Pittyvaich distillery

Where to find Pittyvaich

Pittyvaich Scotch Whisky

Pittyvaich  (Pronounced: PITTY-vake)
Speyside (Dufftown)
Unknown
Dufftown, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie, Convalmore
1975
Closed (in 1993, demolished in 2002)
Bailliemore & Convalleys springs
Unknown
Unknown
United Distillers (since 1987)
Pittyvaich distillery, Dufftown, Scotland, UK
-
No
No
No
Below, on WhiskyFun and on the Malt Maniacs Monitor

Pittyvaich location

Name:
Region:
GPS location:
Neighbours:
Founded:
Status:
Water source:
Equipment:
Production capacity:
Ownership:
Address:
Telephone number:
Visitor centre:
Website:
Official bottlings:
Scores & tasting notes:

Pittyvaich whisky

Pittyvaich distillery in the new millennium

2006 - The oldest ever bottling of Pittyvaich (well, at least the oldest that we know of) is released by Signatory Vintage; the Pittyvaich 30yo 1976/2006 (50.3%, Signatory for Vinothek St. Stephan, C#10234, 211 Bts.).
 
2009 - It's quite rare for an official bottling to appear AFTER the distillery where the whisky was produced is closed. This is what happened when Diageo introduced a 20yo expression in their 'Special Releases' series.
 

Pittyvaich distillery, Scotland

Pittyvaich is one of the youngest distilleries in the
Speyside area - or in the whole of Scotland for that
matter. It was built in 1974 by Arthur Bell & Sons
next to the Dufftown distillery and production did
start in 1975. When Pittyvaich was built in 1974 it
was intended as a 'sister distillery' for Dufftown.
 
Shortly after United Distillers released the first
semi-official bottling (as Flora & Fauna) in 1991,
the Pittyvaich distillery was closed in 1993. That
means that the distillery operated for less than
two decades - making it a short-lived adventure.
The Pittyvaich distillery was demolished in 2002.
 
Because the distillery operated so briefly it didn't
have the time to generate a lot of history. The
fact that Pittyvaich was built by Bells with a fairly
mundane goal didn't help either - the distillery
was supposed to provide 'generic' malt whisky for
the Bell's blend. This little factoid may not sound
very promising, but I've tried some great drams.

Pittyvaich 1993 Scotch whisky

In 1987 the company United Distillers was formed.
This predecessor of Diageo was born when Distillers Company Limited (DCL) merged with Bell's in 1987. It's understandable that the producer of a brand that has Pittyvaich as an important component (i.e. Bell's) would want to secure the production of this required ingredient. However, this history shows that the mythical 'secret recipes' for the blends are not quite as important as many advertising campaigns have led us to believe. The Bell's brand existed long before Pittyvaich was ever built - and production simply continued after Pittyvaich was closed.

Pittyvaich 12 yers old malt whisky - Flora and Fauna

When I write this update (April 2009) I've sampled at least six expressions
from every active and recently closed malt whisky distillery in Scotland. To
tell you the truth, hunting down and sampling six different bottlings from
some of the fairly obscure 'workhouse' distilleries wasn't always enjoyable,
but to my own surprise I've had the pleasure of sampling some stunning
drams from Pittyvaich. Despite the high quality of (parts of) its output the
Pittyvaich distillery stopped working in 1993. I've always wondered why a
distillery that weathered the economic crisis of the early 1980's (during
which dozens of whisky distilleries were closed) vanished a century later.

One might imagine that it could have something to do with the fact that there were too many
distilleries in Dufftown, but considering that they built the new Kininvie distillery there in 1990,
that doesn't seem very likely. Perhaps the overall need for malt whisky had simply decreased
in the early 1990's. Demand for bottled single malts was still relatively low (perhaps a quarter
or what it is today) and the recipes for the blends required less and less malt whisky.
 
