The Eastern Highlands
Fettercairn, Kincardineshire. Eigendom van Whyte & Mackay Distillers Ltd.
Gesticht in 1824 was Netermill, zoals de distilleerderij aanvankelijk werd genoemd, de tweede distilleerderij die na de '1823 Act' een licensie kreeg.
Fettercairn wil zoveel zeggen als hoge heuvel.
De distilleerderij stond aanvankelijk twee mijl hoger de helling van de Cairn '0 Mount op, één van de Grampian Hills.
Fettercairn werd gesticht door de van Brechin afkomstige gebroeders Guthrie.
Op 8 Augustus 1832 kwamen er nieuwe ketels van het Shand's type, dit waren ketels die gelijkenis vertoonden met de Saintmarc ketels, en later in onbruik raakten.
De Lomond ketels, zoals later in gebruik in de distilleerderijen Loch Lomond, Scapa, Glenburgie en Miltonduff lijken/leken op deze ketels.
Men kon in deze ketels, waarvan de hals van de pot still ketel was vervangen door een systeem van platen, waar op de spirit op verschillende niveau's kon worden afgetapt, zodat de spirit meer of minder smaak kreeg.
In 1887 werd de Fettercairn Distillery Co gevormd met Sir John Gladstone als directeur, een lokale landeigenaar en vader van de latere liberale staatsman William Gladstone, die ook verantwoordelijk was voor de 'Spirits Act' van 1860.
In 1887 werd Fettercairn getroffen door een grote brand en het was pas in 1890 voor de produktie weer werd opgestart.
Fettercairn was gesloten van 1914 tot 1939.
In 1939 werd de distilleerderij gekocht door The Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd, onderdeel van Train & Mclntyre, op hun beurt het eigendom van The National Distillers of America, die via Joesph Hobbs distilleerderijen opkochten om na de beëindiging van de drooglegging in Amerika, Schotse whisky daar te gaan leveren.
Joseph Hobbs kocht behalve Fettercairn, ook Glenury Royal, Glenlochy, North Esk, Benromach, Strathdee, Bruichladdich, Lochside
Na de tweede wereldoorlog was Fettercairn tot 1971 het eigendom van Tom Scott Sutherland, toen de distilleerderij werd overgenomen door Hay & MacLeod & Co en W. & G Strong & Co, deel uitmakend van Whyte & Mackay, ook de eigenaars van Dalmore en Tomintoul.
Fettercairn is uitgebreid in 1966 en heeft nu vier met stoom verhitte ketels, twee Wash stills van elk 12.800 liter en twee Spirit stills van elk 12.800 liter.
De hals van de Spirit stil wordt tijdens het lopen van de middle cut met water gekoeld, zodat men een zuiverder spirit verkrijgt.
Er staat één Mash tun van 4,64 ton en negen Wash backs van elk 25.600 liter. Het gebruikte water komt van de Grampian Mountains. De capaciteit is 1,3 miljoen spirit per jaar. In 1989 wordt er een bezoekerscentrum gebouwd.
In October 1991 deed American Brands, eigenaar van Whyte & Mackay een mislukt bod op Invergordon Distillers van € 350.000.000 en op 15 October 1993 sloot American Brands zijn jarenlange jacht op Invergordon af met het bekend maken, zijn belang in Invergordon te hebben vergroot van 41,2 % tot 54,7 % en brengt een bod uit op de resterende aandelen.
De geboden prijs waardeert Invergordon op € 382,4 miljoen dat is ƒ 1,05 miljard.
De omzet van Invergordon was in 1992 € 85.000.000, die van Whyte & Mackay € 150.000.000. in datzelfde jaar.
In 1995 sluit Whyte & Mackay de distilleerderijen Bruichladdich, Tamnavulin en Tullibardine (tijdelijk ?), de distilleerderijen van de overgenomen Invergordon groep.
De Invergordon Grain distilleerderij blijft geopend, alsmede Isle of Jura.
In 1996 werden Whyte & Mackay en Invergordon ondergebracht bij J B B Greater Europe Pic.
Tomintoul wordt in Juli 2000 verkocht aan de blenders Angus Dundee.
Bruichladdich wordt op 19 December 2000 verkocht aan een groep financiers onder de lei-ding van Murray McDavid Ltd.
