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Pittyvaich (pronounced: PITT-ee-vayk) is one of Scotland's shortest-lived distilleries of recent times. Simultaneously a product and casualty of the swift economic rumblings that caused the mass expansions, then inevitable crash of the whisky industry throughout the seventies and eighties.

Its product is still fairly readily available and is often a fine dram. This is an odd and strangely comforting fact, especially given that it was designed with the mass production of blending malt for Bells in mind. Its resultant distinctive nature seems somehow rebellious. And we like that kind of attitude in Scotland.

Founded: 1974
Closed: 1993
Water Source: Bailliemore and Convalleys Springs
Owners: Diageo

1974-1993: A Short Lived Speysider

Constructed and produced with modernity and mass production in mind it is something of a miracle that Pittyvaich managed to harbour many characters at all, let alone some of the truly distinctive traits it often displays. It is often very grassy, drying, mineraled, oily and salty with further notes of butter, herbs, meat and flowers. The best examples are two young 1977s bottled by Cadenhead's in their old dumpy range.

As usual, some of the older Duncan Taylor bottlings are good examples of the natural distillery character, if not quite as thrilling as the Cadenhead's. James MacArthur bottled some very nice younger expressions that show the fresher, aromatic side of the distillate and an official 20yo from 2009 was an excellent, muscular and malty take on the make. However, by far the best was a 1974 by Kingsbury from a sherry cask. This was a big, honey driven, salty, complex, powerhouse of a dram, hard to find now but totally worth it.