The Fettercairn distillery was founded in 1824 by Sir Alexander Ramsey. Ramsey was one of the people who had campaigned for the licensing of whisky making, turning away from the illicit distilling..
As with a few other distilleries of the era Sir Alexander Ramsey happily employed staff who had previously been involved with making illegal whisky, helping them to make an honest living in order to help produce a better product.
The distillery was sold along with the land to the Gladstone family who’s most famous member might be William Gladstone who became the British prime minister.. Gladstone was responsible for the abolishment of taxes on the Angels share and instead allowed it to be sold by glass bottles..
The distillery is forced to close due to fire in 1887 but re opens a few years later only to close its doors again in 1912 due to liquidation..
Mothballed in 1926 it remains closed until 1939 when bought by Associated Scottish Distillers ltd.
In 1952 a cooling ring was added to the spirit still in order to cool down the outside of the neck which in turn increased the condensation inside and only allowed the lighter vapour to rise and escape into the condenser..
The distillery stops production of its own malting floor and soon after increases production with the addition of 2 more stills..
Today the distillery has the capacity to produce 3.2 million litres from its 2 sets of stills, a Buhler which is only 4 years old and so very different to the typical Porteus mills we generally see…11 wooden washbacks ( mostly replaced but No 1 and No2 are around 40 years and will be replaced shortly ) a 5 ton mash tun ( copper ) and generally has a 56 hour fermentation time..
22 year old Fettercairn
Age.. 22 years
Casks.. Ex Bourbon
Nose.. Apples and pears mix with pineapple, kiwi and peach, add a little honey, freshly cut grass, digestive biscuits, citrus peels and lemon drizzle cake..
Palate.. Pepper and fresh ginger bring a spiciness that soon leads into fresh fruits, weak coffee and apple pie with cinnamon, vanilla custard and a topping of burnt sugar..
Finish.. Spicy with a twist of citrus.
Thoughts.. There’s a lovely rich sweetness to this which blends so well with the spices and tropical fruitiness.. That extra Abv helps a lot with bringing the flavours and aromas out whilst still remaining very approachable.
Add to this the intriguing techniques in the production and Fettercairn suddenly becomes that little bit more special..
A delightful easy going, well balanced whisky that impresses..
Sample provided by Fettercairn.