The picturesque Pitlochry-based distillery lies close to Edradour and is unconnected with the simarly spelt town, Blair Atholl. The water tumbles down the 841m peak, Ben Vrackie and into the 2.5million litres the distillery produces annually. The distillery was founded under the name Aldour in 1778, by Robert Robertson. In 1825, he expanded and renamed the facilities Blair Athol. The distillery has had a long association with Bellâ€™s Blended Scotch - their roots were entwined as far back as the mid nineteenth century.
Blair Athol changed hands several times during the 1800s and eventually closed in 1932. A year later the distillery was acquired by Arthur Bell and Sons and today as much as 95% of the outturn is bourbon-matured and used in Bellâ€™s blended products. The whisky boasts a swift maturation and the remaining five or so percent of spirit is aged in sherry casks and sold as single malt, mostly by independent bottlers.
Following the Guinness Group's acquisition of Arthur Bell and Sons and the subsequent affiliation with United Distillers, Diageo are now the current owners of Blair Athol. Thus, the malt is now lorried in from Diageoâ€™s central Roseisle maltings. In 1987, a visitor centre was installed and now the well-groomed distillery enjoys in excess of 30,000 visitors annually.
Nose: Nutty with sherried notes. Gentle peat. Crisp.
Palate: Good body, malty and sweet. Citrus and the peels thereof.
Finish: Peat smoke, syrup. Good sweetness, bittersweet, drying.