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15 years old 40 %          
Distilled 1974
Bottled 1989
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
15 years old 43 %

18 years old 56,7 %
Distilled August 1975
Bottled January 1994
code L 60.4
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
17 years old 62.0%
Year of Distillation 1980
Bottled 1997
Limited Edition
Genummerde flessen
Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberfeldy,
Aged 12 years 40 %         
Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
15 years old 43 %
Distilled 1988
Bottled 2003
Proprietors: John Dewar & Sons, Ltd.
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
12 years old 40 %
Distilled & Bottled for
John Dewar & Sons Ltd
Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
Aged 21 years 40 %
Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
Limited Edition
Numbered Bottles
THE RED SQUIRREL (Sciurus Vulgaris)
Distilled & Bottled for
John Dewar & Sons Ltd
Aberfeldy Distillery, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
1 9 9 0    43 %
20 years old
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillation date: June 1990
Cask type: Refill Sherry Casks
Bottling date: June 2010
Proprietors: John Dewar & Sons Ltd
Specially Selected, Produced and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

1 9 9 4    46 %
Matured for 17 years
Distilled: 07 / 06 / 94
Matured in a Hogshead
Cask no: 4027
Bottled: 02 / 03 / 12  239 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
Selected bt The Ultimate Whiskycompany.NL
Bottled in Scotland            
Est 1898
Guaranted 12 years in oak  40 %
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Limited Bottling
Batch No: 2905
John Dewar and Sons Ltd,
Est 1848
Aberfeldy, Perthshire
Est  1898
16  years in oak
Mellowed for sixteen years
in handmade oak casks
Highland Single Malt
Scotch Whisky
Distilled & Bottled in Scotland
by John Dewar & Sons Ltd (1824)

Highland Malt
The Midlands

Aberfeldy werd gesticht in 1896 door John Dewar & Sons Ltd, whiskyblenders te Perth.

Dewar huurde land van de Marquis of Breasalbane dat was gelegen op de zuidelijke oever van de rivier Tay.
Er liep een spoorlijn door het land en de Pitilie Burn zorgde voor goed en voldoende water.

Er was eerder al een Aberfeldy op deze plaats, maar deze was een kort leven gegund, evenals een distilleerderij met de naam Pitilie, gesticht in 1825.
Aberfeldy ging in 1898 in produktie met een produktie van 20 Butts per week.

was altijd in produktie, behalve de periodes tijdens de beide wereldoorlogen.

Auchnagie (1812 - 1912) ook Tulliemet geheten, was in 1890 gekocht door Dewar, maar de produktiekosten daar waren hoog, en Aughnagie werd in 1912 gesloten.
Dewar breidde heel snel oud: tot 1923 werden Royal Lochnagar, Muir of Ord, Old Pulteney, Parkmore (sinds 1931 gesloten) en Benrinnes overgenomen.

In 1925 gingen Dewar, Walker en Buchanan samen met The Distillers Company Ltd. (D.C.L).
De malt whisky distilleerderijen gingen behoren tot de S.M.D, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, de maltdivisie van D.C.L.

De spoorweglijn werd in 1960 gesloten.

Het ketelhuis werd in 1972 - 1973 opnieuw gebouwd, met gebruik van de stenen van het oude ketelhuis.
Aberfeldy heeft vier met stoom verhitte ketels met een mogelijke produktie van 1,3 miljoen liter spirit per jaar.

Met dë fusie tussen Guinness en Grand Metropolitan in 1997, komen onder andere het whiskymerk Dewar en vier Schotse distilleerderijen, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie en Royal Brackla in het bezit van Bacardi Martini.

In 2000 werd het bezoekerscentrum 'Dewar's World of Whisky' geopend, op de plek waar eerst de moutvloeren waren.

Naast Aberfeldy staat de originele Barclay's stoomlocomotief uit 1939, de Dailuaine No. 1 vroeger in gebruik om kolen en gerst naar de distilleerder!j te vervoeren, en vaten met whisky af te voeren.

Het water komt van de Pitilie Burn. Men gebruikt Schotse gerst .
De computergestuurde Mash tun is 6,8 ton, de washbacks zijn van Siberisch larikshout en hebben elk een inhoud van 34.000 liter

De twee Wash stills hebben een inhoud van elk 17.000 liter, de twee Spirit stills elk 14.000 liter. Er worden zowel Amerikaanse als Spaanse eikenhouten gebruikt voor de lagering.

