Extract from Alfred Barnard’s historic tour of every whisky distillery in Great Britain, published in ‘1887’
FROM Pitlochry lovers of nature and of wild and picturesque scenery may make plenty of excursions. It is encompassed on every side by hills and mountains, and there are charming walks in the neighbourhood. Our worthy land lord, Mr. Fisher again provided us with a smart horse and trap, and drove us at a swift rate to Tullymet. Our road was direct through the village, past the delightful grounds of the Hydropathic and the Blair Athol Distillery, and then along the valley road towards Tullymet. The whole of this beautiful Strath Tay is one continued scene of the beauty of nature in its simplest, wildest, and most imposing character. In same parts it is only wooded on one side, but the variety, richness, and stillness of the whole-the fragrant birches, graceful hazels, rolling hills of the greenest verdure, and back ground of mountains, all farm same of the richest pictures on which the ere could wish to gaze. In olden times it was customary for every traveller to stop at Moulinearn, a place just above the junction of the Tay and Tummel, to refresh himself with a glass of “Athole Brose,” a celebrated local compound of whisky and honey. The natives have a high opinion of it, but we must confess to a preference for the whisky by itself or with a small addition of the crystal, stream from the hills. After passing through the village we left the “birchin” bowers of Tullymet behind, and came in sight of the Distillery, which was erected in 1812, and is situated in a somewhat desolate position in the centre of some farm lands, and at a distance looked like a small, old-fashioned farmsteading.
The Rivers Garry and Tummel abound in salmon, and there are, besides, half-a-dozen streamlets running in all directions, full of trout.
At the time of our visit the works had ceased operations, as the weather was too hot for malting. The Distillery consists of a Barley Loft, Maltings, Still and Mash House, and a few other buildings, including Spirit Store and Warehouse accommodation for 40,000 gallons.
The water used comes from the Auchnagie Hills, and the make is Highland Malt. Only peats brought from Loch Broom are used in drying the malt. One exciseman is employed at the Distillery, who informed us that he leads quite a pastoral lire here, and spends his summer days in his garden and little larm-yard.
The annual output is 19,000 gallons; but 24,000 gallons can be made.