Well, I should point out that the last statement could be considered speculative; I don't know
the actual recipes for the hundreds of different blends. My suspicion that the amount of malt
whisky in blends has decreased significantly over the last few decades is purely based on my
own taste perceptions - and the fact that many malt whisky distilleries have been closed since
the early 1980's while more and more bottles of blended whisky were sold. The only logical
conclusion seems to be that the percentage of malt whisky in the average bottle of blended
whisky (= a mixture of malt whisky and grain whisky) must have decreased in recent years.
But don't take my word for it - invest in an 'antique' blend some time and find out for yourself.

Pittyvaich distillery profileInteractive whisky distillery mapScotland - whisky distillery informationScotch whisky bottlersScotch malt whisky brandsNew distillery projects

Trivia about Pittyvaich

1) The Pittyvaich distillery was closed in 1993, but the dark grains plant (which transforms draff and pot ale to cattle feed) on the site is still active.

2) Pittyvaich malt whisky used to be an important component of the Bell's blends.

3) Pittyvaich distillery was constructed on the same site as the Dufftown distillery.
 

Pittyvaich single malt whisky

Pittyvaich 12yo (43%, Flora & Fauna 'OB', Bottled +/- 2000)
Nose: Herbal broth with a nice touch of fruit. Pleasant sweetness. Over time 'veggy' elements take over.
Taste: Starts out sweet (but rather undefined) on the palate as well, but disintegrates towards the finish.
Not spectacular, but an interesting twist of liquorice in the finish kept it well above average.
Score: 78 points - not my kind of profile but interesting...

Pittyvaich 21yo 1976/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry Butt #12241, Bottle #116 of 420)
Nose: Wowie! Extremely sherried. Old fruits. Wood. Pipe tobacco. Mint? Rubber? Unique.
Simply fabulous. Complex organics. Amazing complexity, worthy of a score in the 90's.
Taste: Rather woody at first, but still smooth. Develops into a subdued rum or coffee heat.
With time it becomes just a tad too bitter and shallow to warrant a score in the 90's.
Score: 88 points - It's quite extreme, though - you have to love sherry monsters.
I wouldn't be surprised if some people didn't like this whisky as much - it's just too extreme.
Could the Pittyvaich distillery be a 'hidden lost gem' like Braes of Glenlivet?

Pittyvaich 21yo 1976/1998 (43%, Signatory Vintage, Sherry Butt #12241, Bottle #116 of 420)
Nose: Very sherried. Old fruits. Wood. Pipe tobacco. Mint? Rubber? Complex organics. Amazing complexity.
Taste: Rather woody at first, but still smooth. Develops into a subdued rum or coffee heat. Bitter and shallow.
Score: 88 points - which makes it another top scoring whisky from the Pittyvaich distillery.

Pittyvaich 18yo 1976/1995 (43%, Sigantory, Distilled 22/6/1976, Cask #8633-34, 630 Bts., 70cl)
Nose: Spirity. Fresh. Sparkly. Some citrus. This one grows sweeter with time.
Maybe a distant echo of smoke. Clearly Bourbon ageing. Lowlandish profile.
Taste: Light. Cool burn. Surprisingly juvenile for a malt whisky this old.
Soft and strong; sweet and long. Very long, soft finish. Feels stronger than 43%.
Score: 73 points - proof that the quality of Pittyvaich malt whisky varied a lot between casks.

Pittyvaich 12yo (54%, James McArthur, C#15096, Bottled early 1990's)
Nose: The 12yo is much lighter, although there's a wide range of organics to be enjoyed.
Taste: Starts a little bit weak on the palate before growing fruitier and smokier. A very nice mouth feel.
Score: 83 points - I sampled this one together with fellow malt maniac Davin de Kergommeaux.

Pittyvaich-Glenlivet 13yo 1977/1991 (58.4%, Cadenhead's, Black Label, Distilled 09/1977, Bottled 03/1991)
Nose: Antiquity. It seems to display a more 'aged' character.  Sweeter, fruity and much more sherried.
Some organics as well. Maggi? Some rubber as well perhaps in the bouquet of this whisky?
Taste: Lots of good, solid wood - although it grew a little too woody for me in the finish.
A big and utterly pleasing sherry character. Too bad they closed the distillery in 1993.
Score: 89 points - and Canadian malt maniac Davin de Kergommeaux gave it 91 points.
 

