Dufftown

Dufftown is a rather inconspicuous whisky distillery in the eponymous famous ‘Malt Whisky Capital’ Dufftown in the heart of Scottish Speyside. The single malts of the distillery are distributed under the banner of ‘The Singleton’.

Dufftown Whisky

The Dufftown whisky distillery is located in the eponymous village in the middle of the Speyside. Dufftown is also known as the ‘Malt Whisky Capital’, meaning the Malt Whisky capital of Scotland. The small village is known for its popular single malt whisky producers Glenfiddich and Balvenie, although the place next to these and the Dufftown Distillery is also Glendullan and Mortlach a home.

House style

How does Dufftown Single Malt taste? Whiskies from Dufftown are generally dry and aromatic, and marked by a subtle malt. The 12-year-old Singleton of Dufftown is the standard output of the distillery. While it’s an excellent whisky especially considering the price whisky connoisseurs should look past this and keep an eye for older bottlings and the elusive independant offerings.

Production

Much of Dufftown’s production goes into the Blended Whisky Bell’s, the countries most popular blended Scotch whisky. Nevertheless, Dufftown has a long history of single malt bottlings. Since 1992, 8, 10 and 15 year old owners’ bottlings have been brought to market. The most famous is the ‘Singleton of Dufftown’, which is currently available as 12, 15 and 18 year old bottling.

There are also some interesting, independent bottlings and occasional older editions, for example from the Flora and Fauna series, on the market. The Dufftown distillery currently produces around 5.8 million litres of whisky per year, making it the largest distillery owned by Diageo until the construction of Roseisle.

For the production, a stainless steel Mashtun with 10.6 tons as well as twelve washbacks of 53,000 litres and six copper stills are used. The stills from Dufftown are all steam heated. The water for the Dufftown Whisky Distillery comes from the Jock’s Well source, the malt is bought in Elgin.

History

The town of Dufftown is an old center of whisky production. Already in the 19th century, the saying ‘Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown stands on seven stills’ had been naturalised nevertheless, there were nine active distilleries at one point, today only six of these remain.

This is also why Dufftown likes to describe himself as ‘World Capital of Malt Whisky’. The Dufftown Distillery is an old mill that was later equipped with pagoda roofs. Founded in 1895, it was purchased in 1896 alongside Blair Athol by Bell and Sons. Bell’s also built the neighbouring Pittyvaich distillery in 1975 (which was run as part of Dufftown in all but name) to cater for the rise in demand for their blend. Pittyvaich closed in 1993 and was demolished in 2002. With the acquisition of Bells by Guinness in 1985, the Dufftown Distillery was also brought into the Diageo fold two years later.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Dufftown duff*town Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1895 - Present Malt Dufftown Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Keith Law Diageo

Dufftown Timeline:

1895: Peter Mackenzie and Richard Stackpole found a meal mill on land owned by John Symon on their way finding a spot to build a distillery in the Speyside area. John Symon also owned a farm named Pittyvaich which was on top of the hill overlooking the mill. They made a deal and the Dufftown-Glenlivet Distillery Co. was founded, soon incorporated as P. Mackenzie & Co.

1895-1896: Within a year after purchase of the mill it was converted and barley from Pittyvaich farm was being used for distillation. The first batch commenced nine hogsheads

....: P. Mackenzie & Co. acquired Blair Athol Distillery and expanded its outlets, even to the USA

1933: The assets of P. Mackenzie & Co. purchased by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd., blenders of Perth

WWII: Distillery closed due to grain shortage. Apart from this period it was continuously in production

1967: Extended from two to four stills (1968 mentioned as well)

1979: A stainless-stell Lauter mash tun was installed and the amount of stills raised from four to six allowing a production of over 6 million gallons (over 27 million litres) of whisky

1985: Arthur Bell & Sons was acquired by Guinness

1987: Guinness took over Distillers Company Limited (DCL)

1999: Owned by United Distillers & Vintners (UDV, now Diageo plc)