John Dewar & Sons Ltd., Scotch whisky blenders, of Perth, took a feu of 12 acres (5 hectares) from the Marquis of Breadalbane in 1896, for the purpose of building a distillery. The location was about a mile from Aberfeldy, just above the road to Perth and on the south bank of the Tay. The branch railway from Aberfeldy to the main line to Perth ran through the site, so it was easy to bring in a private siding. The Pitilie burn, which had supplied a distillery of that name until 1867, provided an abundant source of suitable water. This was the crucial advantage.

Aberfeldy Distillery, opened in 1898, was efficiently planned on spacious lines and solidly built from good materials. Its equipment included a steam engine and a water turbine for power, with electricity produced by a private generator. The duty-free warehouse was equipped with a hydraulic lift. Distillation began in 1898 with an output of about 20 butts per week.

The original John Dewar had been born, the son of crofter parents, about two miles from Aberfeldy. He had worked there as a joiner in partnership with an elder brother, but the association did not prosper. A relative who owned a flourishing wine and spirit business in Perth offered him a job and eventually a partnership. In 1846 he set up in Perth on his own account as a wholesale wine and spirit merchant. His first traveller was appointed in 1860: the beginning of the decade when enterprising wine and spirit merchants began to bottle distinctive brands of blended whisky under their own labels as a guarantee of quality. By 1870 Dewar's were getting orders from Inverness in the North to Edinburgh in the South.

One of John Dewar's sons, John Alexander, became a partner in 1879, a year before the founder died. Another son, T.R. Dewar, was made a partner in 1885, when the firm was named John Dewar & Sons Ltd. Tommy Dewar opened the firm's first London office in 1887 and five years later embarked on a tour of the world, lasting two years, in the course of which he appointed 32 agents in 26 countries. His business philosophy was indicated by the genial message printed on a card that he took from his pocket in appropriate circumstances: "I have given up lending money for some time. But I don't mind having a drink. Make it Dewar's".
The growth of Dewar's sales, first in Scotland, then in England, and finally overseas, entailed a commensurate increase in their purchases of malt whiskies. In 1894 the firm built a new headquarters, adjoining the North British Railway's goods station, from which a private siding led into their premises. This siding, according to Dewar's records, "proved an immense boon in the despatch and receipt of goods". There was consequently a door-to-door railway link from Aberfeldy Distillery to Dewar's warehouses in Perth, without the expense of cartage at either end. Tullymet Distillery, near Ballinluig, which Dewar's had taken on lease nine years before they built Aberfeldy Distillery to their own specification, was closed in 1910, because the cost of making whisky there was so high.

The Government decided in June 1917 that all malt whisky distilleries should close in the interests of conserving barley for foodstuffs. They did not reopen until March 1919. The loss of two years' production resulted in a shortage of whisky stocks that lasted for many years. Between 1919 and 1923 Dewar's acquired sole interests in seven malt whisky distilleries.

Dewar's, together with John Walker & Sons Ltd. and James Buchanan & Co. Ltd., amalgamated with The Distillers Company Limited in 1925, as a means of ensuring adequate supplies of malt and grain whiskies to all the parties. The directors of the enlarged Distillers Company Limited included J.A. Dewar, now Lord Forteviot, and T. R. Dewar, now Lord Dewar. All malt whisky distilleries owned by companies in the Group were transferred to the ownership of Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd., another subsidiary, in 1930.

The allocation of cereals for distilling purposes was severely restricted during the second world war. Aberfeldy, in common with most malt whisky distilleries, had to close down. After it restarted in March 1945, supplies of barley, coal and casks were again delivered by rail, and outgoing consignments of whisky wereloaded straight on to railway waggons, until the branch line to Aberfeldy was closed in the 1960's.

The withdrawal of statutory building controls allowed SMD, from 1960 onwards, to embark on a long-term programme of rebuilding and re-equipping many of its distilleries. Aberfeldy's two hand-fired stills were replaced in 1960 with exact copies of their predecessors, converted to a mechanical coal stoker system. The stillhouse and tunroom were rebuilt, with the re-use of the original stonework, in 1972-73. This extension to the old building houses four stills, internally heated by steam.

