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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Arthur Bell & Sons

Bell's Scotch Whisky.

Arthur Bell & Sons History


During 1825 Thomas Sandeman opened a merchants shop trading in Beers wine tea and whisky in Perth.


Thomas Sandeman passes away in 1837 the business is continued by his partner James Roy.


At some point in 1845 Arthur Bell is employed as a sales traveller and becomes a partner spending more and more time blending whiuskies.


Arthur Bell & Sons is founded in 1895 with his sons Arthur and Robert who work on expanding the Uk and overseas markets. They successfully register their “Extra Special” brand and Arthur Bell Signatures trademarks in 1896.


The trademark Scottish fur is registered the following year.


Arthur Bell senior passes away in 1900 with his son Arthur takes over the running of the company whilst Robert becomes a silent partner.


During 1904 the Curler label is used for “Extra Special” and is the first use of the name Bell with a brand.



At some stage in the 1920’s the Bell decanter was started initially in blue glass and traditional decanter shape.



Arthur Bells & Sons become a limited company in 1921 and the “Afore Ye Go” is registered as the company’s official slogan.


In 1925 Arthur Bell commences the construction of the Gannochy housing estate with the aim of bringing affordable accommodation to the citizens of Perth, Completed in 1932 the same year as Arthur Bell provided a cricket field and pavilion at Doo’cot Park.


By 1930 the Bells decanter was being produced in porcelain, still a blue colour but more bell shap.


Both the Blair Athol and Dufftown distilleries are purchased in 1933.


During 1942 both Arthur and Robert Bell pass away.


The company goes public in 1949 and Royal Doulton commences production of the brown and gold decanters where a special blend of selected whiskies was created.


Spode takes over manufacture of the decanters; in 1960 production is then switched to Wade in 1965.


1981 Sees the start of the Royal decanters to commemorate Charles and Diana’s wedding


In 1988 the new tan and cream decanter is released as well as the first of the Christmas decanters.


The Bells Blend becomes an 8 year old in 1994 and 2003 sees the release of the Bells Special Reserve.


Arthur Bell & Sons Bells Scotch Whisky


Blair Athol Distillery, Pitlochry,


PH16 5LY

Tel: +44 (0)1796 472161


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