Behind the Scenes at the Aberlour Distillery in Scotland

Behind the Scenes

Your ticket into the secret world of boozemaking.

Author's Note:Thanks to Pernod Ricard, I recently traveled to Scotland with a group of journalists for a plethora of distillery tours, master classes and whisky events surrounding the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

[Photographs: Jessica Leibowitz]

As you might recall, Speyside (in Scotland) practically drips Scotch. Today we'll tour Aberlour, a smaller-scale distillery that produces about 3.5 million liters of whisky per year. For comparison's sake, some of the bigger whiskies such as The Glenlivet produce about 10 million liters per year.

Aberlour, meaning "mouth of the River Lour," is nestled at the convergence of the River Lour and the River Spey, about a ten minute drive from The Glenlivet. At their distillery, you'll see many standard single malt Scotch ingredients, such as copper pot stills and washbacks, but subtle tweaks in method and, occasionally, material. For example, Aberlour is into double-cask maturation. The bottled combination of aged whisky from both ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts results in a warm, round single malt.

Come with us to check out the distillery behind the scenes, and impress your Scotch connoisseur friends with the intel. (Planning a trip to Scotland? Small group tours at Aberlour (£12 - £25) are open to the public by appointment only. There is an additional cost to hand-fill a personalized bottle of cask strength whisky.)

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