Blair Athol Distillery is located on the south edge of Pitlochry in Perthshire, near the River Tummel and within the Highland Scotch whisky region.
The distillery was founded in 1798 by John Steward and Robert Robertson, originally named ‘Aldour’, after the Allt Dour burn from which the distillery draws its water, but closed soon after opening. The distillery reopened and changed ownership to John Robertson in 1825.
It was sold several times in the period after, going from John Robertson to Alexander Conacher & Co., then to John Conacher & Co, which was inherited by Elizabeth Conacher in 1860. It was sold again to Peter Fraser & Co, and again to Peter Mackenzie of P. McKenzie & Co Distillers Limited in 1882.
Despite frequent change of hands during its early life, Blair Athol today commands a valued role as an important distillery to Diageo’s blending programme. The distillation configuration here deliberately promotes a relative heavy, nutty and spicy style of new make, which handles robust and/or prolonged maturation in its stride. Rarely seen as a single malt, largely due to its importance for blending, the relatively few distillery bottling released are often sherry-matured examples; by far the majority of casks utilized are actually ex-bourbon. Anything from Blair Athol with a cigar.