In October 2001 wordt het Schotse deel van J B B Greater Europe Pic verkocht aan een groep Schotse investeerders met de naam Kyndal International.
Kyndal Ltd bezit nu The Dalmore, Fettercairn, Invergordon Grain Distillery, Isle of Jura en Tamnavulin.
October 2001Kyndall International neemt het Schotse deel van J B B Greater Europe over van Fortune Brands, eigenaar van wat eerder Whyte & Mackay en Invergordon was.
Het betreft vijf malt distilleerderijen: Dalmore, (Old) Fettercairn, Isle of Jura, Tamnavulin en Tullibardine en de Grain distilleerderij Invergordon.
Manager van Kyndall International wordt
Vijftien maanden later verlaat
Brian Magson Kyndall International,
Dit als gevolg van een meningsverschil
met de Duitse West L B bank, de financier
van Kyndall International.
De omzet in het eerste jaar na de aankoop was
€ 157.2 miljoen, de winst € 20.6 miljoen.
Er werden 9,3 miljoen dozen whisky verkocht.
Kyndall International heeft 750 medewerkers.
Sir Alexander Ramsay, eigenaar van
Fasque Estate, sticht de distilleerderij
James Stewart & Co is de eerste
Sir Alexander Ramsay verkoopt
Fasque Estate en de distilleerderij
aan Sir John Gladstone, vader van de
toekomstige Eerste minister William
Fettercairn wordt deels door brand
verwoest en sluit voor herbouw
Thomas Gladstone sterft en wordt
opgevolgd door zijn zoon John Robert
Fettercairn Distillery Co wordt gevormd
met meerdere eigenaars
Fettercairn wordt weer opgestart
De onderneming is dichtbij een
failliesement en John Gladstone koopt
de andere aandeelhouders uit
en sticht een nieuwe onderneming
Fettercairn gaat in de mottenballen1939
Fettercairn wordt gekocht door
Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd, een
Train & McIntyre, het eigendom van
National Distillers of America.
Fettercairn hervat de produktie
Alistair Menzies, decided to change the
character of Fettercairn's new make to
make it lighter and more fruity.
He added a cooling ring to the spirit still which
sprayed the head of the still with water which
was then collected again at the base for circculation
towards the top of the still.
All this increased the reflux during distillation
However this ws later changed by another
equipment, stainless steel condensers, which
made the spirit more rubust but also with a
De mouterij wordt gesloten1966
Er komen twee ketels bij,
zijn er vier nu.1971
Fettercairn wordt overgenomen
door Tomintoul Glenlivet Distillery
het eigendom van W. & S. Strong & Co
en Hay & McLeod & Co.
Tomintoul - Glenlivet Distillery Co, Ltd
wordt gekocht door Whyte & Mackay
Distillers Ltd, het eigendom van Scottish
& Universal Investment Trust,
S.U.I.T. van Sir Hugh Fraser.
Het conglomaraat Lonrho koopt
Whyte & Mackay Ltd
Lonrho verkoopt Whyte & Mackay Ltd
aan Brent Walker Group Plc
the spirit safe and mash tun are bought
from Glenugie distillery which is closed
Een bezoekerscentrum wordt geopend1990
American Brands Inc, koopt Whyte & Maclay
voor £ 160 miljoen via hun dochter-
onderneming Gallaher Tobacco
The stainless steel condensers, are not
Whyte & Mackay en Jim Beam fuseren en
gaan verder als J B B Worldwide
Kyndal Spirits, een onderneming gevormd
door managers van Whyte & Maclay Ltd
nemen Whyte & Mackay over van J B B
Fettercairn wordt opnieuw uitgebracht,
in een nieuwe fles, nieuwe uitmonstering
en de naam wordt veranderd van
Old Fettercairn in Fettercairn 1824
Kyndal Spirit verandert zijn naam
Whyte & Mackay Ltd
United Spirits buys Whyte & Mackay
A 23 year old SC is released
A 24, 30, 40 year old are released
Fettercairn Fior is launched
Fettercairn Fasque is launched
Emperador Inc buys Whyte & Mackay
Gregg Glass, former blender at Compass Box joins Whyte & Mackay
the 4 roller Boby Mill , build in the 1920s
is sold to Ardnahoe distillery of owner
The new range: 12, 28, 40, 50 years
A 12 year old PX Finish released for
Capacity: 2.200.000 Ltrs
Output: 2.100.000 Ltrs
A 16 year old, a 22 years old are
added to the core range
The first batches of Warehouse 2 are released
Whyte & Mackay 's Grow Scotland initiative launched
which aims to link local farmers to source for each
of the distilleries from W & M and is partnering
with 180 local farmers
Batch 4 of Warehouse 2 is released
26 February 2015A whisky giant has lodged plans to expand one of Scotland's oldest distilleries.
Whyte and Mackay wants to redevelop and extend Fettercairn Distillery, which has been in operation since 1824.