A plant for the production of dark grains, a high-protein animal feedingstuff, from the solid matter left over from the mashing and distillation processes, was also built in 1973 and accommodated in the former malt kiln.
The site covers 17 acres (7 hectares) on both sides of the River Tay. A biological treatment plant, adjacent to the distillery, treats all effluent before discharge to the river. The quality of this effluent is carefully monitored to meet the strict standards required by the Tay River Purification Board.

The distiller's licence is held by John Dewar & Sons Ltd., of Perth, proprietors of Dewar's, White Label, Dewar's de Luxe and Dewar's Pure Malt Scotch Whiskies.

THE RED SQUIRREL    (Sciurus Vulgaris)
If you ever visit the Aberfeldy distillery, look out for our colony of red squirrels that live along the Nature Trail.behind the distillery.
One of the best-loved inhabitants of Scotland's pine forests, the red is now threatened across much of its range. Accordingly, we have adopted the red squirrel as our distillery mascot and provide nesting boxes and other initiatives to help this beautiful little animal.
We are working with Perth & Kinross Squirrel Wildlife Group to promote awareness of the red squirrel and conservation work including habitat management for red squirrels. This includes population counts and an assessment of the impact of the grey squirrel on local population

The Worts from one Wash Back are split between the two Wash Stills, the Stills are then
staggered to provide balanced production. When the Wash is visible through the Watch Glass, the Stills are turned off for approximately 15 minutes before the liquid is brough tin via a condenser.The new make has a grassy character.

In 2005 an Evaporator Plant was installed to transform the Pot Ale into Syrup for anima l
Feed. From Oban Distillery 120.000 litres of Pot Ale per week is also brought in to Aberfeldy.

Owner: Bacardi
Water Source: Pitilie Burn - River Tay
Malting Capacity: No malting on site
Malt Source:  Simpsons
Malt Storage Capacity: 116 t = 4 bins - 1 load per bin
Mill Type: Porteous 4, roll mill = 7,5 tonnes of grist
Grist Storage: 1 = 7,5 tonne
Mash Tun Construction: Stainless full lauter
Number of Wash Backs: 8 Siberian Larch, 2 Stainless Steel
Wash Back Capacity: 33.500 litres
Yeast:Liquid l / Kerry Bio - Science
No. of Wash Stills:  2
Wash Still Charge: 16.600 litres
Heat Source:Steam Coil and heaters
Wash Still Shape: Onion
No. of Spirit Stills: 2
Spirit Still Charge:15.000 litres
Heat Source: Steam Coil and heaters
Spirit Still Shape: Onion
Cask Storage Capacity:
Current (2010) Annual Distillery Output:
 2.4 million litres
Output: 3.500.000 litres

2 wash stills 17.000 litres
2 spirit stills 14.000 litres

Our handsome distillery is sited on the river Tay in the Central Highlands of
Scotland, a stone's throw from the birthplace of our founder, and Pioneer of Blending John Dewar.

With land acquired from the Marquis of Breadalbane and architecture desig
ned by Charles Doig, the distillery rose up to begin production in 1898.

In John's Bonnie Hometown of Aberfeldy, his family found men who knew the
secrets of superb whisky. Today, we still use time - honoured techniques like long fermentationto conjure rare honeyed notes, and draw water from the Pitilie Burn, renowed for its quality and promise of gold

The pool of The Water God

The Pitilie Burn

The burn is the source of The Distillery's water, pure and fresh the Burn is known
to contain deposits of alluvial gold . We lose our fair share to the angels, almost a third of every cask has disappeared into the ether before we'r ready to bottle. Mellowed for 12 years in handmade oak casks. This smooth, sweet dram offers rich rewards for those who like to dig deeper. Scottish alchemy: turning water, barley and yeast into liqui                     is simpler when the stream tumbling towards you contains that precious metal. Built on land famous for deposits of gold, our distillery has welcomed travellers to taste its treasure since 1898.                                                                                                             

Scottish alchemy:turning water, barley and yeast into liquid gold is simpler when the stream tumbling towards you contains that precious metal. Built on land famous for deposits of gold, our distillery has welcomed travel-
lers to taste its treasure since 1898.

Just outside the town of Aberfeldy, General Wade's
Bridge stands as a monument to a man so feted in his day that a special verse of the National Anthem was written in his honeur.

