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Issue 48 - Kid's stuff, or the stuff of dreams? (Aberfeldy)

Whisky Magazine Issue 48
June 2005

 

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Kid's stuff, or the stuff of dreams? (Aberfeldy)

In our visitor centre round up we weren't altogether complimentary about Aberfeldy. Our Mystery Visitor takes issue with that view

There seems to be two divergent schools of thought about Aberfeldy, even here at Whisky Magazine. On the one hand, when it opened, we acclaimed it as “the ultimate Scotch whisky visitor centre” yet just last issue our review of visitor centres dismissed it as “an interactive family experience of only marginal interest to the serious enthusiast”. Ouch!

So what's the problem? After all, Aberfeldy is an attractive enough distillery standing on the edge of the small Perthshire town of the same name. It's not exactly a Johnny-come-lately, having been around since 1896. And the malt whisky it produces, though hard to find, is well-liked and, arguably, deserving of a greater fame.

No, it's the Dewar's World of Whisky visitor centre that arouses the ire of the purists. This extravagantly flamboyant shrine to the Dewar family offends because a) it's all about blends, not malt and b) it's got one or two (relatively) high-tech bits of kit, presumably designed to amuse younger visitors whilst mum and dad look round.

For all that, I can't see what folk are getting so excited about. After all, I would have thought that even the most hard-core enthusiast would be interested in the history of this firm (one of the most important in the industry, even if it's now owned by the Bacardi group); they might like to see one of the best whisky advertising archives on display anywhere I can recall and they might even appreciate the chance to try their hand at virtual blending, even if sing...

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