Fettercairn Distillery Unveils Extraordinary '200th Anniversary Collection’ To Celebrate Bicentenary

Fettercairn Distillery Unveils Extraordinary '200th Anniversary Collection’ To Celebrate Bicentenary

Highland Distillery Fettercairn have today announced the release of their ‘200th Anniversary Collection’ to mark their bicentenary, of which just 10 sets will be available around the world.

Fettercairn’s ‘200th Anniversary Collection’ comprises of six bottles of Single Malt, ranging from a very rare 60 Years Old to a 3 Years Old – the rarest in the collection, with the full set enjoying a combined age of 200 years. The whiskies will be housed in a stunning, tailor-made, hand-crafted Scottish Oak display cabinet which together, is set to make for a true collector’s piece.

This very special collection and exquisite cabinet not only houses two centuries of imaginative whisky making, but celebrates Fettercairn’s values and ethos – to do things differently and naturally ask ‘what if’.

Back in 1824, Fettercairn’s founder Sir Alexander Ramsey asked ‘what if’ there was an opportunity to turn illegal distillation in the early 19th century, into an opportunity for jobs and commerce. He campaigned to licence Scotch Whisky distillation and in 1824, was one of the first to apply and Fettercairn distillery was opened.

This philosophy of ‘purposeful invention’ has naturally continued over the last 200 years of whisky making at Fettercairn and as we look towards the future, this can be found in many aspects of what we do. Fettercairn’s famed copper cooling ring was an innovation created by former distillery manager Alistair Menzies who asked ‘what if’ there was a way to create a lighter spirit. Still in place to this day, Fettercairn’s unique tropical house style is created by drenching the outside of the stills in fresh mountain water.

More recently as they look to the next 200 years and beyond, Gregg Glass, master whisky maker asked ‘what if’ we could use fallen Scottish oak trees in production, leading to the creation of the multi-award-winning Scottish Oak Programme. Distillery manager Stewart Walker led the development of the Fettercairn 200 Club, a coalition between Fettercairn, Baird’s Malts andlocal farmers who provide 100% local barely from within a 50 mile radius, an industry first and the response to asking ‘what if’ we used only local materials from the rich and fertile landscape that surrounds the distillery.

This ethos is exemplified through Fettercairn’s 200thAnniversary Collection, with each of the six bottles included, an expression of Fettercairn’s curiosity throughout the ages and markers of important distillery milestones.

The 60 Year Old is the oldest release not only in the collection, but to date from Fettercairn and their treasure trove of remarkable stocks. 1964 is also the year of birth of distillery manager Stewart Walker, who has been with Fettercairn for 35 years, embodying the ‘what if’ attitude now and for the future.

Recognising investment for the future, the 49 Year Old 1973 marks the building of the last dunnage warehouse at Fettercairn, marking the confidence and longevity of the distillery. This warehouse was built at a time when the industry overall was downsizing, yet Fettercairn forged forward, committed to a bigger future.

 

1988 marks the retirement of Fettercairn’s longest serving distillery manager, Douglas Cooper, who was part of the team that introduced the copper cooling ring.  Douglas has left a legacy at Fettercairn, not just with the innovation of the copper cooling ring, still in place to this day, but with this special 35 Year Old whisky.

A passion project of Fettercairn’s pioneering master whisky maker, Gregg Glass is the 28 Year Old from 1995.  This whisky perfectly embodies his philosophy of cask selection to create a spirit of true distinction. Gregg has personally attended to this whisky every month, assessing, nurturing and working with a complex selection of casks to get the desired flavour.

The 25 Year Old from 1998 is a perfectly balanced representation of Fettercairn’s tropical house style and flavour-led whisky making. This whisky uses ex-cognac casks, in what Gregg feels is one of his most fascinating discoveries at Fettercairn as it perfectly showcases what is possible with the tropical house style.

 

Completing the collection is the 3 Year Old from 2021, when Fettercairn launched an industry first – The Scottish Oak programme. Recognised as a major innovation in the whisky industry, Fettercairn’s Scottish Oak programme ultimately aims to create a circular economy using locally grown Scottish Oak, which can impart incredible flavours to whisky. This project included the planting of the Fettercairn Forest, which in the next 200 years will allow people to enjoy Fettercairn whisky that has been matured in casks, from the trees planted within sight of the distillery itself.

Fettercairn’s passion and belief in Scottish Oak continues to the beautiful cabinet itself, which is made from the wood. Brass, copper and patina touches also feature subtly in the design, in a nod to the distillery’s trademark cooling ring. Each bespoke, hand finished bottle nestles on an individual coaster,  depicting the tasting notes for the whisky that sits upon it. 

The ten cabinets have been built by famed maker John Galvin, with the project two years in the making. The cabinet concept reflects the natural beauty of Fettercairn, in rural Aberdeenshire, and off the traditional ‘map of Scotch Whisky’. It was inspired by the tree canopy hereand how dappled light shines through, something that will continue as the Fettercairn Forest grows. In using native Scottish Oak, each cabinet although unified in overall design and signed by Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass, will be completely unique due to the natural wood used.

Gregg Glass, master whisky maker at Fettercairn said:

“At Fettercairn, for Stewart, Bruce, and everyone at the Distillery, we recognise the importance of what came before through 200 years of whisky making here. However, it is the work we are doing today, that will ensure we have 200 years to come of fantastic whisky making. In fact in this collection, we have hand-selected casks to mark key moments in our past and our future. The Fettercairn 60 year old is incredible, and a marker of the care that was taken here to nurture this whisky whilst it lay resting in our warehouse. The Fettercairn 3 year old – Scottish Oak – is marker not only of the cask, but a reminder too of the type of whisky making we do here – hands-on as makers from acorn, to cask, to glass. This collection captures the spirit of all of us at Fettercairn – and that is why we are particularly proud of it.

 

Stewart Walker, distillery manager at Fettercairn added: “At Fettercairn, we are constantly curious, looking for new or different ways to make things work. That has always been the way and that attitude has very naturally been passed down over the years. We see imagination as possibility and something to nurture and I believe that shines through in our whisky.”

“To lead Fettercairn into their 200th year feels like a rare gift and a privilege. The Fettercairn 200thAnniversary Collection has been a joy to create alongside Gregg and my wider team. I have loved going through our treasure trove of casks to find just the right whiskies to mark this momentous occasion and reliving the stories that come with each special bottle.”

Just ten sets of The Fettercairn 200th Anniversary Collection will be available from September 2024 at a price of £100,000. These collectors’ items will be available in select key locations around the world, including Taiwan, Singapore, UK, France and Canada.


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