Between 1725 and 1737 Wade ensured that English
troops could move easily around the rebellious Highlands by building roads and bridges of which the Tay Bridge at Aberfeldy is the most magnificent by far.
He also raised a local militia that became the
Black Watch Regiment and tried to win over Clan Chiefs whose loyalty lay by the King.

On the other side of Aberfeldy, the handsome distillery built in 1898 by Alexander and Tommy Dewar, collects water as it timbles down the Pitillie Burn on its way to the Tay. This water, which contains traces of gold
is there transformed into the mellow. honeyed golden
dram that bears the town's name. There could be no more fitting monument to their father and our founder, John Dewar.

A thick, almost waxy texture (though not as overt as in DCL days) adds some weight to the mid-palate, allowing long-term maturation. The bulk of the new make is aged in ex-Bourbon casks, but the occasional Sherried release shows that this is a malt which has guts.

John Dewar & Sons was typical of many of the blending firms which were founded in the 19th century. Dewar himself, though born in humble surroundings in a croft at Shenvail, became a wine merchant in Perth and by the middle of the century had started to blend whisky. It was however his sons, John Jr. and Thomas (always known as Tommy), who made the family firm a globally recognised name.

In the 1890s, they decided to go into whisky production and built a distillery at Aberfeldy, only two miles from where their father had been born. The site had originally been a brewery and some distillation had taken place in the early part of the century. Fed by the Pitilie Burn [where gold is still panned] Aberfeldy became the malt at the heart of the firm’s blends. A private railway line linked the plant with the firm’s operational hub in Perth.

Dewar’s joined DCL in 1925 and in 1973 the Aberfeldy site doubled in capacity to its present size. It changed ownership in 1998, when the UK Monopolies Board forced the newly formed Diageo to offload one of its brands and attendant capacity. The Dewar’s estate [the blends, plus Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie and Royal Brackla] were bought for £1.1bn by Bacardi-Martini.

The new owners invested heavily in a highly impressive educational facility - Dewar’s World of Whisky - which tells the story of the house of Dewar - and blending.

In more recent times, Aberfeldy has been sold in small quantities as single malt and in 2014 was repackaged. A new, permanent, five-strong range is to be created.  

John Dewar & Sons begin construction of the Aberfeldy Distillery just yards from the Pitilie Burn, which has remained the source of its water.
The distillery is forced to close for two years to conserve stocks of barley for food rations at the end of World War One.
The Dewar’s company merged with John Walker & Son and Buchanan’s to join the Distillers’ Company Ltd (DCL).
Aberfeldy is rebuilt to double its production capacity with two new stills.
The distillery was purchased from Diageo by Bacardi Martini
Aberfeldy became a single malt whisky brand in its own right with the launch of Aberfeldy 12 Year Old. Up until this point, all liquid was reserved for the Dewar’s blend.
Dewar’s was given an official home at the distillery with the opening of the Dewar’s World of Whisky visitor’s centre.
John Dewar’s & Sons unveils a new packaging design for Aberfeldy single malt.

Shell and tube
Steam supplied from HFO boiler
Plain malt, zero phenols
2 wash, 2 spirit
8 wooden, 2 steel
Pitilie Burn
Liquid - MS1

1998 - present

John Dewar & Sons

United Distillers
1992 - 1998
Distillers Company Limited
1925 - 1992
James Buchanan & Company
1915 - 1925
John Dewar & Sons
1896 - 1915


Witty, charming, a born salesman and a natural extrovert – Tommy Dewar was the polar opposite of his more serious-minded brother, John. But this most colourful of Scotch whisky characters helped build John Dewar & Sons into the global success it remains to this day.

‘​A teetotaller is one who suffers from thirst, instead of enjoying it.’

In a buccaneering era for blended Scotch whisky, when colourful characters were not thin on the ground, Thomas Robert Dewar, better known as ‘Tommy’, was one of the most vivid.

Born in Perth in 1864, he was the son of John Dewar, from a crofting family in the hamlet of Dull, near Aberfeldy. John had left home to work in his uncle’s wine and spirits business in the city of Perth, ultimately becoming a partner in 1837.

He set up his own business on Perth High Street in 1846, going on to blend and bottle whiskies. His elder son John became a partner in 1879, a year before his father’s death, while younger sibling Tommy joined the family company – renamed John Dewar & Sons Ltd – around 1881, also becoming a partner.

