Scotland: Highland Region
Aberfeldy is a very cool indie band from Scotland. Wait. What? This is a whisky site? Right. Let’s try that again (though you should totally check out the band anyway)….
Aberfeldy is a very cool distillery in the Highlands of Scotland. It started production in 1898 under the ownership of brothers John and Tommy Dewar, following in the footsteps of their dad, John Snr, who had his own business blending whiskies. In fact, it is people like John Snr that we have to thank for the fact that we now buy our whisky in glass bottles. He was one of the first to sell his product like this, stepping away from the tradition of ceramic containers. Good man. Part of the joy of whisky is feasting one’s eyes on the beautiful amber colours in the bottle.
Son Tommy also left his mark quite indelibly on the whisky world, and indeed on the Dewar’s brand. He was apparently quite a character, and is noted for being the third person in Britain to own a car, after Thomas Lipton (the tea dude) and HRH The Prince Of Wales (the royal dude).
Tommy’s life philosophy wouldn’t look out of place in many of the self-help books available today, though I should imagine his attitudes related to living in the present and enjoying the journey of life might not have been to everyone’s taste in the early part of the 20th century. Today, he’d be Oprah’s favourite guru. His Dewarisms – such as “Suffering is not the key to success” – live on and form a vital part of the Dewar’s brand.
Today, Aberfeldy Distillery is home to Dewar’s World Of Whisky, a “brand centre” for the Dewar’s label. Opened in 2000 at a cost of £2 million, this centre plays host to about 30 000 visitors every year. It is a slick operation, sometimes accused by true whisky lovers of being a tourist trap, a superficial marketing strategy rather than giving insight into the real, um, shall we say, spirit of whisky. But, love it or hate it, it is successful, and does its bit in opening up the world of whisky to more people rather than keeping it limited to a select few.
The distillery produces some single malt whiskies, with their characteristic squirrel labels (a tribute to the fact that the woodland next to the distillery is home to a colony of rare red squirrels). Its output is, however, also a prominent part of Dewar’s blended whiskies. One of these, Dewar’s White Label, is the best selling Scotch in the USA.
General Tasting Notes
After reading all about the Aberfeldy distillery, we bet you’re curious to taste their whisky – click here to buy a bottle of Aberfeldy now!
Distillery Contact Information
Address: Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2EB
Tel: +44 (0)1887 82 2010
Fax: +44 (0)1887 82 2012
Tours: The distillery offers 3 tour options – standard (£6.50), deluxe (£18) and signature (£30). As you can guess by the price differences, each level of tour offers more than the one before it – more tastings, better tastings (i.e. the good stuff that they don’t hand out to just anybody), and a free whisky glass.
The distillery is open to the public throughout the year (with restricted hours in winter), although the tour may not be available during October and November as essential maintenance takes place during these months. It is best to phone the distillery ahead of time to check opening hours and availability.
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