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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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