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  • Gemma D.

Fettercairn 16 years old (3rd Release)

In the world of Scotch whisky, there lies a story. A secret waiting to be revealed. Today on the blog, I'm taking a trip down the whisky trail to uncover the mystical story behind Fettercairn 16 Years Old, limited release Single Malt.

A rich history

Fettercairn Distillery was founded in 1824 by Sir Alexander Ramsay, a landowner who wanted to take advantage of the recently passed Excise Act of 1823, which made it easier and more affordable to obtain a license for producing spirits. The distillery is located in the small village of Fettercairn in the northeastern part of Scotland's Highlands, near the Cairngorms National Park.

Thankfully, Ramsay was a savvy businesswoman who hired illegal whisky producers to work as his first stillmen despite his advocacy for regulation. Only they, he realized, possessed the information and abilities he required in order to create excellent whisky.

Initially, Fettercairn was a small operation, producing whisky primarily for local consumption. However, over time, the distillery expanded, and its reputation grew. In the late 19th century, Fettercairn was purchased by John Gladstone, a prominent businessman and member of Parliament. Gladstone invested heavily in the distillery, installing new equipment and upgrading the facilities.

Fettercairn Distillery was purchased by Whyte & Mackay in 1973 and has stayed a part of the business ever since.


Two emblems that are closely related to Fettercairn are the arch and the unicorn. For Fettercairn Distillery, the unicorn is an important symbol that represents the distillery's commitment to quality and tradition. The unicorn is featured prominently on the label of Fettercairn's 16 Year Old whisky, and it is said to symbolize the purity and quality of the whisky itself. According to the distillery, the unicorn represents "a purity of spirit, a tradition of excellence, and a mystical journey of discovery."

Limited Releases

In recent years, Fettercairn has been releasing more single malt expressions, including the popular 16 Year Old. Their first release of this unique batch came in 2020 and has seen 2 iterations ever since, leading to the bottle I will be drinking today, the 3rd release 16 Years old.

The 3rd Release was matured and finished on Sherry casks, a special selection 1st and 2nd fill of Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, and ex-Bourbon barrels.

On the nose, the whisky gives me lots of dried fruits, orange peel, and toffee, with a subtle hint of oak. On the palate, initially, there are notes of vanilla and toffee, followed by hints of chocolate and dried fruit. As the whisky develops you get that subtle spiciness, with hints of cinnamon and clove. The finish of the whisky is long and warming, with a subtle fruity, and nutty sweetness that lingers.


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