The distillery is located on the beautiful shoreline of the Cromarty Firth overlooking the Black Isle. Founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson. A partner in the Hong Kong trading firm, Jardine Matheson & Co. this company at the time dealt in everything from tea to opium. Distillation began with a single pair of stills, the distillery having acquired sole rights to draw its water from the River Alness; first the distillery was leased to the Sutherland family who handed over to Robert Pattison sometime during the 1860’s. The lease then quickly passed to the Mackenzie family who eventually took full ownership in 1891. Andrew Mackenzie was the driving force of the Mackenzie brothers and cheekily included the word Speyside in their sales pitch for Dalmore whisky. They added a second pair of stills in a separate stillhouse in 1874. A single branch railway line was used to connect the distillery with the main line at Alness station. This line allowed locally grown barley, peat and coal from the Fife collieries etc. to be delivered direct into the distillery. Also the pier at Belleport on the Cromarty Firth is part of the distillery, again this facility was used for shipments of barley, coals, coke and other stores to be unloaded directly from the steamers.