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Corgarff castle.

Distilleries:

Aberfeldy | Blair Athol | Deanston | Edradour
Glenturret | Tullibardine

Aberfeldy
Comments: In 1846 in Perth, John Dewar, was one of the first merchants to sell whisky in "branded bottles." As business grew, his son's joined the firm and eventually opened the Aberfeldy distillery in 1898 to supply whisky for blending. In 1973 a new stillhouse was built.

Aberfeldy is still a major component of the Dewar's White Label blend.

Distillery Bottlings: Unavailable in a distillery release in the US, though available in the UK in a 15-year-old bottling in United Distillers' Flora and Fauna series.
Merchant Bottlings: A Cooper's Choice 14-year-old (1982-97) is very pleasant. Pale gold in color, the nose is dusty, dry, slightly smoky, oaky, and peaty. Perhaps a touch of banana. A fairly thick body coats the tongue. Very smooth flavor, sweet then dry. Hints of banana again with an underlying peatiness. 82
Information: Ownership: John Dewar & Sons Ltd (Bacardi)
Telephone: 01887-820330
From the US: 011-44-1887-820330
Tours: Visitor center with scheduled tours.
Blair Athol
Comments: I became lost as I drove into the village of Pitlochry, where Blair Athol is located. When I asked directions to the distillery at a local pub, the bartender and patrons had a great time upon learning that I was looking for the distillery. Jokingly, they begged to be taken along so they could have some of the free samples offered at the end of the tour.
Distillery Bottlings: Unavailable in a distillery release in the US, though available in the UK in a 12-year-old bottling in United Distillers' Flora and Fauna series.
Merchant Bottlings: There are two Cadenhead releases available, a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old, both from a 1978 distillation.
Information: Ownership: Diageo
Telephone: 01796-482003
From the US: 011-44-1796-482003
Tours: Visitor center with scheduled tours.
Deanston
Comments: The Deanston distillery began production in 1965-66 in buildings that were originally built in 1785 as a cotton mill. Architect Richard Arkwright covered the weaving hall roof with earth and planted a garden as a method to cool what was then the weaving hall. The consistent temperature has proved perfect for warehousing the maturing stores of Deanston.

The product was originally released as 5-year-old Brannock Burn Malt, then released as an 8-year-old Deanston when the distillery was acquired by Invergordon. Like many other distilleries, it was closed in the mid 1980's. In 1990 the blenders, Burn Stewart, purchased Deanston and began producing again. In 1993 Burn Stewart also acquired the Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull.

Deanston uses only malted barley that is dried without the use of peat smoke. Deanston collects water from the river Teith in a dam about one-and-a-half miles from the distillery. A byproduct of the dam is electricity which powers Deanston, making it the only distillery in Scotland that generates its own power.

Distillery Bottlings: Deanston is released in 12, 17, and 25-year-old expressions.

The 12-year-old (40 vol.), is quite enjoyable. The nose has a pleasant creaminess with oak and vanilla. There's a definite taste of age and maturity in this malt -- my bet is there is a good amount of older whiskies in the mix. The palate is very clean, light, and continues that pleasant softness of oak and age. 72

The 17-year-old (40 vol.) has a bright orange-amber color an aromatic, earthy, and nutty nose. The palate is nutty, buttery, with a raw sugar sweetness. The finish is buttery, nutty and slightly chewy. A delicious whisky, unfortunately harmed by the reduction to 40 vol. There are hints of a potential richness that disappear in a watery blandness. 73
Merchant Bottlings: There are not many merchant bottlings available. My only samplings are two Cadenhead bottlings, both from a 1977 distillation.
A 19-year-old is unique and superlative. At 53.8 vol. the whisky is very drinkable but a touch of water opens up an exquisite nose -- creamy, butter cookie, sponge cake. The nose goes on and on. The palate exhibits the same buttery richness which continues into a long, sweet finish. 78
The 20-year-old is naturally quite similar, and builds on that same buttery-nutty-creaminess. At cask strength (49.1 vol.) the nose has a pleasant oakiness with toffee, butter notes, hints of chocolate, and a slight smokiness. A bit of water brings out that incredible buttery, caramel-like sweetness. This isn't a particularly complex malt, and the finish is somewhat one-dimensional, but that sweet rich, creaminess leaves you begging for more. 78
Information: Ownership: Burn Stewart Distillers PLC
Telephone: 01786-841422
From the US: 011-44-1786-841422
No visitors.
Link: www.wallace-malt.co.uk
Edradour

