Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Amber Lights: Dufftown is a hidden gem for good Speyside whisky

Coopers at work at the Speyside Cooperage.

There’s a famous saying: “Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown was built on seven stills.”

And, other than Campbeltown in its glory days, nowhere in Scotland could match Dufftown for so many distilleries in such a small area.

A few of the distilleries have disappeared over the years – Parkmore, Convalmore and Pittyvaich – but the town still possesses the world’s best-known malt distillery, Glenfiddich, plus its two sister distilleries, The Balvenie and Kininvie.

Add to them Dufftown-Glenlivet and Glendullan, plus a cluster of other distilleries nearby, not to mention Speyside Cooperage on the road to Craigellachie, and its pre-eminence in the malt whisky world is assured.

Glenfiddich Distillery in Moray.

It also has its town centre Whisky Heritage Centre and the Whisky Shop, a noted outlet brimming with great malts. The Whisky Shop has acres of timber wall racks laden with an almost unparalleled selection of the cratur matched by a vast array of opened bottles sitting on top of whisky casks to allow customers a wee nippy or two before they make their choice.

The nearby Whisky Heritage Centre is small but has acquired space to expand, although the pandemic and lockdowns have greatly hindered the task.

The centre has a fascinating selection of historical artefacts, including old illicit stills, received from donors as disparate as big distilleries, private individuals and even HM Customs and Excise.

Whisky writer Brian Townsend.

Yet Dufftown had a final surprise. Midway down the town’s Balvenie Street, I found a small Costcutter supermarket that looked very mundane but proved to be an Aladdin’s cave for the whisky enthusiast.

For a start, it puts the malt selection at the average supermarket in the shade. I noted at least two malts I had never heard of, several malts I hadn’t glimpsed on a shop shelf for years and a vast range of expressions from certain noted distilleries.

There were five different Glenallachies, nine versions of Tomintoul, 10 Arrans and 12 or more different bottlings of The Balvenie.

Prices ranged from £20 to £2,350.

So if you feel like a weekend jaunt with a difference, head for Dufftown, preferably with a co-driver who is teetotal.


For more in this series…

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]
Tags

More from The Courier Food & Drink team

More from The Courier