And there's more to tell about Pittyvaich...

These were not all (official & independent) bottlings of Pittyvaich Scotch whisky I've tried over the years.
Besides, these tasting notes only reflect my own, personal opinion; your tastes might be different from mine.
Fortunately, you can find the scores and tasting notes from up to two dozen other whisky lovers in the 'Malt Maniacs Monitor' - an independent whisky database with details on more than 15,000 different whiskies from Scotland and the rest of the world. Visit the Pittyvaich page on the MMMonitor and select 'scorecard view' if you want to know how other whisky lovers felt about the dozens of Pittyvaich expressions that were released in recent years. However, if you'd like to learn more about whisky in general (and single malt Scotch whisky in particular), you might want to check out the Beginner's Guide to Scotch whisky (10 chapters filled with everything you need to fully enjoy and appreciate a glass of single malt whisky) or the mAlmanac (sort of a rudimentary whisky shopping guide.) 
 

whisky information
Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky

Custom Search
 

WhiskyFun
Malt Madness homepageJohannes van den Heuvel

 

 

Scotch malt whisky distillery listAll malt whisky distilleries in Scotland

whisky

distilleries

 

DD Overview
Active Distilleries
Silent Distilleries
New Projects
 
Whisky Brands
Whisky Bottlers
Grain Whisky
 
About Scotland
About Regions
Interactive Map

Scotch

whiskey

whisky

distilleries

 

Aberfeldy
Aberlour
Abhainn Dearg
Ailsa Bay
Allt A' Bhainne
Ardbeg
Ardmore
Arran
Auchentoshan
Auchroisk
Aultmore
Balblair
Balmenach
Balvenie
Banff
Ben Nevis
Benriach
Benrinnes
Benromach
Ben Wyvis
Bladnoch
Blair Athol
Bowmore
Brackla
Braeval
Brora

Bruichladdich
Bunnahabhain
Caol Ila
Caperdonich
Cardhu
Clynelish
Coleburn
Convalmore

Cragganmore
Craigellachie
Daftmill
Dailuaine
Dallas Dhu
Dalmore
Dalwhinnie
Deanston
Dufftown
Edradour
Fettercairn
Glen Albyn
Glenallachie
Glenburgie
Glencadam
Glencraig
Glen Deveron
Glendronach
Glendullan
Glen Elgin
Glenfarclas
Glenfiddich
Glen Flagler
Glen Garioch
Glenglassaugh
Glengoyne
Glen Grant
Glengyle
Glen Keith
Glenkinchie
Glenlivet
Glenlochy
Glenlossie
Glen Mhor
Glenmorangie
Glen Moray
Glen Ord
Glenrothes
Glen Scotia
Glen Spey
Glentauchers
Glenturret
Glenugie
Glenury Royal

Highland Park
Hillside
Huntly
Imperial

Inchgower
Inverleven
Isle of Jura
Kilchoman
Killyloch
Kinclaith
Kininvie
Knockando
Knockdhu
Ladyburn

Lagavulin
Laphroaig
Ledaig
Linkwood
Linlithgow
Littlemill
Loch Ewe
Loch Lomond
Lochnagar
Lochside
Longmorn
Macallan
MacDuff
Mannochmore
Millburn
Miltonduff
Mortlach
Mosstowie
North Port
Oban
Pittyvaich
Port Ellen

Pulteney
Rosebank
Roseisle
Royal Brackla
Royal Lochnagar
Saint Magdalene
Scapa
Speyburn
Speyside
Springbank
Strathisla
Strathmill
Talisker
Tamdhu
Tamnavulin
Teaninich
Tobermory
Tomatin
Tomintoul
Tormore
Tullibardine

Is the distillery or
brand you're looking
for not on this list?
Check out the 'brands'
page for more...

Scotch

whisky