The Aberfeldy Distillery was founded in 1892 by the Dewar family. The distillery’s location is very close to the town of Aberfeldy, hence the name it was given. Whisky production began two years later in 1894 and was run under the company name of John Dewar & Sons Ltd, a company that has since gone on to own many distilleries all over Scotland. Everything ran smoothly until 1917, during the First World War, when Aberfeldy had to stop production. The introduction of rations negatively impacted many distilleries, but operations resumed for the Aberfeldy distillery in 1919, once the war had finished.
The distillery changed hands in 1925, as it was sold to the Distillers Company Limited. DCL then remained in control of the Aberfeldy distillery for many years, bringing in big changes which would help lay the foundations for future growth and success. In 1972 they stopped producing their own malt and switched to sourcing their barley from the large, local malting plants. They also doubled the number of pot stills from two to four. Both these changes lead to cheaper costs and increased production capacity.
Bacardi are now the current owners of the Aberfeldy distillery and have been since 1998.
With production at more than 3 million litres a year, Aberfeldy is a well-known and popular distillery. The most renowned official bottlings from the Aberfeldy distillery are the 12-year-old and 21-year-old however, there are many different independent bottlings of Aberfeldy scotch available. The bulk of whisky produced goes towards Dewar’s blended whisky, which is one of the best-selling blended whiskies in the US.
For a Highland whisky, Aberfeldy is quite mild. The typical character is mildly sweet and smooth, with oaky and spicy notes. The way they achieve this is by using a double distillation process and two large wash stills with two smaller spirit stills. The shape of these pot stills has a huge impact on all aspects of the whisky that is produced. Aberfeldy pot stills are considered the classic Scottish still shape, with big bodies and slim long necks.