‘Aberlour’ is a gaelic word meaning ‘mouth of the chattering burn [stream]’.
The Aberlour Distillery is at the heart of Speyside, the country’s premier whisky-making region, renowned for producing whiskies of subtle depth and elegance.
Situated at the junction of the Rivers Lour and Spey, the distillery lies in a beautiful glen, surrounded by glorious scenery dominated by the rugged peaks of Ben Rinnes a short distance away.
Pure spring water for making the whisky is drawn from the River Lour, and the maturing spirit in the warehouse beneficially inhales the moist Speyside air.
Aberlour is an ancient place as well as a beautiful one. Long ago a druid community lived in the valley. Water and oak trees were important to the druids’ culture; and an oak tree has always featured in the picture on the Aberlour label.
Some time after AD 580, a missionary, St Drostan, established himself at the Aberlour site using the spring water to baptise local people. To this day, spring water from the very same source is used to produce Aberlour single malt Scotch whisky.
James Fleming (1830-95), who founded the Aberlour Distillery, was a man of enterprise, vision and compassion. The son of a local tenant farmer, he became a grain dealer, with many whisky distillers among his customers.
This encouraged him to establish his own distillery and create a whisky of distinction. He acquired the land at Aberlour and with it the priceless water source. Work began in 1879 with James designing the buildings and much of the machinery himself, and personally supervising every stage of the construction. Within a year the whisky began to flow.
James Fleming was an extraordinarily generous man who left a positive and lasting legacy for the whole community of Aberlour. He built, for the benefit of all, the Aberlour Town Hall, the Cottage Hospital and the Penny Bridge. Self-effacing and modest, he lived by his family motto of ‘Let the Deed Show’. James Fleming’s values of wisdom, generosity and discretion continue to be respected today at Aberlour Distillery.
In 1898 a fire destroyed several of the distillery buildings and most of the whisky stocks. Under the supervision of Scotland’s foremost designer of whisky distilleries, Charles Doig of Elgin, the Aberlour Distillery was largely rebuilt.
Over the past 100 years, with modernisation and technology, the composition of the distillery has inevitably altered, though many of the original features are still there and the traditional working character of the place remains unchanged.
The distillery produces 3.2 million litres of alcohol each year. Casked at 63.5%, the main age statements of Aberlour single malt Scotch whiskies are the 10, 12 and 16 Year Olds and A’bunadh
The crystal-clear spring water that cascades down the slopes of Ben Rinnes, and makes its way from there along the Lour Valley to the distillery, is the lifeblood of Aberlour malt whisky. Soft and pure, it is perfect for the development of a wide range of flavours.
In the making of Aberlour single malt Scotch whisky, not a drop of this precious water is wasted. Only the required amount for each batch of whisky is drawn from the springs. Apart from being heated prior to joining the grist (ground malt) in the mash tun, the water is left untreated. Nothing is added and nothing needs taking away. It is a gift from nature, pure and simple.
It is during the maturation process that the developing whisky takes on its individual characteristics. Much of this depends on the length of time the whisky is allowed to mature and the type of casks used.
Most Aberlour single malts are double cask matured. The whisky is matured separately in specially selected ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts. When it has come to age, the whisky from the two sets of casks is brought together for the first time and the different flavours and textures are subtly merged.
The American bourbon casks produce a sweet vanilla-like aroma and golden colour, which varies in intensity according to the length of period of maturation. Whisky matured in ex-sherry casks is more full-bodied, with sweeter, spicier Oloroso overtones and a rich, amber hue.
From this intricate process of double casking emerges a single malt of rewarding complexity and character. This is a revelation for the enthusiast: a wide spectum of flavours to discover, time after time.
Aberlour 10 year old single malt whisky
A classic Speyside single malt, matured in a combination of oak ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts for a minimum of 10 years. Welcoming, vibrant and rewarding:
Nose: The dry, fresh, fruity aromas of early autumn apples and pears are subtly enhanced with sweet notes of vanilla and mint toffee
Palate: Exceptionally smooth and creamy, with spicy-sweet nutmeg and honey combining with the freshness of autumn fruits
Finish: Long, soft and warming
Aberlour has been winning gold medals since 1986.
Whisky competitions are intensely competitive affairs, with the standard of judging relentlessly high.
Aberlour has performed consistently well over the years, winning a clutch of gold medals. The accolades bestowed upon Aberlour confirm its status as an exceptional single malt of supremely consistent quality and rewarding complexity.