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Blair Athol

Distillery Logo

Image Credit: Conde Nast Traveler



Derek Younie
*Distillery Manager



Barrel Head


Barrel Head

head whisky maker(s)

Barrel Head


Barrel Head

Year Founded

Barrel Head


Blair Athol distillery, situated in the heart of central Perthshire in Pitlochry, has a rich history dating back to 1798, making it one of Scotland's oldest legal whisky-making sites. Originally known as Aldour, the distillery changed its name to Blair Athol in 1825, possibly as a gesture to the Duke of Athol, who owned the land. Blair Athol became part of the Peter Mackenzie blending house in 1886, enduring periods of closure during the economic challenges of the 1930s. In 1932, it fell silent until 1949. During this time, the distillery was under the ownership of Arthur Bell & Sons, a Perth-based blender.

Known for its distinctive nutty and spicy character, Blair Athol's whisky is crafted through a process that includes cloudy worts, short fermentation times, and a controlled level of solids in the wash still. This results in a rich and deep malt-loaf flavor in the new make spirit. While it excels in ex-Sherry cask maturation, most of its production is destined for ex-Bourbon casks to meet blending needs. Blair Athol has made appearances as an eight-year-old single malt bottled by Bell's in the 1980s. However, in the Diageo era, it has primarily been available as a 12-year-old member of the Flora & Fauna range, showcasing its character matured in first-fill ex-Sherry casks.

In the 1970s, Arthur Bell & Sons, later acquired by Guinness (and eventually becoming part of Diageo), propelled Bell's blended Scotch to the top-selling position in the UK. To cater to the growing single malt market, Blair Athol's capacity was doubled. A visitor's center was established in 1987 to welcome whisky enthusiasts.

-Written (Mostly) by Robots-

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