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Blair Athol Distillery

Situated at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands

History

Blair Athol Distillery stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. The Distillery produces a 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, with a mellow deep-toned aroma, a strong fruity flavour and a smooth finish. Blair Athol wins hearts through its contribution to the Bell's Blend, the most popular blended whisky in the U.K. and a leading brand in South Africa and Scandinavia.

The first documented evidence of a distillery on the present site dates from 1798 when John Stewart and Robert Robertson founded a distillery which they named "Aldour" - after the Allt Dour - the "burn of the otter" - which flows through the grounds from the slopes of Ben y vrackie. Their venture, however, was not a success, probably due to the heavy excise duties on malt whisky levied by the government and the distillery shut.

In 1826 Blair Athol was revived and by 1827 was being run by Alexander Connacher. The distillery was taken over by Peter Mackenzie & Co in the middle of the 19th century and was enlarged and improved so that by 1886 Blair Athol was capable of producing over 1,500 gallons (6,800 litres) per week. This has increased to approximately 2 million litres per year.

In 1933 Blair Athol was acquired by Arthur Bell & Sons, now a subsidiary of Diageo. The distillery had been closed in 1932 and remained shut throughout the years of depression and the Second World War. In 1949 it was extensively rebuilt and has been in production ever since. In 1970 an additional two stills were added.

A visitor centre was built in 1987, which today attracts around 30,000 visitors a year.

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