Glendullan Distillery was founded in 1897 by Williams & Sons. It is one of many distilleries in Dufftown and is situated alongside the river Fiddich (the 7th in Dufftown). Glendullan was built to supply malt whisky to the blended industry.
Glendullan was a favourite whisky of King Edward VII but it has taken a back seat compared to the other single malts that have been heavily promoted in recent times by its owners. But it was recently chosen by the Speaker of the House of Commons as her special whisky. The site is a pretty spot on the bank of the River Fiddich.
Glendullan was the last of the 1890s surge in building distilleries around Dufftown and, despite the fact that the whisky boom collapsed in the same year that production at Glendullan got under way, the owners managed to stay in business. The only period during which the distillery was silent was in World War II.
Much remodeling took place in 1962 and in 1972 a second distillery was built in the field alongside ‘Old’ Glendullan to increase capacity. It is self-contained with three pairs of stills. Both units use the same water, ‘recipe’ and techniques and, despite having stills of different sizes, produce similar spirit. When asked how far apart the two units were, one staff member said that it was just a short distance in good weather, a very long one in bad. The ‘old’ side was ‘mothballed’ in 1985.
The old waterwheel was a grand 14 feet (4.3m) in diameter and supplied 16 horsepower to drive the machinery. The ‘old’ still-house has wooden worm-tubs for converting the vapour to spirit; the new unit uses condensers. Glendullan shared a railway siding with Mortlach next door. The original still house at Glendullan always had just one pair of stills; the second unit has three. The water is drawn from springs in the Conval Hills.
Glendullan is rather big and mouth-filling with zesty sweetness from both oak and sherry presence. The make goes into the blending of the Dewars, Bell’s, Johnnie Walker and Old Parr ranges. The malt is not available generally.
Source of water: Springs in the Conval Hill
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