Dailuaine was built in 1852 in the tiny hamlet of Charlestown-of-Aberlour. The water for fermentation comes from the Bailliemullich Burn, and it boast 3 sets of stills and the wash stills feature an unusual pinched neck design that gives the lower neck a lip, adding to the refluxive properties of the still. Despite our best efforts, Dailuaine remains an underappreciated Speyside glory. That's mainly because the owners do so little to promote this great malt as it's so crucial to the structure of their many popular blends. It sits in a little valley just across the River Spey from the tiny village of Archiestown, hence the moniker, which would be otherwise lost on even the most travelled Scotch lover. Archiestown is of course a beautiful little place to visit, but not really on the road to or from any of the major public distilleries, and Dailuaine is not open to visitors either. But, if you've ever made the journey into Speyside through the town Aberlour, you've travelled by this excellent distillery, just off the A95 and within striking distance of several other classics - Glenfarclas, Benrinnes, Knockando, Tamdhu, Cardhu, Glenallachie. It was teaspooned with a molecularly insignificant amount of Glendullan to demote it to a lowly "blended malt," but this excellent whisky tastes impeccable nonetheless. Dark malt and complex fruit coupled with the perfect kiss of creamy American oak from this refill hogshead.
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By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The unsung hero of our selection this year, the Dailuaine might have been lost behind the massive collection of old and very old Speysiders we brought in this year. Archiestown is a little village just a short drive from Carron, the official home of this special distillery. The name "Close to Carron" was a bit to on the nose for our bottler to handle, so Archiestown Adjacent seemed appropriate. The name is secondary to the very delicious and unique malt in the bottle. This lovely Dailuaine is no slouch even considering its legendary neighbors. The color is pale gold. The nose burst with dried stone fruit, dried yellow flowers, caramel drops and bits of fancy fudge. There's no indication of Sherry in the labelling or the color, but there must have been a few staves in this old hoggie (or perhaps we're on a 3rd or 4th fill sherry hoggie) with a bit of Jerez's finest in its ancestry. Opulent, textural, bold and warming. The palate offers hints of baked apples with clove, creamy orange and vanilla sherbet and a longer gorgeously rounded finish. Hints of ginger and sweet spice build as the whisky continues to traverse the palate. I think this one is gorgeous right out of the bottle but a few drops of water heightens the fruitiness and slightly tames the palate in a positive way. Altogether a spectacular value and perfect expression of the Speyside character without any feeling of redundancy with the other wonderful malts we've sold this year.
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