The work would include a 60s expansion to the ground of first floor of the distillery - which would result in an increase of production.
In a report to planners, Ian Gallacher of property consultant GVA James Barr, said the works would have an economic benefit for the village of Fettercairn, near Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire.
He said: "Overall, the package of works will redevelop the distillery and offer more opportunities and tourism activity.
"In line with the principles of the Local Development Plan, the increase in production which the proposed works will allow, will increase investment in the local area and enhance the visitor opportunities for those members of the public touring the facility."
The project will also see work to the building's interior.
Mr Gallacher added: "The building currently operates as a successful distillery as it has done since 1824, therefore the principle of an extension to this existing building, is in our position acceptable."
This traditional distillery set in the foothills of the wild Cairngorm Mountains was once owned by the father of a British Prime Minister.
Fettercairn has a traditional distillery set-up with an open-topped mash tun (producing cloudy wort), wooden washbacks and small stills. There are even soap grinders on the sides of the wash stills. These would have been used to add non-perfumed soap as a surfactant to stop the stills boiling over.
Everything points to a firm, quite heavy, nutty style. This was exacerbated between 1995 to 2009 when the condensers were made of stainless steel. This added a slightly burnt, pot ale character to the new make. However a quirky cooling ring attached to the top of the swan neck, which sprays cold water down the sides of the still, aids reflux and helps the spirit lean toward a lighter style.
The single malt is aged mostly in first-fill American oak – some new wood is also in the mix – to add a balancing sweetness, with some older expressions finishd in fortified wine casks.
One of the main attractions of Laurencekirk, the village nearest to Fettercairn, is a huge, ostentatious red sandstone archway spanning the road that commemorates the visit to the village of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1861. Fettercairn has similarly grand pretensions. It was founded in 1825 by the local landowner Sir Alexander Ramsay, who then sold his estate, distillery and all, in 1830 to Sir John Gladstone, father of four-time British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. Although the Gladstone family were hands-off owners (fun though it is to imagine ‘The People’s William’ getting to grips with distillation). Allowing the distillery to be run by tenants, they retained ownership until 1923. A short period (mostly in mothballs) under the control of Ross & Coulter ended when it was sold to Associated Scottish Distilleries [the Scotch arm of National Distillers of America which, at its height, owned Bruichladdich, Glenury-Royal, Glen Esk, Glenlochy, Benromach and Strathdee].
When ASD ceased trading in 1954, its estate was split up and Fettercairn ended up in private hands. Its new owner, Mr Tom Scott Sutherland, had the distillery until 1971 when it was bought by Tomintoul-Glenlivet and from there it joined Whyte & Mackay.
Although mainly a contributor to the firm’s blends, it has long been bottled as a single malt. A more concerted effort started in 2009 when a range of aged variants and a pair of no-age bottlings, Fior and Fasque (the name of the Fettercairn estate), was released.
In 2018 Fettercairn was relaunched by Whyte & Mackay with a new range of single malts aged between 12 and 50 years old.
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell and tube
FERMENTATION TIME i
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
MALT SPECIFICATION i
Some heavily peated produced – 55ppm
MALT SUPPLIER i
MASH TUN TYPE i
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
30,000 casks – all dunnage
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASHBACK CHARGE (L) i
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
WATER SOURCE i
WORT CLARITY i
YEAST TYPE i
Emperador Distillers Inc logo
Emperador Distillers Inc
2014 - present
Whyte and Mackay Group
1973 - present
The Tomintoul Glenlivet Distillery
1971 - 1973
Tom Scott Sutherland
1954 - 1971
Associated Scottish Distillers
1939 - 1954
1927 - 1939
Ross & Coulter
1923 - 1927
The Gladstone Family
1830 - 1923
51825 - 1830
Capacity: 2.200.000 Ltrs
Malting DemolishedZ: 1960
Barley: Concerto, Lureate, Sassy
Maltings: Bards, Vrisp, Bourtmalt
Mill type: Buhler 6 roller
Mash size: 5 tonnes
Mash Tun:Tumble rake cast Iron
Washback: 39.000 Ltrs
Washback fill: 25.000 Ltrs
Washbacks: 11 Oregon Pine
YAeast: M/MX Liquid MS1
Yeast Volume: 95 ltrs a Washback
ABV ofWash 8 %
Wash still:Onion / 17.500 Ltrs /
Wash still Charge: 12.500 Ltrs
wash still Distillation: 5 and 5,5 hours
Spirit still: .11.819 Ltrs and 13.638 Ltrs
Spiri still: Onion wirh externial cooling ring
Spirit still Charge: 11.600 Ltrs and 13.600 Ltrs
Spirit still distillation tine: 7 and 8 hours
Foreshots run: 20 minutes
Spirit time runs:2,5 hours and 3 hours
Feints run time: 3 hours and 3,5 hours
Condensers: Shell and tune
New make character: spicy, malty, cereal
Filling strenght: 63,5 %
No of casks on site: 30.500
Warehouse capacity: 4.000.000 Ltrs
(From Wieger Favier)
TWO NEW FETTERCAIRN MALTS LAND IN DUTY FREE
Highland distillery Fettercairn will release two new limited edition single malts – a 16- and a 23-year-old – exclusively for the travel retail market.
Fettercairn 16 and 23 Year Old single malts
Doubling up: Fettercairn 16 and 23 Year Olds are new to the distillery's travel retail lineup
Fettercairn 16 Year Old and 23 Year Old have both been fully matured in American oak ex-Bourbon casks.
The 16 Year Old, designed to appeal to ‘new and occasional drinkers’, has been bottled at 46% abv and will be available in global travel retail stores priced at £80 per one-litre bottle.
Fettercairn 23 Year Old, said to comprise ‘rare’ whiskies creating a ‘hidden gem’, has been bottled at 47% abv and will be priced at £200 per 70cl bottle.
Richard Trimby, travel retail director for Fettercairn parent company Whyte and Mackay, said: ‘We are answering the traveller’s thirst for newness – we know that single malt drinkers like to discover new flavours and find hidden gems, especially ones that are unique to travel retail.’
The two whiskies join Fettercairn 12 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask Edition in the distillery’s range of travel retail exclusives.
After launching at the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition in Cannes later this month, the two new expressions will be available to buy from ‘early 2020’.
Fettercairn revamped its flagship range of single malts in 2018, ranging from an ‘accessible’ 12-year-old priced at £48, to a 40-year-old priced at £3,000 per bottle.
Warehouse 2 Batch 002 -
RARE DROP: WAREHOUSE 2 BATCH NO.002
Our second release in the collection, Warehouse 2 Batch No.002 has been crafted from a hand picked selection of 1st fill ex-American Rye barrels and 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrels; filled with spirit that flowed from the Fettercairn stills in 2009, matured in Warehouse 2, and bottled in 2021.
It is a rare and remarkable single malt shaped by its maturation in its own unique dunnage environment and then crafted through the expert combination of two different cask types to reveal a whisky of distinctive character – displaying the wonderful Fettercairn house-style that is abundant with tropical flavours and soft spice.
Warehouse 2 Batch 002 Tasting Notes
Beautiful rays of warm golden barley.
Sweet honey, sugared almonds and soft spicesmarried with tropical fruit notes and sweet vanilla.
Layers of tropical and citrus fruits, sweet cassia bark, moist ginger cake, warming maple syrup and roasted Arabica coffee.
Award-winning distillery manager and guardian with an infectious passion that knows no bounds, Stewart Walker has over 30 years at Fettercairn under his belt. A rare talent, he held most production roles the distillery has to offer before taking the top job in 2015. What he doesn’t know about our whisky isn’t worth knowing.
ENLIGHTENED WHISKY MAKING
Enlightened whisky making has always been at the heart of Fettercairn and our whisky makers have always strived for ways to introduce and enhance flavours – such as our unique cooling rings, introduced in 1952 to create a lighter, distinctive new make spirit.
Today, under the guidance of our whisky maker Gregg Glass is no different, we continue to explore the depth of flavour – and the Fettercairn Warehouse 2 series is the embodiment of this.
Hear from Gregg Glass - our enlightened whisky maker, visionary force and innovator - as he describes the inspiration behind our upcoming small batch release:
"For me, Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No.002 has been born of the wonderful stocks in our dunnage warehouse 2, made from casks discovered 2 years ago. At the heart of this discovery were fully matured American Rye and 1st fill Bourbon barrels, at it's core this release is about sharing and exploring a different dimension of our unique house style with plays on our tropical fruit, natural vibrant cereal, herbal and spiced notes.
Alongside this is bringing a one-off bottling and never to be repeated release, welcoming our current and new fans to the gems of what we make, mature, nurture and create at our distillery. One for enjoying with friends!”
Our Malt Whisky Specialist, Andrew Lennie is always looking for new and exciting ways to drink and serve Fettercairn, pushing forward in the spirit of discovery and enlightenment. In this first edition of Unfettered, he's bringing you one of his favourites – a light, long serve using Fettercairn 12 year old.
RARE DROP: FETTERCAIRN 16 YEAR OLD 2021 LIMITED EDITION
Following the success of the inaugural Fettercairn 16 Year Old last year, we are delighted to provide a first look at it's much anticipated successor. Each release of Fettercairn 16 Year Old showcases a different maturation journey that enhances and compliments our tropical spirit, derived from out copper cooling ring.
Fettercairn 16 Year Old 2021 Release is a rare whisky which brings together spirit from a trilogy of Sherry matured and Sherry finished casks. Our Master Whisky Maker, Gregg Glass, shared some insight into his whisky making approach behind this rare spirit:
“This one-off Fettercairn 16YO limited edition, was borne from fully matured Sherry casks combined with hand-selected, rare and old, Oloroso and Palo Cortado Sherry butts. For me, this was about retaining the natural beauty and balance of our Fettercairn tropical house style while elevating the pure beauty and refinement of select, aged Palo Cortado and Oloroso casks. Combining these elements allow us to share another aspect and dimension to our truly unique warehouse stocks at Fettercairn”.
Rich honey and bronzed notes.
Sugared almonds, dried fruits & aged wood.
Alphonso mango, rich citrus zest, apricots and sun-kissed raisins balanced with walnut, light roasted coffee, cacao and antique liquorice notes.
46.4%, natural in colour and non-chill filtered.
Our Malt Whisky Specialist, Andrew Lennie is always looking for new ways to enjoy Fettercairn and he suggests pairing our latest release with a dark chocolate truffle, preferably with a tropical fruit ganache center like pineapple or mango, as he says it:
"creates a perfect balance of sweet tropical fruit and bitter dark chocolate, pairing impeccably with the sherry cask influence that complements our tropical house style, derived from our unique copper cooling ring distillation process”
Fettercairn 16 Year Old 2021 Release is available in whisky specialists and online across Europe including; Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and UK from December 2021, at an RSP of £69.
Don't forget to share our Unfettered newsletter with fellow whisky lovers so they can also find out about future releases and receive exclusive content
WELCOME TO THE SPRING EDITION OF UNFETTERED
RARE DROP: WAREHOUSE 2 BATCH NO.003
When we have good news here at Fettercairn, we'll always let you know first.
Today, we're delighted to reveal that Warehouse 2 Batch No.003 is ready to meet the world. It's been waiting, calm and serene, in the coolness of dunnage-style Warehouse 2, taking on character and flavour from a specially-curated harmony of three different maturation styles.
Inspired by a progressive approach to whisky making, this latest creation continues to showcase the distillery’s tropical house style achieved from the unique copper cooling ring distillation process. But with this whisky a different dimension of flavour is brought to life, celebrating the experimental ethos at the heart of its distilling philosophy since 1824.
Warehouse 2 Batch No.003 brings together a marriage of ex-Bourbon barrels, rum barrels and French red wine barriques filled with our distinctive house spirit in 2015, a tropical harmony of flavours truly embodying our house style at Fettercairn. We also bottled this batch at a higher strength of 50.6% ABV specifically to bring out the depth and mouthfeel of the French red wine barriques.
Natural golden amber.
Warm honey, Alphonso mangoes, brioche, cocoa, subtle forest fruits and waves of rose water.
Passion fruit, papaya, red berries and grape - goes well with sugared almonds, patisserie spice and heather honey.
50.6%, natural colour and non-chill filtered
Fettercairn 16 Year Old 2022 Limited Edition
At Fettercairn, we're always immersed in thinking ahead and clearing our own path – unfettered by expectation or convention. This new release of our 16 Year Old, the third in the series, is no different.
This one-of-a-kind whisky absorbs layers of rich, refined flavour from three rare, never to be repeated casks – 1st and 2nd fill Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, and ex-bourbon. A brilliant take on our tropical house style, the third instalment of our 16 year old holds nature and nurture in beautiful symmetry. Aged Palo Cortado butts impart refined vanilla and citrus notes which unite with aromas of ripe guava, patisserie spices, cocoa, and natural vanilla. Rich and exotic with exquisite depth of flavour, this is a whisky that you’ll want to keep close.
Sunrise amber gold.
Dried exotic fruits, lightly syruped figs, grapefruit, and mature oak.
Sunkissed raisins, ripe guava, patisserie spices, cocoa, and natural vanilla, with a ginger cake, passion fruit, baked apple, and roasted coffee finish.
“Each of our annual release 16 Year Old whiskies tell their own story. With every limited edition, we not only share more about how we make our whiskies, but also the care and craft that goes into nurturing the spirit.”
Stewart Walker, Distillery Manager
“By selecting these casks, I set out to further push the boundaries in our quest to drive true distinction but always deliver optimal character and flavours. The result is special – a one-off creation that will never be repeated.”
Gregg Glass, Master Whisky Maker
This year’s 16 Year Old release will be close to hand across Europe including France, UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium from July onwards.
FETTERCAIRN 200 CLUB
At Fettercairn, we keep the things that matter close. Our whisky isn't just made in our distillery. It's a product of the land, water, and people within touching distance. We're proud to say each and every grain of barley is grown within 50 miles of our doorstep.
Immersing ourselves in enlightened whisky making means we have to make our processes as clear and open as they can be. Because the 200 Club gathers growers, maltsters, and other experts from within a stone’s throw of our Aberdeenshire home, we can continue to cultivate our future-thinking whisky our way, from start to finish.
Bairds Malt are founding partners in the 200 Club, encouraging the relationship and culture that we’re nurturing between the barley, the land it’s raised on, and the people who tend it.
“Barley has often been seen as a commodity product. We want people to have a deeper understanding of where the story of the barley begins, and give credit to the craftsmen who contribute to the final dram. If you want a quality end product, you need quality from the outset."
Eddie Douglas, Bairds Malt
“We’re proud that we’re supplying to the distillery. It’s good to know Fettercairn is using grain from the immediate area – true to its nature and the location. A lot of the time farmers like us don’t really know where our barley ends up – this completes the circle in a really pleasing way and we know we are supporting the local economy too.”
David Innes and his son, Matthew – Mains of Fordoun farm, members of the 200 Club
Every rare drop of Fettercairn can only be as good as the craft, creativity, and hard work that goes into it. We understand the value of the community we’re nurturing around us, and we recently welcomed some of the experts we’re proud to call partners and neighbours. Bairds Malt, Scotgrain Agriculture, and the many farmers we work alongside joined us to celebrate our unique partnership at our new distillery visitor centre.
“We talk about being progressive and defying convention and the 200 Club truly supports this commitment. Working with local farmers not only supports our vital community, but also ensures the highest quality of locally supplied barley is used while truly cementing our relationship with the land.”
Stewart Walker, Distillery Manager
Our community keeps growing closer. The bond between our whisky, our distillery, the barley, and the experts that grow it, gather it, and keep us all together, keeps getting stronger. Knowing the quality of our spirit means we have more freedom to innovate and experiment. To make future releases even more exciting, more rare, more refined, and more Fettercairn.
We’ve already worked shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours for generations. And we can’t wait for you to see what the future of whisky making will look like as it’s curated here in our own back garden.
IT'S TIME FOR A TASTE OF TOMORROW
We're proud to introduce you to our newest release, Fettercairn 18YO.
We’re always innovating here at Fettercairn. Always pushing ourselves to do new things. Fettercairn 18YO is no different. This is the first of our whiskies to be finished in 100% Scottish oak casks and its depth and refinement show exactly what open minds and expert hands can create. We’re always looking towards the future and our 18YO shows exactly how we’re digging in to grow – how we’re making new whiskies in new ways.
