Dalmore distillery was founded by entrepreneur Alexander Matheson in 1839 on the banks of the Cromarty Firth. After three decades the distillery was bought by Andrew and Charles Mackenzie. According to legend in 1263 Chief of the clan Mackenzie saved the Scottish king from a charging stag. King Alexander II granted Clan Mackenzie the rights to use the 12-pointed Royal Stag as their clan crest. Thus when Andrew and Charles took over the distillery this tale is where the iconic stag on the branding comes from.
Operations ran smoothly until in 1917 the Royal Navy began to use the nearby firth as a sea mine production facility, just three years later much of the original building was destroyed from an explosion from one of these mines. The ensuing legal battle between the owners and the navy eventually reached the supreme court and dragged on for years. Eventually in 1960 Whyte and Mackay took over the distillery after being one of Dalmore’s biggest customers for many years.
In the 2000s Dalmore’s single malt releases have proven extremely popular among rare whisky enthusiasts, with many record breaking sales happening at auction. In 2013 a 12-bottle collection went on sale at Harrods for £987,500. A single bottle was once the record holder before being beaten by Macallan, with the 62 year old expression selling for £25,000. Reports say the purchaser consumed the bottle on the same night.