The Bells Distillery was founded in 1798. In 1851 Arthur Bell (1825-1900) began blending different single malt whiskeys to obtain a more consistent whiskey blend. Arthur Bell was the first known whiskey maker to appoint a representative in London in at least 1863. Both of Bell's sons joined the company as partners in 1895. Arthur Kinmond (1868-1942) was appointed to manage the domestic market and Robert was appointed director of the brand abroad. In the 1880s, the company focused on blended whiskey.
Arthur Bell died in 1900. In 1921 the company became a private company run by Arthur Kinmond after Robert retired to live as a country man.
The end of Prohibition in the United States caused an increase in demand and resulted in Arthur Bell & Sons acquiring two distilleries in 1933: Blair Athol and Dufftown. In 1936 the Inchgower Distillery was also acquired.
The Bell brothers died in 1942 and the company's accountant, William Govan Farquharson, became president of the company. He focused on promoting the brand more intensively. Bell's became a public company in 1949. In 1954 Arthur Bell exported to 130 different countries.
In 1970, Bell's was the best-selling whiskey in Scotland. In the early 1970s, Bell's could not afford the advertising budget of the large whiskey distilleries. Instead, he focused on using mixers in his product. This increased the popularity of the product among women and Bell's income increased by 800% between 1970 and 1979. In 1978, Bell's became the UK's best-selling whiskey. Much of the credit for this expansion goes to then-CEO Raymond Miquel. In 1980 the company had a market share of around 35 per cent in Great Britain.