The two brothers could hardly have been more different in character, with the serious and understated John preferring to steer clear of the limelight and oversee operations from Perthshire, while Tommy was a flamboyant charmer and born salesman, with a ready wit and endless style.

At the age of 21 he was dispatched to London to try to develop business there, arriving with the names of two contacts who were to introduce him to key figures in the capital. Dewar was undeterred when one turned out to be bankrupt and the other recently deceased.

Thanks principally to his personal charm, wit and social skills, Dewar’s blended Scotch was soon on sale in all of London’s most fashionable restaurants and hotels. From around 1893 it was available at the Savoy Hotel, and Tommy Dewar has the record as the guest who stayed the longest – having a serviced apartment there from 1904 until his death in 1930.

Dewar was the toast of metropolitan society, with his much-quoted fund of humorous maxims becoming known as ‘Dewarisms’. These included lines like: ‘A philosopher is a man who can look at an empty glass with a smile’, or: ‘We have a great regard for old age when it is bottled’, and: ‘Of two evils, choose the more interesting.’

In 1893 John Dewar & Sons Ltd received Queen Victoria’s Royal Warrant for the supply of whisky, and Tommy numbered the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, among his friends, along with Thomas Lipton, who did for tea what Dewar did for blended Scotch. The two travelled and sailed yachts together, being dubbed by the press ‘Tea Tom’ and ‘Whisky Tom’. Tommy Dewar owned only the third motor car – a Benz – to be registered in Britain, after those belonging to the Prince of Wales and ‘Tea Tom’.

​​‘​Keep advertising and advertising will keep you.’

Dewar was a master of publicity, and, at the Brewers’ Show in Birmingham during the 1890s, the Dewar’s stand – the only one representing a whisky company – was allocated a remote corner of the hall, so Dewar employed a bagpiper in full Highland dress to play loudly and draw attention to the stand. The fuss made by this shameless stunt duly found its way into the newspapers, giving the whisky brand invaluable exposure.

He exploited the great opportunities offered by print advertisements and also had an eye-catching illuminated sign installed on the old Shot Tower near Waterloo Bridge in London. Using 1,400 coloured light bulbs, six miles of electric cable and a programmed circuit, the ‘advert’ featured a Highlander who poured and drank glass after glass of Dewar’s whisky, while his kilt appeared to sway in the breeze. The advert was 68ft high and was said to be the largest mechanical sign in Europe.

Most innovative of all, however, was what is claimed to be the first motion picture advert, also featuring Highlanders, which was screened on a New York rooftop around 1898 to much astonishment.

With business thriving, the Dewar brothers decided to build their own distillery to guarantee supplies of malt spirit, having initially acquired the small Tullymet distillery near Ballinluig in Perthshire. They operated this until 1910, but in the meantime constructed Aberfeldy distillery between 1896 and 1898, just a few miles from their father’s birthplace. Royal Lochnagar, Glen Ord, Pulteney, Aultmore, Parkmore and Benrinnes distilleries were all added to the company’s portfolio during the next couple of decades. Dewar’s also had shares in Yoker distillery near Glasgow and, along with W P Lowrie, purchased Port Ellen on Islay.

​We should not say how's business, but where is business.’

By 1891, agents for Dewar’s were in place as far afield as South Africa and Australia, and the following year Tommy Dewar embarked upon an epic two-year world tour, visiting every continent in the world. By the time he returned home he had appointed 32 agents across 26 countries and opened a New York office. Dewar’s White Label was soon the leading blended Scotch whisky in the USA, a position it still holds to this day.

Tommy Dewar’s travel journals were fashioned into an entertaining book, entitled A Ramble Round the Globe, published in 1894 and, three years later, he was appointed the youngest ever Sheriff of London. Politically, he was a confirmed Tory and was elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of St George’s in the East End in 1900, serving for six years before losing his seat to a Liberal.

Knighted in 1902, after the accession of King Edward VII to the throne, he was created a baronet in 1917 and elevated to the peerage as Baron Dewar of Homestall in Sussex two years later. Brother John, whose vitally important role in the success of the family firm should never be underestimated, had become the first ‘Whisky Baron’ in 1917, assuming the title of Baron Forteviot of Dupplin.

