Combine the beautiful Perthshire countryside with a tour of Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery
Image credit ©Bacardi Group Ltd
While there are a number of organised tours that will take you from Edinburgh to the Aberfeldy Distillery, getting there using your own car is very easy.
Travelling from Edinburgh to Aberfeldy, using the Queensferry Crossing, will take you over the Firth of Forth, a journey of around 1 hour 50 minutes although that depends on your Edinburgh starting point.
Possible stopping points en route to Aberfeldy
There are also some tempting stopping points on the way which will add to the journey time. You might consider Dunfermline with its historic Abbey and Palace which have an important place in Scotland’s history.
Robert the Bruce was buried in Dunfermline Abbey, although his heart was taken further south to Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders.
Moving on from Dunfermline you would pass close to Scone Palace, the original home of the Stone of destiny and the ancient capital of the Pictish kingdom. It’s a place that simply oozes history.
Another possible sightseeing opportunity is the historic Dunkeld Cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Both Scone and Dunkeld are well worth the extra time.
Continuing from Aberfeldy to the banks of Loch Tay, about seven miles, is another option. You will come to Kenmore one of the prettiest villages in the country. It’s a lovely place to visit if time allows.
Aberfeldy is a small market town in the county of Perthshire. It’s a region of rivers, lochs and walking trails, a region with reminders of times long gone, with castles, crannogs, long lonely glens and whisky of course.
It’s a region that Sir Walter Scott called “The fairest portion of the northern kingdom.” Many would not disagree with that.
From a whisky perspective, the distillery sits within the Highland Scotch Whisky Region, one of five whisky regions designated by the Scotch Whisky Association.
Dewar’s Aberfeldy Whisky Distillery
The distillery is owned by John Dewar and Sons part of the larger Bacardi Limited group.
Building of the distillery, on the outskirts of Aberfeldy, by brothers Tommy and John Dewar began in 1896 and production started two years later.
Over time the business has gradually expanded enabling greater capacity.
While the creation of the spirit, using only Scottish barley, all happens onsite, the maturation and bottling take place in Glasgow.
The water source, an essential part of the process, is the local Pitilie Burn which runs into the River Tay.
Until 1999, the entire production of the distillery was reserved for the popular Dewar’s blends. Today Aberfeldy malt is still a major contributor to the company’s blended whisky, the distillers call it their heart malt.
The 12 year old is the youngest in the single malt range. The tasting notes describe “Scents of spices and honeyed plum fruits with lots of vanilla and fudge and just a whisper of smoke on the finish.”
The distillery has an exciting visitor centre which includes an interactive heritage exhibition, the first of its type for a Scotch Whisky distillery.
This innovative approach to the visitor experience allows a deeper understanding of the company, its long history and its products.
Whisky Lounge and Cafe
You can sit, relax and enjoy a dram in the very comfortable Whisky Lounge and Café, part of the old malting house where Dewar’s brands from across its range are on offer.
the café which works hard to use as many local ingredients as possible serves coffee and a variety of tasty meals.
There is, inevitably, a whisky shop with a wide range of Dewar’s whisky to take home, including Aberfeldy single malt of course.
Distillery tours and tastings
There are several tours and whisky experiences on offer including:
- The Cask Tasting Tour
- Whisky and Chocolate Tasting Tour
- Aberfeldy Distillery Tour
For those who would love to take the Aberfeldy tour but for some reason can’t get there, virtual tours are available.
Whisky education at Aberfeldy Distillery
The Aberfeldy distillery Spirits School now offers several courses regulated by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
It’s an opportunity for those entering the world of whisky with little knowledge of the spirit but also for those who just want to know more and would like to earn a recognised whisky qualification, regulated by the UK government.
There’s also an opportunity to select from some aged and rare expressions.
I loved the idea of having a customisable label made for your bottle with space for a name and a short message. It’s a great idea for a present.
Day trip Edinburgh to Aberfeldy Distillery.
The Aberfeldy Distillery website makes some recommendations for day tours from Edinburgh.
For a full range of visitor information please visit the official Aberfeldy Distillery website.
Of course, you don’t have to leave the capital to enjoy a whisky distillery tour, as Edinburgh now has its own whisky distilleries to explore.