Dailuainne (Pronounced: dale-YOU-an)
57°27'10.3464 N, 3°16'35.49 W
Benrinnes, Glenfarclas, Imperial
3 Wash stills, 3 Spirit stills
3,400,000 litres of pure alcohol per year
Diageo > UDV (since 1898)
Carron, Aberlour, Banffshire, AB38 7RE
Not really, except for some 'Manager's Drams'
Below, on WhiskyFun and on the Malt Maniacs Monitor
Scores & tasting notes:
1) Around 2005, only 2% of Dailuaine distillery's output was bottled as a single malt whisky.
Nevertheless, the distillery is one of the biggest in Diageo's portfolio, measured in production capacity; only Dufftown, Glendullan, Caol Ila, Clynelish and Glen Ord have a larger (potential) output within the Diageo 'stable'. With that impressive production capacity in mind, it's surprising that Dailuaine is such a 'low profile' distillery....
2) By far most of the malt whisky distilled at Dailuaine ends up in the Johnnie Walker blends.
3) In 1991 the very first semi-official bottling of Dailuaine is released in the 'Flora & Fauna' range.
4) Dailuaine distillery has a full lauter mash tun and eight washbacks made out of larch wood.
5) There are eight granite warehouses on the Dailuaine distillery site - but they are no longer used.
Dailuaine 27yo 1983/2011 (53.6%, Master of Malt, 231 Bts.)
Nose: Polished. Old style 'speculaas' cookies. Not too expressive, but a lovely classic Speyside profile.
Palate: Very nice, and it matches the nose closely. Some chalk and aspirin in the relatively short finish.
Score: 83 points - recommendable, but this whisky doesn't quite deliver the nasal promises on the palate.
Dailuaine 1998/2008 (43%, Jean Boyer Best Casks, Sherry, 700 Bts.)
Nose: Light, subtle fruits over a more serious undercurrent. Something nutty too.
Growing complexity, with more fruits and spices emerging.
Taste: Round and smooth like an Irish or grain whisky. Lovely fruity centre.
Score: 82 points - the finish is fairly short finish but is has a long, pleasant afterburn.
Dailuaine 11yo 1997/2008 (46%, Hart Brothers, Finest Collection)
Nose: Prickly, sourish, feels quite young - more like a 7yo or 8yo malt. Really not my kind of whisky.
Taste: Fairly weak start, hardly any sweetness. Loads of beer notes in the finish.
Score: 67 points - but I should mention that all other maniacs that tried it gave it a higher score.
Dailuaine 10yo 1996/2007 Medoc Finish (50%, Chieftain's, C#90421/90422, 618 Bts.)
Nose: Light & fruity start. Rubber? Spicier after a few minutes. Nice development for such a young whisky.
Taste: Fairly weak start, the wood takes over quickly. Sweet centre. Strong tannins in the finish.
A hint of rubber here as well? I like that in an Islay malt whisky, but not always so much in lighter whiskies.
Score: 80 points - certainly not boring and recommendable, especially compared to many other wine finishes.
Dailuaine 31yo 1973/2005 (47.8%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry Butt #14739, 204 bottles)
Nose: Mellow, thoughtful start. Sweet with a hint of dust. Cotton candy. Hint of mint?
Then more organics. Vegetable stock. Much more power in the nose after some breathing.
Classic sherry development, but maybe a little more stand-offish than some sherry monsters.
Again a hint of dust. Meaty. Brilliant! Hey, could that be the faintest whiff of peat smoke?
The nose keeps developing and surprising you at every turn. Definitely 90's material!
Taste: Quite soft in the start. Very sweet as well. Big, fruity centre. Smoke? Lovely.
Hint of something metallic. I love this stuff, it has just enough 'sharp edges' for me.
Score: 90 points - right up my alley and if anything I'd say this is a conservative score.
Dailuaine 1975/2003 (46%, Berry Bros, Cask #5539)
Nose: Remarkably soft and light. Flowery with a hint of apple at first, then sweeter & spicier.
It shows growing complexity over time. Something softly medicinal in the background.
Taste: Remarkably soft as well and growing sweeter over time. Definitely recommendable.
Score: 82 points - a great choice if you 'have' to drink in the morning.
Dailuaine 1974/2001 (40%, G&M Connoisseur's Choice, code IH/CJI)
Nose: Very rich, but subtle at the same time. Round. Polished oak. Tea. Toffee.
Fruit cake and rhum. It smells a lot like the old candy store I used to visit as a kid.
Earthy with more organics after a while. Some smoke? Mighty pleasant.
Taste: Fruity and woody with a hint of liquorice. It suggests a power beyond its 40%.
Slightly nutty. An excellent palate for a malt this age. Bottled at just the right time it seems.
Score: 84 points - more expressive than many other Connoisseur's Choice bottlings I've tried.
Dailuaine 16yo (43%, Flora & Fauna, Badger on the label, Bottled +/- 1999)
Nose: Sherry. A hint of smoke. Grassy after a while. Flattens out after a few minutes.
Not unlike the Benrinnes in the same 'Flora & Fauna' range, but toned down a notch.
Taste: Sherry sweetness. Woody. A bit malty. Fruitier over time. Smoke. A big burn.
Great development! Complexity. Oak and sherry in the finish, but caramel sweetness as well.
Conclusion: 80 points - this is one of the few malts that tastes better than it smells.
Dailuaine 22yo 1973 (61.8%, UDRM)
Nose: Ooh, very pleasant. Sweet and slightly dusty. Spicy with a suggestion of fruits.
