INTRODUCING DALCLAGIE HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalclagie is genuinely special. It’s made by special people; we use the very best ingredients that we possibly can; and we’re using processes that hark back to a time when Whisky was at its best. Not only that, but we’re using technology and sustainability, and making sure that quality is at the core of absolutely everything we do.
With everything we’re doing in terms of high quality malt, super long fermentations, and really tight cut points, our spirit is delicious as-is. With ten years of ageing, with both Palo Cortado and ex-bourbon casks, we’re looking for a rich sweetness, a tropical fruit flavour, and full-bodied textural spirit.
Our team is what makes our distillery so special. Since the start of our distillery we have grown from a team of three to a team of fourteen amazing individuals who contribute to our distillery every single day.
The small team that we’ve built is quite mighty; our people are fantastic; our place is second to none: where we are in the world is beautiful and there’s so much opportunity here for growth. And at the end of it all, our distillery means Whisky. This has been a vision for us for years and we’re finally being able to tell the world about something very special.
Dalclagie Scotch Whisky is where exceptional people make exceptional Whisky.
It’s about the People. It’s about the Place. It’s about the Whisky.
THE DALCLAGIE WAY
The prevailing trend amongst the majority of the Scotch Whisky industry is to chase every efficiency possible. Modern barley varieties, yeast strains, fermentation times, and distillation characteristics are all being designed to maximise yield above all else.
Here at Dalclagie, we completely reject this idea.
Every single decision we make is made with the intention of creating the highest quality Scotch Whisky possible, whatever the accounting department says.
Selecting our Grain
1966 was, on balance, not the best year for the Scots; however, it saw the creation of one of our favourite barley varieties: Maris Otter.
This grain variety went through a massive boom and bust, and by the late ‘80s had almost completely been replaced by more efficient, higher-yielding barley varieties.
However, it lived on, gaining a cult-like following from real ale enthusiasts. The full bodied, croissant-esque sweetness is really unlike anything else available. We simply had to use it.
Mashing is the first stage of whisky production that occurs within our distillery.
Our mashman, Louis, takes our grain and mixes it with hot water to produce a mash of 63.5°C. This allows the naturally occurring enzymes in the grain to break down its own starch into fermentable sugar. Once he’s drained the liquid from this first run, he does this again at 74°C.
The mashing process produces 2000L of wort: a non alcoholic, rich, sweet liquid, not too dissimilar to something like ovaltine.
Most distilleries measure their fermentation time in hours. We measure in days.
Rather than using generic distiller’s yeast, which is high in yield but low in flavour, we ferment using brewer’s yeast. The yeast strain that we use is known as Kveik; this is a Norwegian farmhouse strain known for its delicious tropical fruit characteristics.
We ferment for a minimum for 7 days in wooden washbacks, which maximises fruit and ester characteristics. The wooden washbacks allow the natural elements of our coastal surroundings to influence our wash – the distiller’s beer that fermentation creates – as it bubbles and foams over this 7 day period. The resulting wash has an ABV of around 9%: nowhere near where we need it to be and that’s where distillation comes in.
It’s a common misconception that distillation creates alcohol. That’s not the case. What distillation does is separate the alcohol from the residual water. We then collect this concentrated alcohol.
Our first distillation, known as the wash distillation, takes our 9% ABV wash and concentrates it to a 25% ABV liquid called low wines. This takes place in our 2000L copper pot still, Nettie, named after our distiller Greg’s Gran.
These low wines are collected and put in our 1000 litre spirit still, Gertie, named after Struan’s Gran. Here the distillation is run low and slow. This gentle distillation allows the vapour to recondense inside the still many times before travelling along the lyne arm and condensing in our shell and tube condenser. This high amount of reflux results in a spirit that is clean, easy drinking and fruit-forward.
We’re also super tight with our cut points, choosing to sacrifice efficiency in order to only capture the purest heart of the spirit run, resulting in a New Make Spirit that is bursting with tropical esters – think pineapple and tinned peaches – and backed up by a full bodied baked-goods sweetness.
After the final distillation is complete, our New Make Spirit is added to a holding vessel where subsequent batches are added to it and blended together. Once the spirit has been diluted slightly, we begin the casking process.
113L, 200L bourbon barrels and 250L sherry casks have been hand-chosen by our team to house our New Make Spirit while it ages. These two barrels will add their own influences to our spirit over time, such as toffee and vanilla from the bourbon barrels, and a sweet fruitiness from the sherry casks.
Once the barrels are filled, they’re moved to our warehouse where they will rest for years to come. Throughout this maturation process, our team will collect samples from each cask periodically, testing the spirit and making note of its progress and development.
After a minimum of three years, New Make Spirit officially becomes Scotch Whisky.
While we believe our New Make would be an exceptional 3 year old Whisky, we expect to release our first bottling of Dalclagie Single Malt Scotch Whisky in 2028 – but as every Whisky lover knows: it’s ready when it’s ready, so this is not written in stone.
After our Head Distiller has given the okay, both barrel types will be blended together to create our very first Single Malt Whisky expression.
With this being years in the future, we can’t tell you much more. In all honesty, we won’t know more until we open the casks.
THE 2024 DALCLAGIE CASK PROGRAMME HAS CLOSED
PLEASE REGISTER INTEREST FOR ANY FUTURE CASK RELEASES
We have been blown away by the demand for our 2024 allocation of Dalclagie casks, and the programme has now closed for the public.
Distilled using the finest heritage malt and artisanal yeast, Dalclagie new make spirit cuts are done to maximise taste, never efficiency.
The very best Kentucky Bourbon Barrels are hand-filled new make spirit and laid down in our coastal warehouses for a minimum of three years, don't miss the chance to reserve your piece of distilling history.
For further information or to enquire offline,
please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact us at: (01847) 808120.
OUR CASK PROGRAMME
DALCLAGIE CASK PROGRAMME
The Dalclagie Cask Programme has closed. Interest in our casks should be directed to the Cask Sales team email@example.com / (01847) 808120, or by registering your interest in a future cask offer above.