Glendullan is a large single malt distillery located in the famous whisky town of Dufftown within the Speyside region of Scotland. The name means 'valley of the standing stone or rock' in Gaelic. It is one of the three distilleries that form The Singleton, a range of popular Scotch single malts from Diageo.
However, the primary function of the distillery is production for Diageo's extensive portfolio of blended whiskies. Glendullan is a key ingredient in brands such as Johnnie Walker, Old Parr and William's.
The Glendullan spirit is light and delicate with prominent tasting notes of apple, pear and fresh-cut grass. The whiskies are known for their fruitiness with hints of nuts and spices.
These characteristics make it perfect as a blending malt. However, Glendullan is best known as a single malt. Three distilleries are used in The Singleton range - Dufftown and Glen Ord are the other two - with each sold in different markets. Glendullan is predominantly for North America, Dufftown for Europe and Glen Ord for Asia.
The annual production capacity of Glendullan is five million litres. The equipment consists of a huge 12 tonne mash tun and 10 washbacks. Eight are wooden and made of larch, and two are stainless steel. They operate a fermentation time of 75 hours. There are six copper pot stills, which work in pairs to distil the spirit. Water for production is taken from Goats Well Spring in the nearby Conval Hills.
Most of the spirits are matured in ex-bourbon barrels with a small percentage aged in ex-sherry casks.
Glendullan was founded by blending company William Williams & Sons in 1896. They built the distillery during the whisky boom of the late Victorian era. Production began in 1897. It was located next to the River Fiddich, a tributary of the River Spey that skirts around the town of Dufftown.
The distillery became part of Macdonald Greenlees in 1919, before being taken over by Distillers Company Limited in 1926. DCL later transferred operations to Scottish Malt Distillers in 1930. Ownership did not change again until 1986 when United Distillers took control. They evolved into the modern-day Diageo, who became Glendullan's owners upon formation in 1997.
A major refurbishment saw a brand new distillery built adjacent to the original one in the 1970s. This was romantically called Glendullan 2. The two operated together until 1985 when the original Glendullan ceased production. It is now used as a base for Diageo's engineering department. 'Glendullan 2' has since been expanded to increase up to the current production capacity.
The Singleton concept was launched in 2007 by Diageo and has seen the brand grow to be a Top 10 Scotch single malt for sales. The Singleton of Glen Ord range consists of age statements at 12, 15 and 18 years old. There is also The Singleton Reserve Collection, which features three no age statement whiskies - Classic, Double Matured and Master's Art. This is exclusive to travel retail.
Limited editions are occasionally released. Recent examples are 'The Siren's Song' 19 year old from the Diageo Special Releases 2021 and 28 year old in the Prima & Ultima series. Other highlights include The Forgotten Drops 40 year old from 2018 and whiskies in the Rare Malts collection bottled in the 1990s and 2000s.