The Aberlour distillery sits in between Tamdhu and Macallan right on the south shore of the River Spey (although it still classifies itself as a “speyside”, and we will classify it the same. It was built in 1879, and is currently owned by spirits-megalodon Pernod-Ricard. Aberlour is in the middling range for total output amongst scotch distilleries, and has just 2 wash and 2 spirit pot stills. It draws all of its water from the Aberlour Burn which runs right by the distillery. Aberlour discontinued its floor maltings in the 1960’s and has since sourced all of its grain. It has several racked aging warehouses on site.
Aberlour is most well known for sherry-styled single malts, although its not too common for any of its whiskies to be aged full term exclusively in sherry casks. Rather, Aberlour typically employs ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads for an initial maturation before transferring the spirit into sherry casks (typically sherry seasoned casks) to be “finished” for a length of time, or they vat together the contents of sherry and ex-bourbon casks to create a final product containing whisky of both cask types.
As demand for single malt scotch grows, and traditional Spanish sherry casks become more expensive to source due to demand, many distillers have moved towards using “sherry seasoned casks” to reduce expenses and increase efficiency. Rather than source a cask from a Spanish bodega that has been sitting in a cellar holding sherry for multiple years, seasoning a cask is the process of constructing or purchasing cheap casks and then hauling in sherry wine via tanker to fill the casks for a short period of time with before draining the sherry and filling with whisky.