The family firm had merged with that of James Buchanan in 1915, though each kept its separate identity. What was titled Buchanan-Dewar Ltd was ultimately absorbed by the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1925, with John and Tommy taking seats on the DCL board.

Like his fellow blended whisky entrepreneur and rival James Buchanan, Tommy Dewar embraced the life of an English country gentleman, owning and breeding racehorses, as well as greyhounds, poultry, waterfowl and pigeons. During the First World War he lent his pigeons to the armed forces, and they were used to carry messages on various battle fronts.

In racing circles his best horses were Challenger and Cameronian. Both were home-bred by Dewar, with Cameronian winning the 1931 2,000 Guineas Stakes and Epsom Derby, while Challenger became the leading sire in the US after being sold to a new owner following Dewar’s death. This occurred in April 1930, when he was aged 66, only five months after his brother John’s death. Tommy Dewar was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and, as he had never married, the baronetcy became extinct with his passing.

One apocryphal story nicely sums up the character of Tommy Dewar. The Scottish singer and comedian Sir Harry Lauder was a friend and frequent visitor to Dewar’s Homestall Manor estate. Lauder was known to be careful with his money, and liked to get something for nothing. He asked Dewar if he could have some of the pigeons he had bred to take home with him to Scotland. Dewar obliged, and the birds were duly caged and sent north with Lauder by rail.

What Tommy Dewar had neglected to tell Lauder, however, was that he had given him homing pigeons.

May 2018
New small batch and single cask whiskies from Aultmore, Craigellachie and Aberfeldy have joined the Exceptional Cask Series sold in travel retail.

Aultmore 1986 31 Years Old
Limited release: The Aultmore 31-year-old expression was matured in ex-Sherry casks
The five single malts are the latest to join the Bacardi-owned range of limited-availability whiskies, typically bottled as single cask, double-cask or small batch expressions.

The releases were chosen by Dewar’s master blender and malt master Stephanie MacLeod and are available from select airport retailers in numbered bottles.

They include:

Aultmore 1986 (31 Year Old) Single Cask; 54.7% abv; SGD4,000 (US$2,985)/70cl
Craigellachie 1992 (24 Year Old) Small Batch; 46% abv; SGD1,368 (US$1,000)/70cl
Craigellachie 1999 (17 Year Old) Small Batch with Palo Cortado Finish; 46% abv; £250 (US$340)/70cl
Aberfeldy 1984 (33 Year Old) Single Cask; 51.6% abv; €1,500 (US$1,800)/70cl
Aberfeldy 1999 (18 Year Old) Small Batch Port Finish; 43% abv; SGD180 (US$135)/75cl
The Aultmore expression, matured in an ex-Sherry cask, was originally created for airport retailer DFS and its Master of Spirits 2018 event, but is now available from select retailers in Asia Pacific.

‘Maturation is my favourite part of the whisky-making process,’ said MacLeod. ‘Once the whisky is in a Bourbon or a Sherry cask, you might expect certain outcomes, but you’re certain to have a few wonderful surprises along the way.

‘It’s a question of working with the whisky and the different elements at play in maturation to achieve the right outcome.’

Aberfeldy – Highlands Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Owned by
The distillery is operated by John Dewar and Sons (BACARDI LIMITED)

Founded in 1896

Capacity (Litres of finished whisky per annum) 3,500,000 litres per annum

It’s a shame that the single malt whiskies produced at the Aberfeldy Distllery aren’t more widely known. Anyone who professes not to like the taste of whisky would undoubtedly get a taste for Aberfeldy 21 year old, while aficionados would certainly like their range of single malt expressions a lot.

Although it may not have international cachet status, Aberfeldy is the largest malt whisky component of Dewar’s White Label Blended Whisky, which is perhaps one of the iconic names in blended whisky.

The Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by the Dewar brothers Tommy and John in 1896, who had hired Charles Cree Doig, who many consider as the finest distillery architect, to design it for them, subsequently opening in 1898. It is situated in the centre of Scotland, some five miles east of Loch Tay and the town of Kenmore and about eight miles south of Loch Tummel. Known as the ‘golden dram’, Aberfeldy draws its water from the fresh water stream, the Pitilie Burn. Pure and fresh, its waters are famed for containing small deposits of alluvial gold. It is the only distillery in Scotland to make use of these waters.

