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Blair Athol

The picturesque Pitlochry-based distillery lies close to Edradour and is unconnected with the simarly spelt town, Blair Atholl. The water tumbles down the 841m peak, Ben Vrackie and into the 2.5million litres the distillery produces annually. The distillery was founded under the name Aldour in 1778, by Robert Robertson. In 1825, he expanded and renamed the facilities Blair Athol. The distillery has had a long association with Bell’s Blended Scotch - their roots were entwined as far back as the mid nineteenth century.

Blair Athol changed hands several times during the 1800s and eventually closed in 1932. A year later the distillery was acquired by Arthur Bell and Sons and today as much as 95% of the outturn is bourbon-matured and used in Bell’s blended products. The whisky boasts a swift maturation and the remaining five or so percent of spirit is aged in sherry casks and sold as single malt, mostly by independent bottlers.

Following the Guinness Group's acquisition of Arthur Bell and Sons and the subsequent affiliation with United Distillers, Diageo are now the current owners of Blair Athol. Thus, the malt is now lorried in from Diageo’s central Roseisle maltings. In 1987, a visitor centre was installed and now the well-groomed distillery enjoys in excess of 30,000 visitors annually.

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About Blair Athol Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01796 482003

Distillery Founded

1798

Distillery Capacity

2 500 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Owner

Diageo

Distillery Address

Perth Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5LY

Distillery Website

www.malts.com

1798

John Stewart and Robert Robertson found Aldour Distillery, the predecessor to Blair Athol. The name is taken from the adjacent river Allt Dour.

1825

The distillery is expanded by Robert Robertson and takes the name Blair Athol Distillery.

1826

The Duke of Atholl leases the distillery to Alexander Connacher & Co.

1832

The distillery closes.

1860

Elizabeth Connacher runs the distillery.

1882

Peter Mackenzie & Company Distillers Ltd of Edinburgh (future founders of Dufftown Distillery) buys Blair Athol and expands it.

1932

The distillery is mothballed.

1933

Arthur Bell & Sons takes over by acquiring Peter Mackenzie & Company.

1949

Production restarts.

1973

Stills are expanded from two to four.

1985

Guinness Group buys Arthur Bell & Sons.

1987

A visitor centre is built.

2003

A 27 year old cask strength from 1975 is launched in Diageo’s Rare Malts series.

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This is a great Blair Athol bottled by Duncan Taylor. It's a fruity, nutty dram with an impressive, complex sweetness.  More info
$136.18
Blair Athol single malt whisky, bottled in 2010 at cask strength and only available at the distillery - full of flavour and rather rare!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$134.50
This was distilled at Blair Athol in Winter of 1999, before a 12 year maturation in a single sherry butt before bottling in Winter 2011 for Douglas Laing's Provenance range.  More info
$64.87
A 12 year old Blair Athol, distilled on the 3rd February 1999 and aged in hogshead 777 before bottling by Signatory on the 8th November 2011. A release of 388 numbered bottles.  More info
$59.47
A sherry matured Blair Athol, bottled as a "Cigar Malt" by Douglas Laing. There are just 300 bottles of this, and the producers recommend this be enjoyed with a medium to full flavoured cigar.  More info
A 12 year old Blair Athol packaged in a handsome ceramic decanter from Douglas Laing's "Premier Barrel Selection". This is a single cask whisky and there are just 302 hand-filled decanters!  More info
$97.34
This was distilled at Blair Athol in May 1989. It was then aged for 23 years in cask 2929 before bottling in June 2012 for Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range. A release of just 270 numbered bottles.  More info
$194.86
This was distilled at the Blair Athol distillery in May 1989 before a 23 year maturation in a single cask (number 2930). It was then bottled for Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range and comes at natural...  More info
$150.51
A 1993 'vintage' from the Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice range and a delightful example of why this Eastern Highland distillery, Blair Athol, does not receive the credit it deserves.  More info
A cask strength release from Diageo's Rare Malts range, bottled in April of 2003 after 27 years maturation. This single malt represents a great chance to own an older bottling from the Highland...  More info
While most of Blair Athol's whisky is used in Bell's blended whiskies, some of it gets out on through independent bottlers, like Berry Bros. & Rudd. This 15 year old from cask 2754, being a prime...  More info
$90.49
Blair Athol whisky is mostly used in Bell's blended products, but a couple casks always slip through the cracks and make it out as a single malt, like this cheerful release of cask 6333, which held 23...  More info
$173.41
A release of 399 bottles of vintage Blair Athol, bottled for Signatory's Unchillfiltered range. This was distilled on the 2nd April 1997 and matured in hogshead number 2297 before bottling on the 13th...  More info
Single Cask Blair Athol, matured in refill hogshead number 5572 for a whopping 35 years. This was distilled in October 1974 and bottled by Douglas Laing in October 2009. An outturn of 217 bottles.  More info
From Douglas Laing's Premier Barrel range. This 10 year old Blair Athol (matured in a sherry cask) is part of a limited outturn of 651 decanters. The producers bill this single barrel whisky as "A...  More info
A 1995 vintage from the Blair Athol distillery, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. The distillery is known for its gentle, fresh, fruity, and slightly peaty whisky.  More info
A sherry matured Blair Athol, bottled as a "Cigar Malt" by Douglas Laing. There are just 300 bottles of this, and the producers recommend this be enjoyed with a medium to full flavoured cigar.  More info
A 12 year old Blair Athol matured in a sherry butt (number 4108). Distilled in Summer 1995 and bottled in Winter 2008. Bottled for the Provenance range.  More info
$60.48
Distilled at Blair Athol in 1998 and bottled by BBR in 2009. Expect a sweet, buttery, spicy whisky  More info
$63.22
12 year Blair Athol aged in hogsheads 2764 and 2765 before bottling by Signatory. A release of 753 bottles.  More info
Blair Athol is a crucial part of the Bell's blend but is a wonderful single malt in its own right, as demonstrated in this Gordon & MacPhail bottling.  More info
Aged for 25 years in a single refill bourbon cask, this was distilled in 1986 at Blair Athol, and it was bottled by Adelphi. A release of 184 bottles.  More info
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