Whisky Types: Single Malts and Blended Whiskies
Typical Taste: The Single Malts have a taste of heather, honey and are full bodied
Aberfeldy Distillery produces the Single Malts Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. The distillery was founded by John Dewar and opened in 1898. Even though the distillery had to go through tough times because of World War I and II, it was enlarged in 1972. Next to the distillery is “Dewar’s World of Whisky”, a centre for education and marketing of the products.
The single malts are known for having a heather and honey nose and a full body taste. The finish is dry and spicy with bitter hint of Seville oranges.
Aberfeldy Distillery was awarded with a number of prizes such as medals from the San Francisco World Spirits competition. The distillery offers tours from November to October. Opening times depend on the season.
- Dewar’s White Label Blended Whisky – Honey, malty and spicy, vanilla, smoky hints
- Aberfeldy Single Malt 12 year – Full bodied, rich, with honey and caramel
- Aberfeldy Single Malt 21 year – Sweet, chocolate, orange, and a spicy finish
- Aberfeldy Single Malt 15 year – Biscuit, citrus and hints of peat
- Aberfeldy Single Malt 1980 (limited)
April – October: Mon – Sat 10.00 – 18.00, Sun 12.00 – 16.00
November – March: Mon – Sat 10.00 – 16.00
Aberfeldy Distillery: A Visitors Guide to Whisky Heritage
Nestled in the scenic Perthshire countryside at the foot of the Scottish Highlands lies Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, a working whisky distillery with a rich heritage dating back to 1898. Built by the Dewar family, the distillery holds a significant place in the world of Scotch whisky, producing Aberfeldy Single Malt and contributing to the highly acclaimed Dewar’s blended Scotch whiskies. With plenty to offer visitors, from engaging tours to whisky tastings, this welcoming distillery sets a high standard for whisky aficionados and newcomers alike.
The picturesque surroundings of the Aberfeldy Distillery, located within a lush valley in the Central Highlands, ensures visitors a memorable experience as they embark on a journey to discover the secrets behind the distillery’s success. A key component in Aberfeldy’s celebrated whiskies is the pure water sourced from the Pitilie Burn, a nearby waterway known for its association with the legendary water god.
Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery offers a range of informative and entertaining tours led by experienced guides, providing a unique opportunity for guests to delve into the whisky-making process. Through these activities, visitors will learn about the exceptional history of the Dewar family and their pursuit of Scotch whisky perfection, setting the stage for a truly immersive exploration of one of Scotland’s finest distilleries.
History of Aberfeldy Distillery
Founding and Early Years
The Dewar brothers commissioned Charles Cree Doig to design the Aberfeldy Distillery, and construction began in 1896. This distillery is the only Scotch whisky distillery built by the Dewar family. They needed more single malt whisky for their already highly successful blended whisky brand, renowned for its quality. The area around the distillery contains historical landmarks such as Kenmore Bridge, built by the 3rd Earl in 1774. The distillery has two wash stills with a capacity of about 16,500 litres and two spirit stills with 15,000 litres.
Ownership Changes and Growth
Investing in a highly impressive educational facility, Dewar’s World of Whisky, the distillery opened its doors to visitors in 2000 and released Aberfeldy 12 Years Old as a Single Malt. It was in 2014 that the whisky was repackaged, and a new, permanent aged range was launched. One of the things that distinguishes Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery from other Scotch whisky distilleries is its interactive heritage exhibition, which tells the story of the Dewar family and their pursuit of whisky perfection.
The Whisky Making Process
Milling and Mashing
At Aberfeldy Distillery, the whisky making process starts by grinding the malted barley into a fine grist, which is then mixed with hot water in a process known as mashing. This helps to convert the starches in the malt into fermentable sugars, creating a sweet liquid called wort.
The wort is cooled and transferred to fermentation vessels, also known as washbacks, where yeast is added. The yeast ferments the sugars in the wort, converting them into alcohol and producing a liquid called wash. This fermentation process typically takes around 48 hours.
The wash is then moved to copper pot stills for distillation. At Aberfeldy Distillery, the spirit undergoes two stages of distillation in order to increase its alcohol content and purity. The first distillation occurs in the wash still, while the second takes place in the spirit still. During this process, only the “heart” or the middle cut of the spirit is collected, as it contains the most desirable flavours and quality.
The extracted spirit is then matured in oak casks, which have a significant influence on the final flavour profile of the whisky. At Aberfeldy Distillery, double ageing is practised, which means that the whisky spends time in two different types of casks. This allows the whisky to develop its distinctive honeyed richness and smoothness.
Once the maturation process is complete, the whisky is bottled at the distillery. The final product offered by Aberfeldy includes their 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and other permanent whiskies in their range.
Aberfeldy Distillery Tours
The Standard Tour at Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery provides an opportunity for visitors to explore the history and production process of the beautifully balanced single malt at the heart of Dewar’s blend. The tour includes access to the atmospheric warehouse, where you can learn about the double ageing process used to create the whisky’s extra smoothness.
Whisky Tasting Tour
For those looking to enhance their visit to the Aberfeldy Distillery, a Whisky Tasting Tour is available. This experience includes the elements of the Standard Tour, with the added bonus of a guided whisky tasting session. During the session, you’ll sample a selection of whiskies from the Aberfeldy range and discover their unique honeyed richness.
Whisky and Chocolate Tour
If you have a sweet tooth, the Whisky and Chocolate Tour is the perfect pairing. This tour offers the same insights as the Standard Tour, followed by a unique whisky and chocolate tasting. You’ll be guided through the tasting process, learning how to combine the different flavours of whisky and chocolate, enhancing your appreciation for both.
Private VIP Tours
For a truly luxurious experience, Private VIP Tours offer a more exclusive and personalised visit to Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery. These tours cater to individual preferences and can be tailored to include bespoke tastings, behind-the-scenes access, or other special requests. With a Private VIP Tour, you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind experience that delves deep into the history and craft of Aberfeldy whisky.
Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery Shop
At the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, visitors can enjoy browsing through the gift shop, filled with a variety of whisky-related products and souvenirs. You’ll find a wide selection of Dewar’s whiskies, including single malts and limited edition releases. The shop offers a great opportunity to pick up unique gifts and mementoes of your visit to the distillery.
Cafe and Snacks
The distillery features a cosy café where visitors can relax and enjoy a range of delicious snacks and beverages. With a selection of sandwiches, soups, sweet treats and hot and cold drinks, the café offers the perfect pitstop before or after your tour. For whisky enthusiasts, there’s also the Whisky Lounge where you can sample a range of whiskies and learn more about the distillery’s history and products.
Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery aims to be accessible to all visitors. The site has ramps and wheelchair-accessible facilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the distillery tour and visit the shop and café. For those hard of hearing, there is an induction loop fitted at the visitor centre. To ensure a comfortable and pleasant visit, it’s recommended that guests with special requirements contact the distillery in advance to discuss their needs and arrangements.
Ample parking is available at the distillery for visitors arriving by car. The car park is conveniently located close to the visitor centre, ensuring easy access to the various facilities and experiences on offer at Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery.