With tasting notes from the Whisky maker of vibrant lemon zest sings, harmonised with toffee apple and notes of spice and a soft baritone of oak in the background. Glenturret knows the value of refill casks. Much is said about the importance of first fill sherry oak but much less about the casks that hold their second fill of spirit. The 15 years old is driven by refill wood where the oak notes step back and allow the original character of the spirit to sing. Delicate notes of citrus fruit and vanilla echo the new make spirit which flowed from the stills all those years ago. This single malt is created with the honesty to allow the spirit to tell its story, gently encouraged by the understated refill casks. Natural In Colour And Non-Chill-Filtered.
Glenturret. One of the smallest Scottish distilleries. A bold claimant to being Scotland’s oldest distillery (it is clear on their labels).
Tucked in a pretty glen just an hour by road from Edinburgh or Glasgow. The distillery itself is on the banks of the River Turret, near Crieff, in Perthshire. A tributary of the River Tay, the River Turret has always provided the distillery with an unparalleled source of water. In its Latin form ‘Torreglen’, Glenturret means land of the rushing stream. Under the previous owners, The Edrington Group, a proportion of Glenturret was said to be included in the “recipe” for The Famous Grouse. Given the size of the distillery and the sales of Famous Grouse, it must have been a very a small amount. This is where Glenturret has got its reputation as a visitor centre.
There are records of illicit whisky making in the neighbourhood at least as early as 1717, and some of the buildings on the present site date from 1775. In 1763, a rental document of Sir Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre refers to Thurot Distillery, the earliest known name for Glenturret. The Murrays of Ochtertyre were a Baronial family that owned extensive lands and property that they would rent out to tenants. This is the earliest known record of The Glenturret giving confidence to state that The Glenturret is Scotland’s Oldest Working Distillery. The site was said to known amongst the locals as The Hosh, Gaelic for ‘foot’, from “cois”, and was for a time owned by Thomas MacInnes and then the Drummond family. This early history has allowed Glenturret to claim that it is the oldest distillery in Scotland, a title contested by other distilleries, in particular Littlemill and Strathisla.
Unlike many small Highland Perthshire distilleries of that period, it survived the troubles of the 19th century. Licensed distilling on the site only started in 1818 when John Drummond began making whisky. It was taken over by John McCallum in 1845, until 1875 when Thomas Stewart took it over and renamed it Glenturret in its centenary year – taking the name from a nearby distillery which had failed 20 years previously.
The distillery was, unfortunately, dismantled in the 1928, much like many distilleries in the hard 1920s. It was then revived in 1959 by a noted whisky enthusiast, James Fairlie who had the idea of building a new plant inside the old buildings. He bought the stills and mash tun from Tullibardine (which was being refitted) and got Glenturret up and running once more in 1960, in time to take advantage of the upturn in whisky’s fortunes. Fairlie and his son Peter also saw the potential in whisky tourism and soon opened a visitor centre – the second distillery to do so.
It was acquired in 1981 by Cointreau, the French liqueur company, and became part of Highland Distillers (now Edrington) in 1990, who, in 2002, radically transformed the visitor centre into The Famous Grouse Experience. In June 2018, Edrington announced that, along with Cutty Sark, Glenturret was up for sale. Six months later, it was sold to Glenturret Holding, a joint venture between luxury goods business Lalique Group and Swiss entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss, Lalique’s second-largest shareholder (and part of the reason why the bottles are so nice). The sale signalled the end for The Famous Grouse Experience in its current form and location.
Single malt bottlings of Glenturret have been rare in the past. However, in September 2020, after more than 250 years of distilling, the new owners have now launched a new range of single malts in 2020, overseen by former Macallan colleagues Bob Dalgarno (Glenturret master blender) and Ken Grier (strategic consultant). An era-defining moment that unites Glenturret’s contemporary elegance with the distillery’s long-standing reputation for traditional craftsmanship.
There are no reviews yet.