Blair Athol Distillery is situated in the town of Pitlochry in Perthsire. The Blair Athol 2008 is distilled here, but aged by an independant bottler – Gordon & MacPhail.
Established in 1798 – the distilleries original name was Aldour Distillery after the Allt Dour Burn (creek) that it drew it’s water from. It closed soon after openeing but was bought and reopened in 1825 by John Roberston. The next 100 or so years saw the distillery changed hands several times before shutting down completely in 1932. In 1949 the distillery was bought by Arthur Bell and Sons who set about completely rebuilding the ageing distillery. It re-opened anew in 1949 and began producing the backbone of the famous Bells Blended Scotch Whisky.
So heavily does the Bells Blended franchise use the Balir Athol, there is very little Blair Athol branded single malt whisky released by the distillery. In fact – the distillery only bottles one expression- a 12 year old. And precious little of this even makes it to our shores. Luckily for us, our old friends and independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail bought a batch of raw spirit from Blair Athol back in 2008 and has been independently aging it ever since in refill sherry butts.
The nose is driven by the sherry butts, lots of christmas pudding, sultanas, dried apricots and prunes. There is underlying herbaceousness, coriander and oriental spices.
The pallet is rich and creamy. The Blair Athol 1998 has a golden syrup, treacle mouthfeel, with rich full flavours fulfilling the promise of the aroma.
The finish is dry and long, with reminders of the dried fruits and an unexpected smokiness.
Truly a delicious whisky, perfectly suited to be enjoyed with Christmas pudding and brandy sauce!