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Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy is a clean, handsome distillery with an excellent visitor's centre and cafe.

Aberfeldy is a clean, handsome distillery with an excellent visitor's centre and cafe.

Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2EB, 01887 822010. John Dewar & Sons. www.dewars.com

APPEARANCE AND LOCATION:      ***      The scenery around Aberfeldy is especially rugged to the West with numerous Munros. Schiehallion was the one I climbed but Ben Lawers which sits comfortably in the ten highest mountains in Scotland, is not far away. To the East it is nicely arable and deeply attractive. 

TOURS PROVIDED:

‘Standard Tour’: £6.50. See ‘My Tour’ below.

‘Cask Tasting Tour’: £12. The standard offering with the addition of a sample of a 25-year-old straight from the cask.

‘Deluxe Tour’: £18. The standard tour with the addition of a more in-depth whisky tasting of four whiskies: 12YO, 21YO, Dewar’s 12YO and one other. A free tasting glass is yours to take away.

‘Connoisseur Tour’: £30. A tutored tasting of the 21YO, the new 18YO Single Cask, Dewar’s Signature and the cask tasting in the warehouse. Again, you are given a tasting glass. I can personally recommend this one, and to read about my formative experiences with mature whisky drawn straight from the cask, click here.

DISTILLERY-EXCLUSIVE BOTTLINGS:      The Chris Anderson Cask, an 18yo single cask bottling of Aberfeldy limited to 248 bottles, £170.

My Tour – 14/04/2010

The view from the stillhouse out across the Tay (invisible here) to the hills behind, within which is hidden JK Rowling's country pad.

The view from the stillhouse out across the Tay (invisible here) to the hills behind, within which is hidden JK Rowling's country pad.

THE RUNNING COMMENTARY:      **

THE PROCESS AND EQUIPMENT:      * 

Notes:     

GENEROSITY:      (Choice between Aberfeldy 12YO, Dewar’s White Label and Dewar’s 12YO.)

VALUE FOR MONEY:     *

SCORE:      4/10 *s

COMMENT:      This is one of the best-smelling distilleries, as a little aside. Locking the bike up to the railings before you enter the visitor’s centre in the lea of the defunct kiln, the aroma from the tun room is delicious. The VC itself is very impressive, with lots of nice displays for the well-packaged offerings in the Dewar’s stable. There is a film about the history of Dewar’s in a mock period theatre, then an exhibition which recreate’s Tommy Dewar’s study. There is also Robert Burns’ desk, a worthy point of interest for anyone interested in poetry. I’m not sure it is all his graffiti, though. The Tour then proceeds with tasting. You have a choice of the 12YO, Dewar’s White Label and Dewar’s 12YO. The distillery is well laid-out and the process is easy to follow. In the tun room I appreciate for the first time the heat produced during fermentation. There is a very thorough explanation of the maturation process in the filling store. No filling or maturing happens on site, and for all there is a view into the warehouse through perspex, there is nothing sleeping in those casks. A shame, because it is a really fetching site, and a very approachable Highland malt, perhaps with more terroir in the 12YO than it has a right to with lots of heather, charred vanilla oak and burnt heather. Recommended.

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