Blair Athol distillery was founded under the name ‘Aldour’ in Pitlochry in 1798, only taking its current name in 1825 following expansion work by the owner Robert Robertson.
The village of Blair Atholl (with the ‘Atholl’ spelt slightly differently to that of the distillery) is a few miles north of the distillery and is home to the 13th century Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Atholl and the UK’s last private army, the Atholl Highlanders.
Around 95% of Blair Athol’s malt whisky is aged in bourbon barrels and goes into Diageo’s Bell’s blend, which has owned the distillery since 1933. The remainder is matured in sherry casks and is bottled as a 12-year-old single malt under the Flora and Fauna label. Other expressions are very rare, although there was a cask-strength Flora and Fauna bottling and a Rare Malts expression in the 1990s, as well as an 18yo official bottling released to celebrate the distillery’s bicentenary in 1998.A small number of independent bottlings have appeared in the last few years.