Fettercairn Distillery

Distillery Road



History: This traditional distillery is one of Scotland’s oldest licensed producers of single malt whisky. It dates back to 1825 which is just two years after the Customs and Excise Act of 1823, which reduced the amount of taxation placed on whisky production, meaning whisky makers could make some money. It was built by Sir Alexander Ramsay before being taken over by Sir John Gladstone, the father of four-time Prime Minister William Ewart. Sir John did not run the distillery but leased it out to local people such as the Durthie family who ran the distillery for generations. At the start of the 20th century, like many distilleries, Fettercairn closed and reopened many times. In 1923 it came into the ownership of the Associated Scottish Distilleries. The distillery then became known for creating single malt for blends such as Whyte & MacKay who took ownership in the late 1970s. It has only been in the last couple of years that the company have started to release Fettercairn as a single malt.

The Whisky: They have done a great job with the packaging with its ribbed glass and Unicorn emblem on the front. The packaging, however, will only get you so far, and they have worked hard to create a range of whiskies with a house style of tropical fruits, subtle spice and a soft sweetness. The range consists of a

12 year old then jumps up considerably to a 28 year old, a 40 year old and a 50 year old. I’m thinking they were planning this for some time or else forgot they had some old barrels in the warehouse. The 28 year old will set you back well over £400 but it is a belter if you can afford it.

Geek Alert: In the mid-1950s, the whiskymakers at Fettercairn experimented, seeking ways to create a purer expression. They found that pouring water down the still cooled the copper, increasing condensation so only the lightest vapours could rise for collection. They fashioned a copper tube around the top of the still to continually douse it with water – an ingenious solution which remains unique to this day.

Why Visit? This is a unassuming and honest distillery and this comes through on the tours. There are no Platinum Experience or VIP tours just an informative and personal tour from the knowledgeable and passionate team. The tour lasts for around 45mins for £7.50 and includes a dram. Under 18s even get to go free. It may not have the big name yet but this is a must visit if you are into your single malts.