From the outset, the vast majority of the distillery’s output was used for blending. One of the reasons that the brand is little known is the fact that only a small percentage of the 2.5 million litres of whisky produced there every year is released as a single malt under the Aberfeldy name.

Aberfeldy’s ownership passed to the Distillers Company Ltd in 1925, when it merged with John Dewar & Sons. The same production model continued with all of the distillery’s output turned into blended whisky. In doing so, the boom market in single malt whisky passed Aberfeldy by. Indeed, as Dewar’s became one of the most frequently consumed whiskies in the world, the distillery was expanded in 1972 and the old stills were replaced by four new steam heated stills in order to increase whisky production.

However in March 1998 ownership of John Dewar & Sons was transferred (along with four other distilleries) from Diageo plc to Bacardi Ltd , who up until this point had only a minor interest in the whisky market. The result of which was a wave of investment, that saw an increased product range and at the same time gave the brand back more of its family ethos and in doing so it has found its way back to its former glory.

1999 saw the launch of Aberfeldy 12 year old single malt, followed closely by the opening of the distillery’s visitor’s centre ‘Dewar’s World of Whisky’ in 2000, which emphasises the heritage of the brand and the Dewar family, with the aid of the latest interactive technology.

A 25 year old single malt expression was initially released in 2000 but it was superseded by the currently available 21 year old in 2005.

A number of highly regarded single cask bottlings have also been marketed over the past decade to showcase the single malt at its most distinctive best.

The majority of Aberfeldy whisky is still used in the blending of Dewar’s White Label, which remains the world’s leading blended whisky but the market strategy of Bacardi sees Aberfeldy being marketed not only as an upmarket single malt brand but also as ‘the spiritual home of Dewar’s whisky’. (Indeed, Dewar’s remains the leader in the blended Scotch whisky category in the US and sales for Aberfeldy single malt have increased by over 400%, selling around 25,000 cases per year.)

Displaying a classic central Highland style rarely tasted in single malts today Aberfeldy single malts are much admired for their honeyed notes, malty balance and elegant flavours, with a long complex finish.

Named ‘Highland Whisky of the Year 2014’ by ‘Whisky Magazine’, Aberfeldy has been recently repackaged and is available globally as a 12-year-old and a 21-year-old expression, with an 18-year-old sold along with miniature bottles of Aberfeldy water exclusively available in travel retail.

The Aberfeldy core portfolio includes:
Aged 12 years (40% ABV)
Aged 18 years old(40% ABV), travel retail outlets only
Aged 21 years old (40% ABV), limited run of 9,000 bottles
Single Cask Aged 21 years (55.3% ABV)
Single Cask Unravel 30 (56.5% ABV)
Aberfeldy 1999 (bottled 2014) (46% ABV). Part of the Connoisseurs Choice collection from Gordon & MacPhail, this Aberfeldy single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in 1999 and left to mature in Sherry hogsheads. It was bottled in 2014.
Other older single cask bottlings

Aberfeldy Aged 12 Year Old
– 40% ABV
Clear golden amber
Sweet, creamy cereal notes mingle with some sherried or stewed fruit with a trailing hint of smoke.
Sweet but smooth, malty with a gentle peat flavours however the overall mouth feel is very clean
A medium to long complex finish with a lingering hint of smoke mixed with the sweetness of the malt and a faint hint of citrus that becomes more spicy and drying.
A solid performer that is possibly one of the better ‘entry-level’ single malts available on the current market.

Aberfeldy Aged 21 Year Old
– a 40% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky.
Launched in October of 2005, this 21 year old is the flagship for the Aberfeldy range.
Warmer gold and deeper amber in colour than its 12 year old younger sibling
Everything you expect from the brand flagship expression. Honeyed light flowery nose, with a hint of malty spice animated by a fresh, zesty quality.
The initial sip gives a smooth, mellow taste of vanilla, with caramel toffee. Lightly smoked spices undercut by a tangy fruitiness that lends balance to the whole.
A trademark warm spicy finish, that fades gently, with a good wave of honeyed sweetness.

