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1 July 2024

Historic Dallas Dhu site to reopen

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced today that the Dallas Dhu distillery in Moray Speyside will reopen as a working distillery.

An aerial view of Dallas Dhu Distillery

Aceo Distillers Company Limited (Aceo) will take over the management of distillery operations, implementing a phased program of development of the site. HES will retain guardianship of the site on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

This development is expected to benefit the local community and economy. Dallas Dhu will be transformed into a unique heritage attraction, offering visitors the opportunity to experience artisanal Scotch whisky production methods, alongside its existing popularity as a visitor destination. The focus will be on showcasing the rich history of Speyside whisky and the art of traditional Scotch whisky making.

Aceo will implement a phased approach to operational improvements. This will include bonded warehousing facilities and the eventual reintroduction of traditional whisky production, alongside improvements designed to enhance the visitor experience. The new visitor centre will offer tours focusing on the story of Scotch whisky and Speyside production.

Investment will prioritise sustainable improvements to the distillery, ensuring the historic and artisanal nature of the distilling process remains central to the experience as Dallas Dhu is brought back to life.

Dallas Dhu, built by entrepreneur Alexander Edward, has a long and distinguished history. Originally constructed to meet the growing demand for Scotland's national drink, the distillery produced malt whisky for the popular Roderick Dhu blend for nearly a century. Production ceased in 1983, and the distillery was handed into state care a few years later. The traditional distilling equipment remains exactly as it was when the doors closed for the final time.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Marketing & Engagement at HES commented:

Dallas Dhu offers a unique opportunity to showcase traditional distilling techniques as a living history attraction. This reopening marks a new chapter for the distillery, and we are confident it will attract visitors, while also bringing benefits to the local community and economy.

Edward Odim, Managing Director, Aceo said "The Aceo Team are thrilled to be reopening the historic Dallas Dhu Distillery. Our vision is to make Dallas Dhu one of the leading, must-see whisky distilleries in Scotland, giving visitors a unique, close-up experience of whisky making. The aim is to breathe life back into the distillery by first getting the original equipment working and traditional whisky distilling going once again. This revived, long-lost spirit will be matured in Dallas Dhu’s well-preserved Victorian dunnage warehouses.

“Longer-term, the plan is for a state-of-the-art visitor centre with exhibition and museum space, and a café/restaurant, to be enjoyed by visitors and the local community. There will be a cooperage displaying the art of the cooper, a working malting floor and an interactive virtual reality whisky experience, that delves into the science behind Scotland’s famous spirit. But, as well as show how whisky is made, we intend to tell the social and economic story – past and present – of whisky production in Speyside, Scotland’s largest whisky producing region.

“So, it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get going on reviving this jewel in the crown of Scotland’s whisky distilleries.”

Deputy First Minister, Kate Forbes said:

This collaboration between Historic Environment Scotland and Aceo marks the start of a new chapter for the celebrated Dallas Dhu Distillery site.

"The re-introduction of whisky production and expansion of the visitor experience will breathe new life into a historically significant distillery, showing how Scotland's treasured heritage assets can be preserved and revitalised at the same time, so that sites like Dallas Dhu continue to evolve and flourish.

"It's fantastic news for the local community in Forres, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this collaboration will bring."

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment, a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. It is at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impacts of climate change on its future, investigating and recording architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and caring for more than 300 properties of national importance. We are also the lead on delivering Scotland's strategy for the historic environment, Our Past, Our Future.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Ashley Liddle
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
07721 959 962