Using Scottish oak gives our whisky makers enhanced flavour control at different stages of the maturation process, crafting a beautiful richness and harmony. The skills and knowledge used in crafting this rare and remarkable single malt scotch show the quality, curiosity, and creativity of our master whisky makers. Here, they take the distinctively tropical house character we get from our unique copper cooling ring process and use their creativity, craft, and skill to make something that tastes like today and tomorrow.
The Scottish oak casks also feed into our larger philosophy. We have a shared vision of a local, sustainable future for whisky making with Fettercairn at the forefront. “The Fettercairn 18 is a culmination of an approach to whisky making I have developed across a number of years. This first release reflects the dedication not just of myself, but of our partners ‘from Forest to Field’, who each played a role in rekindling the skills required to harvest Scottish Oak. At Fettercairn we are passionate about the potential of Scottish Oak and the unique flavour characteristics it offers to the whisky maker.”
– Gregg Glass, Master Whisky Maker at Whyte & Mackay
A SENSE OF THE SPIRIT
Our 18YO is a taste of tomorrow – like nothing else we’ve done before. Managing, balancing, and nurturing elements within our virgin Scottish oak casks frees us to carve out a rich, deep, and easy-going character which complements our tropical house style.
Sugared almonds, baking spices, passion fruit and guava tropical fruits
Exotic syruped fruits, patisserie sugars,brioche and spices with soft hints of berry fruits flow through to cacao and natural vanilla finish
A FEEL FOR THE FUTURE
The release of the new Fettercairn 18YO is an important milestone for us and our ambition to create a sunlit and sustainable future. Because our Scottish Oak Programme is about more than just making remarkable single malts – it’s about carving a long-term commitment to the whisky lovers of today and tomorrow.
We’ve always handpicked the most responsibly sourced Scottish oak and always used local skills and knowledge to bring our distinctively tropical flavour to life. But our vision of an end-to-end whisky making process looks far beyond that.
We’ve planted a forest of Scottish oak trees here, in our back garden in the foothills of the Cairngorms. At the moment, these are only year-old saplings, but one day, in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to mature our rare, pure, enlightened spirit in oak casks grown on our land, by the hardworking hands and open minds of the people of our community. With the whisky lovers, farmers, maltsters, and other experts of the future all working shoulder to shoulder, hands in the land we live for, to make Fettercairn whisky.
From our very beginnings we've done things a little differently in the pursuit of great whisky.
Our founder, Sir Alexander Ramsay was one of the Scottish landowners who campaigned to license Scotch Whisky distillation. In 1824, he was one of the first to apply for a license, and the Fettercairn distillery was opened.
But despite Ramsay’s campaigning for regulation, he was a canny businessman, and he recruited illegal whisky makers to be his first stillmen. He recognised only they had the knowledge and skills he needed. So, from our very beginnings, we’ve been doing things a little differently in the pursuit of great whisky.
Fettercairn Whisky - Warehouse external
In 1829, Ramsay's Fasque estate, on which the distillery buildings sit, was sold to the Gladstone family. Their most famous son was William Gladstone – British Prime Minister four times during the late nineteenth century. Gladstone was a great friend to the Scotch Whisky industry. He abolished the taxes on malt and the Angel’s Share, and introduced legislation allowing Scotch to be sold in glass bottles for the first time.
The village of Fettercairn has as rich a history as the distillery. It lies in the heart of rich farming land – a beautiful rural setting which has always attracted visitors. On 20th Sept 1861, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert snuck away from nearby Balmoral to stay incognito at the Ramsay Arms (still the village pub). They enjoyed drinks and a meal, all in secret. The villagers later raised a monument to commemorate the visit – an imposing arch which still stands in the centre of the village.
The introduction of the cooling ring.
In the mid-1950s, the whiskymakers at Fettercairn experimented, seeking ways to create a purer expression of their spirit. They found that pouring water down the still cooled the copper, increasing condensation inside 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 and practical solution which remains unique in Scotch whisky-making to this day.
Whyte & Mackay expands Scottish Oak Programme
The Scotch whisky maker is ‘stepping up and digging in’ to help better establish the use of native oak for the wider spirits industry
Whyte & Mackay has announced the expansion of its Scottish Oak Programme, spreading across its entire estate of distilleries in order to help establish native oak use as a quality raw material.
