Blair Athol One of Scotland's oldest working distilleries; Blair Athol is located in the picturesque Highland town of Pitlochry. Drawing its water from the Allt Dour Burn (burn of the otter), Blair Athol was established in 1798. At that time the distillery was named "Aldour" - after the water source.
The new venture did not last long, however, probably due to the heavy excise on malt whisky levied by the government, so the distillery closed. In 1826 it was revitalised by Alexander Connacher, before being taken over by MacKenzie company. In 1933 Blair Athol was acquired by Arthur Bell & Sons who are now a subsidiary of Diageo. Blair Athol is a cruicial part of the Bells blend and takes 98% of its stock but is a wonderful single malt in its own right.
In the mid-1960s Gordon & MacPhail took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts under the brand name 'Connoisseurs Choice'. Until this time, many of the whiskies the range featured would not have been available as single malt. Today, Connoisseurs Choice retains this exclusive nature with a range of rare and sought after single malts from distilleries throughout Scotland
COLOUR: Pale Gold.
BODY: Light to Medium.
FINISH: Medium in length.
CASK TYPE: Refill Bourbon Barrels
STYLE: Fruity highland malt
AROMA WITHOUT WATER: Sweet vanilla with tropical fruit aromas, pineapple, mango and banana. An underlying hint of toasted malt develops.
TASTE WITHOUT WATER: Black pepper with green apple and pear flavours initially. Citrus elements develop, orange and lime, with a creamy milk chocolate edge.
AROMA WITH WATER: Hints of blueberry, cranberry and vanilla pod initially. A delicate toasted malt and menthol edge develops.
TASTE WITH WATER: Vanilla with strawberry and kiwi flavours. These are complimented by a sweet cocoa butter edge.
Glenfarclas (The valley of the green grassland) Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside is one of the few to have remained in private ownership since it was first licensed in 1836 by Robert Hay the tenant of the Recherlich Farm, Ballindalloch. It was purchased from Hay in 1865 by John Grant for £511.19s.0d on the 8th of June 1865, the founder of the Grant dynasty of six generations to have distilled whisky here. The distillery stands in beautiful rolling meadows, drawing its soft water from the Green Burn that flows from Ben Rinnes over granite and through heather into the valley.
George S. Grant, the fourth member of the Grant dynasty, served as Chairman for a remarkable 52 years and carried out many major improvements and innovations. He laid down substantial stocks from 1952 onwards, was amongst the first distillers to establish a wood policy in the early 1960s, and also substantially modernized the distillery. Thanks to his efforts, Glenfarclas has an uninterrupted series of "Family Casks" from 1952 to the present day, the longest vertical tasting of whisky anywhere in the world which allows for detailed research on the effects of long-term cask maturation.
The distillery operates a stainless steel Lauter mash tun, 12 stainless steel washbacks and 6 stills. The stills are amongst the largest on Speyside, with the big wash still holding nearly 30,000 litres. Glenfarclas malt whiskies are now aged mainly in oloroso sherry casks, using a mixture of first-fill and refill, although this has not always been the case. This contributes to the malt's pronounced sherry character, particularly in the younger malts where new sherry casks have been used.
Colour: Deep peaty-gold.
Nose: Complex, oaky, apples and pears, and a tempting dark toffee sweetness.
Flavour: Dry and assertive, develops quickly to reveal a rich spiciness, combined with a hint of oak and sherried fruit.
Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.
Comment: A great whisky holding all the flavours of all the Glenfarclas in one glass. Being so warming, this is the perfect Hogmanay dram. Don't be afraid of the strength and order a 210, if you dare!
The smoothness makes the 105 drinkable at cask strength, but they suggest adding a little water to fully explore its great depth.
Since 1816, Aberlour 12 year old non chill-filtered single malt scotch whisky. No whisky was chillfiltered in the making of this Aberlour, keeping all the flavour from the cask in the whisky, not the filter. It is a 12 year old expression of Highland single malt Scotch whisky with an absolutely gorgeous amber hue, radiant like the sun...
Aberlour is Gaelic for the "mouth of the chattering burn". It is an ancient and beautiful place, probably founded by
Druids as there has been a community here for more than 1400 years. There is evidence of its long heritage all
around, from the age-old oak trees above Linn Falls to the mysterious standing stones on Fairy Hill.
The distillery is located in the heart of Aberlour village, on the banks of the Lour Burn where it meets the River Spey. It
stands at the Well of St. Drostan, who was one of St. Columba's disciples and went on to become Archbishop of
Canterbury in 960AD.
Aberlour distillery was founded in 1879 by the philanthropist James Fleming, whose motto "Let The Deed Show"
appears on every bottle. Following a fire in 1898, which started in the malt mill and destroyed most of the distillery, it
was rebuilt by the architect Charles Doig of Elgin. Further improvements were made in the 1920s, after World War II,
in the 1960s, and in the 1970s.
Exceptionally soft water is drawn from springs in the Lour Glen, having flowed through peat, over the hard granite hills
surrounding Ben Rinnes. The distillery is oil-fired, and uses a stainless steel mash tun, 4 stainless steel washbacks,
and 4 pot stills. The malt is supplied to order and is lightly peated. Aberlour malt whiskies have benefited from greater
use of oloroso sherry casks in recent years which, combined with bourbon casks, add to the whisky's complexity.
Built in the mid 1700s at the crossroads of two old coaching routes, the Blue Bell Inn is purportedly named after a local privateer's boat the Blue Bell. Legend has it that he was later caught and hanged for his piracy and is thought to be buried a few hundred yards away in the cemetery next to Halkyn Castle. How to find us.
"A shrine to real ale, wonderful!" - Simon Theakston
We are an independent, family run, award winning freehouse! We've been CAMRA Regional Pub & Cider Pub of the Year for North Wales, Cheshire & Merseyside, we're currently the local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015 and we were also listed as one of the Sunday Telegraph's Top Ten UK Country Pubs in 2008, 'The Best Pub' in 2009 and have been picked out as one of the Best Summer Walks for 2009 in the Sunday Times. We've even featured on ITV's Coast & Country and the BBC TV Derek & Jamie's Big Weekend along with numerous national and independent radio stations like Radio Deeside. Opening hours at the bottom of the page.
At 850 feet we are near the top of Halkyn Mountain with spectacular 70 mile views over the Dee & Mersey rivers, the distant Cumbrian mountains & Pennine hills. With an extensive events list we are enjoyed by walkers, riders, cyclists, folk & jazz musicians, game players and locals alike. Our award winning walks around this fabled land of Avalon can be found here and you can use our free wireless internet to stay in touch or post a letter to a friend in our Post Office® Local! Real fires in winter add to the warm welcome. Bring your Motorhome!
"More than a pub, it's an institution!" - Pete brown
We have it on good authority that beer is good for you. We've had over 1,000 different cask ales and ciders with our own local Welsh brewed Blue Bell Bitter always on with its stable-mate Dark Blue and other regularly changing real ales, ciders and perrys.
After a decade in the Good Beer Guide you'll find us on-line and also in the Good Cider Guide and we have a Cask Marque for quality, in fact we are one of the highest scoring cask marque pubs in the UK! We also have a good selection of great wines, superb single malt whiskies and other spirits, a large range of soft drinks, Organic Fairtrade Tea, Coffee & Chocolate.