well served by buses.