Edradour Distillery
Comments: Edradour is the smallest, and one of the most picturesque of the distilleries. Rising up a small hillside, the buildings are quaint and village-like. I don't know anyone who has visited the distillery and hasn't come away loving it. Its very smallness contributes to a romantic image of owning, working at, or living next to a distillery.
Distillery Bottlings: The distillery started releasing a 10-year-old, (43 vol.), in the late 1980's. The color is a full gold/bright amber. The nose is aromatic, with a ginger snaps spiciness layered over peat smoke, cookie dough, and toffee. The palate is sweet, clean, soft, and well balanced with fruity, brandy-like notes at first, then creamy and minty notes. The finish is drier, a bit spicy, slightly buttery, with notes of peat and smoke. 84
Merchant Bottlings: Probably due to the small output from the distillery (12 casks per week), few casks escape into the hands of independent bottlers, though merchant bottlings do appear from time to time.

A Signatory 21-year-old (1976. 52.3 vol.) is light gold with greenish highlights. The nose is sweet, with grassy, minty notes (and hints of peat and vanilla). The palate is creamy, buttery, and oaky. The finish is spicy, oaky, and slightly smoky. 83

Information: Ownership: Campbell Distillers Ltd (Pernod Ricard)
Telephone: 01796-472095
From the US: 011-44-1796-472095
Tours: Visitor center with scheduled tours.
Glenturret
Comments: Glenturret lays claim to being the oldest distillery in Scotland. Illicit distillings can be dated back to 1717 though the date of legal distillings is hard to trace. The date of 1775 is set in the foundation, so it is certainly one of the oldest distilleries. (Littlemill started as a brewery and converted to a distillery in 1772).

One interesting note: The distillery cat, Towser, was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world champion mouser. She reportedly caught a whopping 28,899 mice during her lifetime!

Distillery Bottlings: Glenturret is released in many expressions, from 8 to 25-year-old bottlings, and several older bottlings (1966, 1968, 1972). To my knowledge, none of these are available in the US.
Merchant Bottlings: A Signatory 20-year-old (1975-95, 53.6 vol.), was a very pleasant experience.
Yellow-gold in color, the nose had a delightful combination of nuttiness, oakiness, and an underlying hint of spices and anise. A medium, mouth-coating body, led to a creamy, smoothness. The palate had a sweet nuttiness that becomes quite dry in a long finish. 80

A 20-year-Old Blackadder bottling (1980-2000, 52.8 vol.), is a medium gold color with a lightly flowery, lemony nose that hints of tobacco and coffee. The palate is smooth and dry, with sweet, lemony and flowery notes. The finish is crisp, cleansing, and has a lingering pepperiness. 79

Information: Ownership: Highland Distillers Ltd
Telephone: 01764-656565
From the US: 011-44-1764-656565
Tours: Visitor center with scheduled tours.
Link: www.glenturret.com
Tullibardine
Silent Tullibardine Moor is best known as the home of the Gleneagles resort and golf course. Whisky lovers know it as the home of the Tullibardine distillery.

The town of Blackford has a brewing history that dates back to at least the 12th century, and a special ale was brewed there for the coronation of James IV's in 1488. There was a distillery in the town in the late 18th century but the current distillery was erected in 1947. Most of the distillery output has gone into the Scots Gray and Glenfoyle blends

The distillery was mothballed in 1995.

Distillery Bottlings: Tullibardine is available in the US in a 10-year-old expression (43 vol.). It has a light gold color with a distinctive nose reminiscent of lemon meringue and sweet pastry. The palate is pleasantly sweet with a soft, buttery creaminess and vanilla notes. The finish has a cookies-and-cream sweetness. Very pleasant. 79
Merchant Bottlings: A bottling from Lombard's Jewels of the Highlands series (1989-2000, 50 vol,), has a white wine color and a nose that has a mixture of cereal grains, a fruity-lemony sweetness, and a peaty creaminess. The body is thick, oily. The palate is similar to the distillery 10-year-old: sweet but not cloying, fruity with a crisp citric tang, and a rich buttery softness. The finish is buttery and fragrant, with spicy notes. 78
Information: Ownership: JBB (Greater Europe) PLC
Telephone: 01764-682252
From the US: 011-44-1764-682252
No visitors
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