The programme has been spearheaded by master whisky maker Gregg Glass, with the aim of encouraging the use of Scottish oak widely among whisky makers. Alongside this it will also address some historical challenges that surround working with Scottish Oak, such a porosity, consistency of the wood, and cost versus true value.
Typically casks used in the production of Scotch whisky are sourced from abroad, most commonly ex-Bourbon barrels from the US, and European fortified wine casks from Portugal and Spain. Inspired by his time exploring local sawmills with his grandfather on the Black Isle, he set about exploring the role Scottish oak could play, and what it would take in terms of forestry management, and every skill required from harvest to cask creation.
When Glass joined Whyte & Mackay in 2016 he then began to implement the programme in earnest and has since developed partnerships with other organisations – including local landowning estates, sawmills and coopers – to create an initiative with the vision to one day be adopted by the Scotch Whisky industry.
Glass explains: “The Scottish Oak Programme seeks to inspire change within the Scotch whisky industry. We want to champion the potential home-grown oak offers the spirits industry, and the incredible diversity of flavour it offers the whisky maker.
“Our close relationships with industry partners mean we know the provenance of Scottish Oak and are even able to trace it right back to the individual tree. Through experimental whisky maturation and analytical trials, we can assess how the different variables – including growing conditions, drying and wood seasoning, oak type, coopering skills and heat treatment – can impact the flavour of the resulting whisky and there is a myriad of exciting flavour profiles to explore.”
As the programme develops, the adoption of Scottish Oak will grow to support local businesses and craftspeople and stimulate demand for traditional skills from forestry management to coopering, alongside apprenticeships and shared learning.
Glass’ vision looks not only to sourcing oak for cask production, but to encouraging a circular economy and future-proofing Scottish Oak for the next generation of whisky makers. To that end, the programme has developed a planting scheme which has already seen over 15,000 trees replanted across Scotland, while looking to establish dedicated oak forests.
In 2019, Whyte & Mackay’s experimental arm, Whisky Works, launched its first Scottish Oak part-finished expression suitably named ‘King of Trees’. The 10-year-old blended Highland malt was created using wood from two 200-year-old wind-felled Scottish Oak tree to make one cask. The whisky maker is set to announce a second Scottish Oak release under its Fettercairn brand later this year.
The Scottish Oak Programme is one part of Whyte & Mackay’s commitment to a sustainable future for whisky making. The whisky maker’s sustainability agenda is to be published in an upcoming Green Pr
WELCOME TO WAREHOUSE 14
It’s with great pride that we release the newest batch from our limited Warehouse Collection. Join us, as we invite you to step inside a new warehouse to explore even more rare treasures.
This is your advanced sneak peak into the latest Fettercairn release, so keep an eye on our socials for the official release, and your chance to get your hands on a bottle of this exquisite spirit.
In each of our 14 dunnage-style warehouses, high humidity and cooler temperatures mix in a variety of different ways for a variety of different flavours. All our warehouses produce whiskies which are both quintessentially Fettercairn, in our tropical house flavour, and yet totally unique.
These limited releases showcase new and innovative maturation methods and flavours. For instance, warehouse 14 – where this particular new expression was born – is on the opposite side of the distillery from our previous release, looking out on the Cairngorms. Here, the whisky is more exposed to the elements and changing seasons, which has had a profound effect on the flavour of this expression.
OUR STILLS. OUR STYLE.
As you may already know, Fettercairn whisky is defined by its tropical house style, which comes partly from our unique copper cooling ring.
This ring sits at the top of our stills, drenching them with crystal clear mountain water, cooling the copper so only the finest vapours rise. This piece of ingenuity has become a defining feature of our distillery and our flavour.
THE FINER POINTS
Fettercairn Warehouse 14 has been matured in a handpicked selection of exbourbon barrels, before being finished in beer casks sourced from the finest local craft producers.
Created initially as an experiment by Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass and his team, the recipe merged a fine balance of three different beer barrels – stout, dark ale, and pale ale. These all offer different complementary characteristics, depth, flavour, and complexity to our tropical house style.
Natural, shimmering gold.
Vanilla, myriads of enticing tropical fruits, honey and floral charm.
Warm, toasted maltiness, tropical fruits with layers of crème caramel, apricot tart, cacao, soft wood spices, and pleasing nutty notes.