Water of Life - Dailuaine
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The Dailuaine distillery was established in 1851 by a farmer called Mackenzie. It sat in a hollow with river meadows all around so he called it Dail Uaine, ‘green valley’ in the Gaelic. When Mackenzie died in 1865 his widow, Jane, joined the ranks of early Scottish women distillers but she also leased the distillery out to an Aberlour banker for a while. When the Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd. company was formed in 1898, Carron’s other distillery, Imperial, became part of the little group.
Much of the 1884 rebuilding disappeared in a fire in 1917 but the red Victorian postbox set into the warehouse wall just outside the distillery (and still in use) shows that some fragments remain. Steam and water powered operations into the 1960s although there was electric light from the 1920s onwards. In 1960 the floor maltings were converted to a Saladin Box system which, although not used since 1983, is still in situ. Dailuaine whisky is lightly peated. The original stills were a three-unit system of one large wash stilland two small spirit stills. By the 1950s this had changed to a two-pair set-up and in 1960 a further pair was added, making three large double-sets in all.
The distillery had its own ‘pug’ steam locomotive, bought just before World War II and which was only relinquished because the dreaded Dr. Beeching of British Railways axed the Strathspey line in 1967. Happily part of the line has been revived by enthusiasts and the much-loved pug is now part of the locomotive stock at Aviemore.
The 100-acre farm at Carron Mains, first leased by the Mackenzie family, is still attached to the distillery and produces beef-cattle and grain.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum