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Dalmore is situated in the Highlands and is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, founded in 1839. In 1867 the clan MacKenzie took over Dalmore and included the 12-point stag on their bottles, something that can only be used by Royal Appointment. Unlike any other whisky house, they uniquely have a cask agreement with the Sherry legends, Gonzalez-Byass, that goes back two centuries and ensures top quality casks are used for all production. A maturation of three parts is used, all spirits starting in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks, followed by enhancement in a variety of sherry and fine wine casks, then brought back together for the marrying in an in-situ cask. This process creates the rich and complex style with finesse that is the hallmark of The Dalmore.
Scotch whisky is the name given to all whiskies produced in Scotland under strict rules that govern the production: “Scotch Whisky must, by law, be distilled and matured in Scotland in oak casks for at least three years and bottled at a minimum alcoholic strength of 40% abv. The robust legal protection of Scotch – vital to safeguard a spirit globally renowned for its quality – has grown over time.” It’s a proudly British industry – 93% of Scotch whisky is sold abroad and it alone generates 25% of all British food and drink exports, employing 40,000 people. The main focus of the fine whisky market are single Malts made in relatively small quantities in a batch process using a traditional copper pot. There are also Single Grain whiskies which are mixed with single malt whiskies but made on an industrial scale. The final type is blended Scotch whisky which is a mixture of grain and malt whiskies generally mass produced. Scotland is divided into various areas where the distilleries all make whiskies with distinctive geographical characteristics. Much like fine wine, even within these regions there is a great range of styles to be discovered and enjoyed by new and experienced drinkers alike.