Dallas Dhu was originally founded in 1898, under the name Dallasmore by Glasgow-based blenders Wright and Grieg Ltd and designed by Elgin-based distillery architect Charles Doig. Lying in a hollow to the south of Forres and taking its water from the Altyre Burn, the distillery was built on the estate of Alexander Edward of Sanquhar. Renamed Dallas Dhu (pronounced ‘DAL-assDOO’), deriving from the Gaelic ‘dail eas dubh’ or ‘dark water valley’. In 1899, the spirit was used in Wright and Grieg’s blend ‘Roderick Dhu’. The blend had good overseas sales, particularly throughout Australasia and India.
The distillery has changed hands several times, following rise and falls in demand. Dallas Dhu was purchased by JP O’Brian in 1919 and then in 1921 by Benmore Distillers Ltd. In 1929, Distillers Company Ltd acquired the distillery and it passed on a year later to Scottish Malt Distillers, now part of Diageo. Following the whisky recession of the 1980s, Dallas Dhu was closed, alongside the first wave of distillery closures, in 1983 and its licence was revoked in 1992. It was reopened in 1988, though not as a distillery; the site now holds a visitor centre and a whisky production museum.