The distillery has been operating since 1898, after two years of building works brought it into production, and is the only distillery to have been built by the Dewar family. The brothers chose its location because the land was only a few miles from the birthplace of their father, who was raised on a crofting farm in Dull. It has changed hands over the years and is a part of the John Dewar & Sons Ltd portfolio, which is in turn owned by Bacardi.
The distillery’s water source is the nearby crystal clear Pitilie Burn and it’s located next to the old Aberfeldy-Perth railway line which provided a shipment route for the company’s products – two other key factors which helped the brothers to decide on its location.
From 1917 to 1919 the distillery closed its doors to help preserve barley for the war effort in World War I, and in 1973 it was doubled in size. Today, there are two wash stills, and two spirit stills, which work to a distillation capacity of around 3,500,000 litres per annum. And while most of the distillery’s output goes into the company’s blended Scotch Dewar’s – one of the world’s best selling blended whiskies – Aberfeldy also releases a select number of single malts, which were first launched in 1999 and which underwent a facelift in 2014.
It is a highlight on any whisky tourist’s to-visit list, with the engaging ‘Dewar’s World of Whisky’, the official home to Dewar’s whiskies, on site since 2000.