Aberfeldy Distillery Story

let’s begin

Aberfeldy Distillery is found on the shores of beautiful Loch Tay and was originally opened by John Dewar in 1896 and began producing Whisky in 1898.

It is situated in the Highlands region of Scotland

Rough Start

In terms of Scottish distilleries, this makes it quite young, but it has come through many hardships to still be striving today.

It was opened during an intense moment in the Scotch industry, with the Pattison Crash occurring in December 1898.

This saw many distilleries going into bankruptcy, with only a few surviving. Luckily for Dewar’s, Aberfeldy was one of them.

The Legend of Tommy

It continued on under the leadership of John Dewar’s sons, John and Tommy. Tommy was a well-known character in high society at the time, and was the third person in Britain to own a car.

He was well respected in his company and did a lot for the brand, helping them to gain prominence on an international level, and he had friends in high places, including the Prince of Wales and Tommy Lipton, famous for his tea.

Tommy was a brilliant marketer and made sure people knew about his brand. When he was relegated to the back of a trade show in Birmingham, he hired a bagpiper in full regalia to serenade passers by, which certainly drew attention!

War Halts Production

Unfortunately, even Tommy’s business acumen was no match for international war. World War I meant that Whisky production at Aberfeldy, like with many distilleries, was forced to cease so the grain could be used for food.

This only last until 1919, when the distillery went back into production. It continued to grow over the next few years and was eventually sold to Distillers Company Ltd., which is now the drinks giant Diageo.

The Second World War brought the same fate as the First to Aberfeldy, but it flourished when its door reopened.

Happy Endings

Despite a somewhat rough start and a bit of turmoil in the middle, Aberfeldy has gone from strength to strength.

Today it is a very successful part of the Bacardi family of malts after they bought it back in 1998, and has most recently had a full range taken to market in 2014 and, alongside their revamped distillery experience, have won multiple awards.


Tags: Aberfeldy DistilleryJohn DewarLoch TayScotlandWhisky


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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