Aberlour distillery

Aberlour derives its name from the pretty Speyside village of Aberlour, or Charlestown of Aberlour, as it is more formally but far less commonly known.

The current Aberlour distillery was originally founded in 1879, and was the second distillery of this name. An earlier distillery was founded approximately a mile away in the grounds of Aberlour House in 1825. The earlier distillery founded by the Laird James Gordon, who is perhaps more famous for gifting two pistols to George Smith of Glenlivet, and a man named Peter Weir who withdrew within a year. By 1833 they had gone Bankrupt and the distillery was taken over by James and John Grant who in partnership with two brothers named Walker. By the end of their lease in 1840 the Grants had founded Glen Grant distillery, shortly after the walker brothers took over operations of Linkwood distillery. The original distillery was destroyed by fire in 1879 and never rebuilt.

The new distillery was founded between 1879 and 1880 by the local businessman and philanthropist James Fleming and was one of the stopping points on Alfred Barnard’s distilleries tour. Already a thoroughly modern site the distillery was subsequently sold to Robert Thorne and Sons Limited in 1892, and expanded. Alas this expanded distillery was gutted by fire a short seven years later. The current site was build by Charles Doig, who among other improvements fitted the iconic Doig ventilator ‘pagoda’. The distillery was acquired by W.H. Holt and Sons Ltd in 1921 and ran for some 20 years. In 1945 it was bought by S. Campbell and Son. In 1962 Aberlour Distillery ceased to operate its own floor maltings, and in 1973 the number of stills was increased from two to four. A year Later it was sold to Pernod Recard in 1974. The distillery is now managed via Chivas Brothers Ltd.

Aberlour factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Aberlour ah*bur*lower Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1879 - Present Malt Aberlour Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Douglas Cruickshank Pernod Ricard

Aberlour Timeline:

1825: The original Aberlour distillery was founded by the Laird James Gordon and Peter Weir

1826: Peter Weir withdraws

1833: Following barnkruptcy James and John Grant lease the distillery with two brothers named Walker

1840: The lease expires and the Grants brothers left to found Glen Grant distillery

1879: The original Aberlour distillery is destroyed by fire

1880: The new distillery is founded a mile away by James Fleming

1887: The distillery is one of the stops on Alfred Barnard's distilleries tour

1892: The distillery was sold to Robert Thorne and Sons Limited and expanded

1898: The distillery is again destroyed by fire. Charles Doig is brought in to design the new site

1921: Aberlour distillery was acquired by W.H. Holt and Sons Ltd

1945: The distillery is sold to S. Campbell & Sons Ltd. and extended

1962: The onsite floor maltings are closed

1973: Two stills are added bringing the total to four

1975: S. Campbell & Sons Ltd. are acquired by Société Pernod Ricard

2001: Pernod Ricard acquire Chivas Brothers Ltd. from Seagram and Campbell Distillers is subsumed

2002: A visitor centre is added to the distillery

Useful Aberlour links:

Aberlour at ScotchWhisky

Aberlour at MaltMadness

Aberlour at Whisky

Aberlour at Wikipedia

Aberlour at WhiskyPortal

Aberlour at MasterOfMalts

Aberlour at WhiskyExhange

Aberlour at SMWS

Aberlour at Wormtub

Aberlour at Whiskybase

Aberlour at TripAdvisor

Interesting Aberlour links:

Alfred Barnards tour of Aberlour

Can I tour Aberlour?

Yes Aberlour distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 391 of 540 tours to date. This gives Aberlour an overall rating of 4.5

Latest reviews

Cardhu Distillery Is a Must Visit by Jane Wads

Just had a fantastic tour by Daniel. He was so knowledgeable & we certainly learnt a lot. We loved the story behind the distillery & the history that is still there. The tasting experience was fantastic in a gorgeous room. They even provided a drivers take away tasting pack & an amazing mock tail for me as the driver. All the staff were very friendly & helpful. The shop has all sorts of whisky & some very unusual gifts. We can’t thank you all enough.

Brilliant Value for Money by Nils L

Went for a spur of the moment tour of Cardhu distillery. Shop and tour facilities have just been refurbished tyo a very high standard. Our giude Daniel gave us and excellent tour and had an excellent knowledge of anything we could throw at him. Tour ended with a tasting of 6-7 whiskies in their excellent new kitchen facility.Have recommended the tour to some of my friends and we will be back in the autumn.Best £15 ever spent!!!

An Excellent Experience by Colleen T

Our guide Holly was very welcoming right from the start. She was very knowledgeable and spoke very well. Saw a short film of how it all started then was shown round the distillery. at the end of the tour you are taken to a bar and there are samples of different whiskies, you are give the option of small bottles if you are driving and wish to take them home. There is a lovely gift shop also which is reasonably priced for the location. Tour not very suitable if you have difficulty walking as there was several sets of steps during it.

Rating Reviews
Excellent 391
Very good 107
Average 30
Poor 7
Terrible 6