Fettercairn Distillery

  • Scotland
  • 2021 Gold ISC Award, 2020 Double Gold ISC Award, 2020 Gold ISC Awards
  • https://www.fettercairnwhisky.com/
Phone Number
  • +441561340205
  • Distillery Rd, Fettercairn, Laurencekirk AB30 1YB, United Kingdom

Fettercairn distillery exterior with distinctive pagoda roof.

History of Fettercairn Distillery

The Fettercairn Distillery, founded in 1824 by Sir Alexander Ramsay, has a rich history intertwined with the evolution of Scotch Whisky distillation. Ramsay, a Scottish landowner, was instrumental in campaigning for the licensing of Scotch Whisky distillation. 

Upon obtaining a license, he established the Fettercairn distillery, notably recruiting former illegal whisky makers for their expertise.

In 1829, the distillery’s location, Ramsay’s Fasque estate, was sold to the Gladstone family. William Gladstone, a member of this family and a four-time British Prime Minister, played a significant role in supporting the Scotch Whisky industry. 

He abolished malt taxes and the Angel’s Share, and introduced legislation that allowed Scotch to be sold in glass bottles for the first time, revolutionizing the industry.

The distillery’s innovative spirit was further highlighted in the 1950s with the introduction of the cooling ring. 

This invention involved pouring water down the still to cool the copper, allowing only the lightest vapours to rise for collection.

This unique method, which remains a distinctive feature of Fettercairn’s whisky-making process, was aimed at creating a purer expression of their spirit.

Distillation Process at Fettercairn Distillery

The distillation process at Fettercairn Distillery is distinguished by its unique approach, contributing significantly to the tropical character of its Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Central to this process is the use of a cooling ring, a novel innovation in whisky making.

Located in the foothills of Scotland’s Cairngorms, Fettercairn utilizes crystal-clear mountain water not only as a key ingredient but also as a cooling agent for its copper stills.

This water is poured down the outside of the stills from the cooling ring, creating more condensation within. This technique ensures that only the finest vapours rise to the top for collection, capturing the purest expression of the whisky’s character.

Over the years, as the cooling water cascades down the copper, the stills acquire a lush teal color, a unique feature in the world of whisky making. This distinct color is celebrated in every bottle and carton of Fettercairn whisky.

After distillation, the whisky is matured in hand-selected casks, carefully chosen to complement and honor the tropical new make spirit.

These casks are then stored in one of Fettercairn’s 14 dunnage warehouses, where the whisky is allowed to rest and mature, developing its full flavor profile.



Awards Won by Fettercairn Distillery

2021 Gold ISC Award: The Fettercairn 28 Years Old Highland Single Malt Whisky received the Gold award from the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) in 2021.

2020 Double Gold ISC Award: The Fettercairn 46 Years Old Highland Single Malt Whisky was awarded the Double Gold at the ISC in 2020. 

This particular whisky, distilled in 1973, showcases the distillery’s skill in creating excellent older age expressions. Its unique maturation process involved American white oak ex-Bourbon barrels and Tawny Port Pipes, contributing to its complex flavor profile.

2020 Gold ISC Awards: In the same year, the Fettercairn 40 Years Old and the Fettercairn 28 Years Old Highland Single Malt Whiskies also received Gold awards at the ISC.

2020 Gold ISC Award: Additionally, the Fettercairn 16 Years Old Highland Single Malt Whisky was honored with a Gold award at the ISC in 2020​​​​.

Fettercairn Distillery Tour Information and Experience

  1. Fettercairn Tour: Priced at £15 per person, this tour includes two drams of Fettercairn Whisky (15ml measures each). It’s a great way to get introduced to the distillery’s offerings.
  2. Enlightened Tour: For a more in-depth experience, the Enlightened Tour is available at £50 per person. This tour includes four drams of Fettercairn Whisky (15ml measures each), allowing for a broader tasting experience.

Additional Information

  • Tour Duration: Each tour and tasting session lasts approximately 1 hour.
  • Children’s Entry: Children aged 8 years to under 18 are welcome at a cost of £7.50 per child. The minimum age for entry is 8 years old.
  • Booking: Visitors are encouraged to book their tours in advance to ensure availability.

The distillery has recently reopened its newly refurbished visitor center, offering guests a closer look at their whisky-making process. During the tour, visitors can learn about the intricate details of whisky production and enjoy a dram of Fettercairn alongside whisky experts.

Flask & Barrel Review of Fettercairn Distillery

As a seasoned whisky collector who’s seen more distillery tours than I can count, my recent visit to Fettercairn Distillery was an absolute treat. Nestled in the picturesque Scottish Highlands, this place oozes charm and craftsmanship.

The tour itself was a blend of tradition and innovation, showcasing their unique whisky-making process. The highlight? Getting a glimpse of their aged expressions, especially the Fettercairn 46 Years Old – a testament to their aging prowess.

Tasting these whiskies was like a journey through time. Each sip of their aged varieties revealed layers of complexity, with flavors that lingered delightfully. The staff’s passion for their craft was infectious, adding a personal touch to the whole experience.

Sure, it’s not perfect – the tour felt a bit rushed, and I would’ve loved to dive deeper into their history. But the quality of their whisky more than makes up for it. Fettercairn’s commitment to excellence shines through in every bottle.

It’s a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast. Solid 4.7 out of 5 from this whisky buff!

What To Do Nearby Fettercairn Distillery

  1. Fasque Castle and Cottages: This historic site is a great place to explore if you’re into castles and Scottish history. It’s a short distance from the distillery and offers a glimpse into the region’s past.
  2. Encore Dress and Vintage Agency: If you’re into vintage finds, this antique shop is a must-visit. It’s a neat place to browse through some unique items and maybe pick up a souvenir or two.
  3. Fettercairn Royal Arch: For a bit of local history and architecture, check out this historic landmark. It’s pretty close to the distillery and makes for a great photo op.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Fettercairn Distillery?

  • The Arch Cafe & Bistro: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441561340592. Their address is The Arch Cafe and Bistro, Main St, Fettercairn, Laurencekirk AB30 1XX, United Kingdom.
  • Hickory Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441356622383. Their address is Trinity, Brechin Golf Course, Trinity, Brechin DD9 7PD, United Kingdom.
  • The Tuck Inn: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441356648262. Their address is 44 High St, Edzell, Brechin DD9 7TA, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Fettercairn Distillery?

  • The Panmure Arms Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441356648950. Their address is 52 High St, Edzell, Brechin DD9 7TA, United Kingdom.
  • Northern Hotel: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441356625400. Their address is 2 Clerk St, Brechin DD9 6AE, United Kingdom.
  • OYO The Hillside Hotel: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441674830230. Their address is Kinnaber Rd, Hillside, Montrose DD10 9HE, United Kingdom.