Scotland and Scotch whisky: Central Highalands  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes


Blair Athol

Blair Athol Distillery
Pitlochry, Perthshire
PH16 5LY
+44 1796 472 161

Owner: Diageo

Creaton date: 1798

When the activities of the Blair Athol distillery actually began is not known. There is however evidence that farmers around there were distilling from the beginning of the 18th century. So farmers were busy in the fields in the summer and at the distillery in the winter. In 1798 a distillery called Aldour has been created on the site of the current distillery by John Stewart and Robert Robertson. 
Their business was not very good, but after the promulgation of the Excise Act the distillery has been taken over by James Robertson under the name of Blair Athol. 
The distillation resumed in 1827 under the direction of Alexander Connacher. Peter MacKenzie bought the distillery around 1850 and he made it popular in Scotland and England.
The distillery closed in 1932 and the Peter Mackenzie & Co company was taken over by Arthur Bell & Sons. The distillery did not reopen until 1949, after a complete refurbishment. 
The production capacity was doubled in 1970. A visitor centre opened in 1987. Arthur Bell & Sons became part of Guinness in 1989. The latter is currently part of the UDV Group (United Distillers and Vintners Diageo).
Only 5% of the production is marketed as single malt (among others in the Fauna & Flora collection), the remaining part being sold to blenders, like Bell's.




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