Bell's career began modestly in 1837 as Company Traveller
for a Scottish wine and spirits merchant. He made partner
in 1851 and it is clear that he soon realised the tremendous
opportunity which blending held. Over the next few years,
Bell toured the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands of Scotland
to seek out the finest single malt whiskies and only in
1863 did he appoint a London agent for his brands.
The accepted practice at the time was to use young, immature
whiskies for blending. Bell, however, was adamant that only
mature whiskies be used in the blend - a decision that earned
him a reputation not only as a specialist blender, but as
a man of vision with the highest regard for quality.
In the early days, Bell refused to put his name on a blend,
believing that the quality should speak for itself. After
his sons joined the company, they convinced him that branding
their product could only be good for business and in 1904
the first label appeared bearing the words "Arthur
Bell & Sons Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky, Perth,
It was only in 1925 that "Afore ye go" was registered
as the official company slogan. During the First World War,
the Bell family would have a few cases of Bell's Extra Special
Old Scotch Whisky sent down to the docks to be distributed
among the troops going off to the Western Front with the
idea being that they should have a wee dram, …"afore
ye go". Bell's Extra Special Blended Scotch Whisky
is the UK's most popular blend.
secret behind the Bell´s blend lies in its undeniable
quality and it is the task of the Bell´s Master Blender
to ensure that this legacy remains unchanged, year after
year. Bell´s unique character is derived from 35 different
malt and grain whiskies, each matured between 5 and 12 years.
When blending, the Master Blender has in mind the contribution
made to the palate by each blending whisky, and so ensures
the correct balance and consistency every time
Courtesy of Bell's Whisky
Bell's Original is a whisky blend and is made from
blending various malt and grain whiskies, specially
selected to ensure consistent flavour in the blend.
The key malt whisky comes from Blair Athol distillery,
which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands
in the picturesque town of Pitlochry.
Bell's Original is fresh, fruity with hint of smoke
to nose - fresh fruit and spicy balance, mellow
with lingering pronounced smoke backtaste.
Bell's Special Reserve
is a blend of specially selected pure malts, all
of which are more than 8 years old. Bell's Special
Reserve whisky has a tempered smokiness finishing
with warm pepper mellowed by a rich honey complexity.
notes written written by
Caroline Martin, Master Blender. Courtesy of Diageo
The Bell's blend is famed for its distinctive character
and taste. To achieve this, Bell's draws its inherent qualities
several of Scotland's finest distilleries, each with its
own extra special appeal.
All Scotch whisky is matured for at least three years, but
in the case of Bell's, every drop is aged for eight years
or even longer. Over time, in the traditional oak cask,
something miraculous happens; and after drawing out the
complex, delicious flavours of the wood, the whisky emerges
mellow, rich, full flavoured and altogether finer. Because
the oak cask has previously held either sherry or bourbon,
those extra flavours seep in too, helping to round out the
Athol DistilleryPitlochry, Highland Established in 1798 in the picturesque town of
Pitlochry, Blair Athol is one of the oldest working distilleries
in Scotland. This renowned distillery stands on peaty moorland
in the Highland resort and offers a malt of mellow, deep-toned
aroma with a strong fruity flavour and smooth finish. Dundee
cake, in a nutshell. The key, signature malt is made at
Blair Athol. Caol Ila Distillery
lslay Fresh with a salty tang, as you might expect from
a distillery that is buffered constantly by the sea on the
north east coast of Islay. A whiff of smoke in the sweet,
lingering aftertaste. The distillery was built in 1846.
On a clear day, it's possible to see Ireland, which is about
15 miles to the south west. Caol Ila is Gaelic for the "Sound
of Islay" which the distillery overlooks. Dufftown
DistillerySpeyside The old stone buildings of this distillery stand
proudly beside the Dullan River. From inside its walls comes
a single Highland Malt Whisky with a delicate, fragrant,
almost flowery aroma and taste which lingers on the palate.
Sweet and sour. Bells bought this distillery from 1933 and
United Distillers purhcased the site in 1985.
the 'Garden of Scotland', a forest walk of a malt, with
fresh green grass giving way to spicy wood
and late summer fruits. Soft spring grass. Because of the
distillery's closeness to Scotland’s capital city,
the distillery is a famed stopping point on the tourist
trail – and the proud producer of what is commonly
known as ‘The Edinburgh Malt’ – the pale,
dry aperitif of choice for polite society. Inchgower DistillerySpeyside It
was purchased by Buckie Town Council in 1936 for just 1000
pounds, before Arthur Bell recognised its
potential a mere two years later and snapped it up for 4000
pounds. Standing close to the sea on the mouth of the River
Spey, Inchgower offers a malt of complex aroma and fruity,
spicy taste with a hint of salt.