Aberfeldy Aged 18 Year Old
– a 40% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky.
Golden amber / copper
Very relaxed. Honey sweet with hints of vanilla, caramel and oranges and a whiff of malted barley
A rewarding mouth-feeling. Gentle but multi-layered: peppery malt with a touch of vanilla, enveloped in a Seville orange marmalade syrup.
A quite long finish. Creamy vanilla sweetness with notes of smoked chocolate and a thin slice of fresh lime.

Aberfeldy in the news:
April 2014: Bacardi expands its Aberfeldy Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky brand with the launch of an 18-year-old global travel retail exclusive.
Quoted for an interview for thespiritsbusiness.com, Mike Birch, managing director of Bacardi global travel retail stated:

“Single malts are enjoying a massive surge in popularity right now as collectors and connoisseurs seek out the new and the rare. We’re leveraging that power with a strong innovation pipeline for the category, gathering pace to craft a range of superb travel retail exclusives.”

“Building on our success in white spirits, we are equally ambitious as a major player in the whisky category and our recent launches are testament to the energy and drive we’ll be injecting. We’re confident the Aberfeldy range is set for success.”

2014: Quoted in an item for thedrinksreport.com, the Aberfeldy range has undergone a bottle and package redesign by Stranger & Stranger to ‘reflect the hand-crafted nature’ of Aberfeldy Single Malt with the use of deep black and gold.
The Gold lettering is meant to represent the birthplace of John Dewar and the whisky’s water source, the Pitilie Burn, where sedimentary gold has been found through the centuries.

The bottles display a Royal Warrant, which has been held by John Dewar & Sons since 1893, the only Scotch whisky distiller to continuously hold a Royal Warrant since the reign of Queen Victoria.

November, 2014:
At the DFS fourth annual Masters of Wines and Spirits event held in Singapore on 8 November, 2014, an ultra-premium Scotch single malt whisky, the Aberfeldy Gold of Pitilie 28 year old, the oldest and rarest commercial bottling in the Aberfeldy distillery’s 116-year history was put on sale – it sold out completely in less than three hours.

Just eight bottles were created, drawn from a single hand- selected 1985 Vintage Cask at the distillery and hand bottled directly from the cask. Each bottle was decorated in 22-carat gold, and the stopper featured delicate flakes of Scottish gold that had been panned by hand, according to Bacardi. Individual fretwork metal elements were assembled around a centrepiece of the distillery icon, designed to represent the natural flora found around the Pitilie Burn, which were attached to the bottle with the age ‘28’ incorporated within the filigree work.

No more of that 1985 cask will ever be released, thereby guaranteeing the rarity of the edition. No wonder then that each bottle sold for US $4,888 (£2,600)

Bacardi also has plans to launch an Aberfeldy 16-year-old sherry finish and an Aberfeldy 30-year-old single malt expression in 2015.

August 2018
Highland single malt Aberfeldy has launched two new whiskies finished in Madeira casks, available exclusively in global travel retail.

Aberfeldy Madeira Cask 16 and Aberfeldy Madeira Cask 21 with outer packaging
Cask influence: Madeira casks were chosen to compliment Aberfeldy's 'honeyed-rich' sweetness
The two new expressions, a 16-year-old malt and a 21-year-old, have both been finished for up to 12 months in ex-Bual casks and ex-Malvasia Malmsey casks.

The combination of the two casks is said to impart ‘classic Madeira notes of caramel, peaches, orange peel and burnt sugar’.

Aberfeldy malt master Stephanie Macleod said: ‘[Aberfeldy] has those similar sweet, rich notes that Madeira wine is famously known for.’

‘By using Madeira casks I’m able to further develop the layers of flavour present in Aberfeldy’s honeyed-rich characters, resulting in a whisky with extra spiciness.’

The Aberfeldy Madeira Cask 16 Year Old will retail for around US$110 for a one-litre bottle, while the Madeira Cask 21 Year Old will cost around US$195 for a 700ml bottle.

Both expressions are bottled at 40% abv.

The new Madeira cask whiskies are available globally as permanent additions to Aberfeldy’s travel retail stable, which includes existing 12-, 18- and 21-year-old single malts.

22 mashes a week
Output - 3.4 000.000 litres
fermentation Time: 70 hours
Duty free: Aberfeldy 16 years & Aberfeldy 21 years  Madeira Finish
Travel retail: Aberfeldy 18 year Port Finish, Aberfeldy 33 year Single Cask, Aberfeldy Vintage 1999.

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