Light organics. Hint of vegetables. Cake. Rum. Not terribly complex, but very attractive.
Faint smoke. Hint of peat? A splash of water didn't really seem to change the aroma.
Taste: Sweet and fruity at cask strength. Smooth start. Apple? Good body. Cake?
Becomes hotter and flatter with water, it seems. Gritty and bitter with time. Too bad.
This one reminds me of last month's Glen Ord 23yo 1974/1998 (60.8%, UD Rare Malts).
Score: 85 points - I'd recommend it with more persistence and tenacity than other maniacs.
Dailuaine 12yo (62.4%, James MacArthur, C#6911, Bottled circa 1989)
Nose: Smooth, round and slightly sweet. Hint of honey. Gentle and very pleasant.
The nose doesn't betray the high proof at first. When it started to I added water.
Hmmm. Now some organics pop up. And now they disappear again, leaving little complexity.
Taste: A big burn with a surprisingly strong peaty streak. No peat monster, of course.
Sweeter start with some water. Hint of liquorice. Still, it remains rough with water.
Score: 81 points - I couldn't go higher after the fairly rough 'plywood' finish.
These were not all (official & independent) bottlings of Dailuaine 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 Dailuaine page on the MMMonitor and select 'scorecard view' if you want to know how other whisky lovers felt about the hundreds of Dailuaine 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.)
- After a Dailuaine 16yo 'Flora & Fauna' bottling that was released in 1991, hardly any official bottlings appeared for roughly a decade. In 2000 that changed when a 17yo 'Manager's Dram' (aged in sherry casks) was released.
I've searched the books in my library and the world wide web for additional news, but found none.
2006 - The steel condensers that were used for a few years at Dailuaine distillery are removed.
(or Dailuainne) distillery was built in 1852 by William Mackenzie.
When William passed away in 1865 his widow Jane decided to lease
Dailuaine to a banker from Aberlour, James Fleming. In 1879 Jane's son
Thomas formed 'Mackenzie & Company' together with James Fleming.
Between 1884 and 1887 Dailuaine was rebuilt and expanded, making it
one of the largest distilleries in the Highlands at the time. In 1889 Dailuaine
was the very first distillery to be fitted with a 'pagoda' type roof designed
by Charles Doig. Many distilleries followed suit and these days the pagoda
roof has become more or less the 'traditional' shape. Famous distilleries
like Aberlour, Ardbeg and Benriach all have pagoda roofs. I'll try to make a
nice picture of one during my next trip to 'the holy land' Scotland.
In 1890 or 1891 the existing partnership was converted into the Dailuaine-Glenlivet Distillery Ltd. which merged with the Talisker Distillery Ltd. and (among others) Imperial distillery to form a new company; Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Co Ltd. in 1898. Dailuaine-Talisker became a subsidiary of the DCL in 1925, although the distillery was run by SMD for decades. These days both Dailuaine and Talisker are still part of the 'stable' of distilleries of Diageo - almost 30 distilleries now and they're even building new ones. A fire in 1917 destroyed part of the distillery, including the historical pagoda roof. Dailuaine was forced to close, but reopened again in 1920. Four decades later, in 1960, the distillery was expanded from four to six stills and the floor maltings were replaced by a so-called 'Saladin Box'.
The Saladin Box
(named after its inventor Charles Saladin) is a
big, flat device which mechanically turns the germinating barley
inside and allows air to pass through it. In 1965 the stills were
converted to internal (steam) heating. If you happen to be
interested in indirect firing of stills and the developments in
this area, check out Charles MacLean's article in Malt Maniacs.
The Saladin Box at Dailuaine was closed in 1983 when the distillery started to purchase its malted barley from one of the large 'industrial' maltings. Just like many other distilleries, Dailuaine became part of industry giant Diageo when United Distillers (UD, part of the Guiness Group) and International Distillers & Vintners (IDV, part of Grand Metropolitan) merged.
This merger in 1998 sent shockwaves through the whisky world.
Although Diageo is by far the largest 'player' in the industry measured in number of distilleries, the distance to #2 Pernod Ricard measured in production capacity isn't that significant. In 2005, Diageo's 27 malt whisky distilleries had a total production capacity of some 60,000,000 litres of pure alcohol per year (which is a little over 25% of the total malt whisky industry capacity).
Pernod Ricard's production capacity actually isn't very far behind Diageo's.
More than 20% of the Scotch whiisky industry's annual output comes from their 13 distilleries, which produced over 45,000,000 litres of pure alcohol in 2005. Even cask strength whiskies are not made up of pure alcohol, so when diluted those 45 million litres of alcohol equal roughly 100 million bottles of whisky. The annual output of Pernod Ricard's distillery could keep a small country inebriated full time.
But wait - I'm getting side-tracked; Dailuaine is owned by industry leader Diageo...
Even after Diageo greatly expanded the range of six Classic Malts they introduced in the late 1980's (which included the Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie, Lagavulin, Oban and Talisker distilleries) around 2004, Dailuaine wasn't part of the additions to the 'Classic malts Selection'. According to the new distillery map on www.malts.com (the 'umbrella site of Diageo for their classic malts) the additions to the line were Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Glen Elgin, Glen Ord, Knockando and Royal Lochnagar.
That's 13 malt whisky distilleries that made the selection.
Dailuaine wasn't so fortunate, and the same goes for other distinguished distilleries like Auchroisk, Benrinnes, Blair Athol, Dufftown, Linkwood and Mortlach - as well as slightly less distinguished distilleries like Glendullan, Glenlossie, Glen Spey, Inchgower, Mannochmore, Strathmill and Teaninich.
Is the distillery or