Glenturret Stillhouse

The Glenturret Distillery

Tracing its origins to an illicit still from the 1760’s nicknamed the Hosh, (the ‘foot’ of the valley in Gaelic) the Glenturret holds the coveted title of Scotland’s oldest distillery. It became an official licensed distillery in 1818 under the ownership of John Drummond. Originally, a farm distillery, the Glenturret holds true to its Highland farm roots, also remaining one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries.

Throughout the years, the site went through many trials and tribulations, including a total dismantlation in the 1920’s. The late 1950’s brought opportunist James Fairlie to the Glenturret and the distillery was revitalized with the old Tullibardine still and mash tun, as the neighboring Highland distillery was going through its own revitalization. A true pioneer in the whisky industry, Fairlie recognized the importance of sharing the whisky making experience with the end customer and opened the second ever Scottish distillery visitor center. Throughout most of the 2000’s, the Glenturret distillery was renowned as the Famous Grouse Experience, then owner Edrington Group’s blended malt.

This brings us to the current era and perhaps the most interesting of the Glenturret. Sold to a joint venture between luxury brand owner, Lalique and Swiss entrepreneur Hansjorg Wyss, the group brought in heavy hitters from the Macallan to re-imagine the brand and introduce it is as a luxury scotch, on par with the Macallan, to a new generation. Gone are the marketing quirks and tacky t-shirts for the Famous Grouse and in its place is the first Michelin starred restaurant within a distillery.  Most recently, the restaurant has been awarded a second Michelin star! A 16-course tasting menu is available for dinner, while an ala carte lunch menu offers a little bit of everything. Reservations are a must!

On to the whisky - the team has added the Glenturret to the short list of prestigious Scottish single malts. For a distillate that for most of its existence was primarily a blending component, its single malts exhibit a flavor profile that’s both light and intense at the same time. Ruadh Maor, translating to Big Red, is Glenturret’s peated malt, a surprising but delicious Highland peated malt. As the current owners continue to ramp up global promotions, we can only expect that these single malts continue to increase in demand and price.

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