Fettercairn distillery

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Entrance of the Fettercairn distillery
Entrance of the distillery
Region: Highland
Location Fettercairn Coordinates: 56°51′13″N 2°34′57″W / 56.8535°N 2.5825°W / 56.8535; -2.5825
Owner Whyte & Mackay
Founded 1824
Founder James Durie
Status Open
Water source Sources on the Grampian mountains
Number of stills Two wash (12,800 l), two spirit (12,800 l)[1]
Capacity 1,600,000 litres of pure alcohol per year
Mothballed 1926 to 1939
Old Fettercairn (abandoned in 2002)
Type Highland
Age(s) 10 years old
Fettercairn 1824 (replaces Old Fettercairn since 2002)
Type Highland
Age(s) 12 years old
ABV 40%

Fettercairn is whisky distillery in Fettercairn. It was founded in 1824 on the land of Fasque estate in a converted corn mill[2] by the estate's owner Sir Alexander Ramsay,[3] shortly after the Customs and Excise Act 1823 drastically reduced excise on whisky production under management of James Durie.[4] The licencee was James Stewart & Co.[3] Durie later acquired the distillery himself, and operated it until his death in 1854.[4] The distillery was then known as Nethermill.[3] The stills were replaced in 1832 with stills of the Shand's type, similar to Lomond type stills. These stills have necks that can be fitted with plates on different heights to influence the degree of distillation.[3]


After James Durie's death, his son David Durie acquired the distillery, and operated it until the distillery was destroyed in a fire in 1887.[5][4] In 1890, The Fettercairn Distillery Co. - a joint-stock company - was created with Sir John Gladstone as its president to resume production.[6] It was rebuilt and extended in 1891,[4] and continued production until 1926, when it was closed down.[2]

The distillery resumed production when it was bought by Associated Scottish Distilleries Ltd, a subsidiary of Train & McIntyre Ltd. owned by National Distillers of America in 1939.[7]

Fettercairn closed its malting facilities in 1960, and expanded in 1966 from one wash and one spirit still to two wash and two stills of 12,800 litres,[5][3] bringing its production capacity to the current level of 1,600,000 litres of pure alcohol per year.[7] From 1971, the distillery changed ownership several times. After a range of takeovers and mergers, it finally becomes part of Whyte & Mackay Ltd. in 2001, which itself was bought by Vijay Mallya in 2007.[7]


  1. ^ The Fettercairn distillery on whisky.com
  2. ^ a b Brown, Gordon M. (2000). The Whisky Trails: A Traveller's Guide to Scotch Whisky. Prion Books. ISBN 1-85375-403-X. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Old Fettercairn" (in Dutch). whiskybarplaza.nl. 
  4. ^ a b c d Cameron Archibald Cowie (1899). The History Of Fettercairn, A Parish In The County Of Kincardine. ISBN 1-172-09848-4. 
  5. ^ a b Helen Arthur (2002) [1997]. The single malt companion (in Dutch). translated by Liesbeth Machielsen. Libero. p. 196. ISBN 90-5764-236-0. 
  6. ^ "Fettercairn Distillery:Nestled at the foot of Grampian Mountains". forwhiskeylovers.com. 
  7. ^ a b c Johannes van den Heuvel. "(Old) Fettercairn distillery profile". maltmadness.com.