Glenturret distillery information
The Glenturret distillery was built at the site (Called “The Hosh”) of an illicit farm distillery using the name “Hosh” in 1775. Prior to the farm, there probably was whisky being distilled at the site as early as 1717. It obtained an official license in 1818, when John Drummond was running the distillery at the time. He continued distilling until he went bankrupt in 1842. He was succeeded by John McCallum in 1852, but he, too, ended up in financial trouble in 1874. The distillery was then purchased by Thomas Stewart, who renamed the distillery to Glenturret in 1875. Another distillery had used the name closeby, but that distillery went bust in the 1850s).
Stewart kept the distillery until 1903, and then sold it to Mitchell Brotherss. Ltd. They in turn eventually ended up closing the distillery in 1921. By 1929, Mitchell Brothers Ltd. went into liquidation, and the distillery was dismantled. In 1957, James Fairly buys the site, and starts renovating and adding (mostly second-hand) equipment. His goal was to preserve the original traditions of distilling malt whisky, and to develop its appreciation. The distillery starts distilling again in 1959 and reopens in 1960, and shortly after, Fairly started offering guided tours around Glenturret, even welcoming the then-prime minister Sir Alex Douglas-Home in 1964.
In 1981, Rémy Coinmtreau buys the distillery from Fairley, and promptly expand the visitor centre. In 1993, the distillery joined Highland Distilleries. Highland Distilleries in turn was bought by a partnership between the Edrington Group (who own The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, and Highland Park (among others), and William Grant & Sons (who owned Glenfiddich and Balvenie). In 2002, a new visitor centre was erected, to promote the Famous Grouse. Aptly named “The Famous Grouse experience”, it pulls in several hundred thousand visitors a years, most of whom will be oblivious to the distillery right next door.
I tried detailing the history of Glenturret as accurately as I could find it, and I hope this helps the reader to see whether or not Glenturret can hold claim to “The oldest distillery in Scotland”. The original distillery does share the location with the current one, though all actual equipment used was removed in 1929 when the distillery was dismantled. It’s up to you to decide whether or not this means the claim of 1775 being the founding year is legit or not. The former distillery cat, Towser, made it into the Guinness book of records for killing no less than 28,899 mice.
Most of the whisky will find its way into the Famous Grouse, though there have been a few official bottlings:
- 8 Years Old
- 10 Years Old
- 12 Years Old
- 15 Years Old
- 18 Years Old
- 21 Years Old
- 25 Years Old
- Famous Grouse Commonwealth Games 2014
- Single Cask 1991; 14 Year Old (released in 2007)
- Single Cask 1992; 15 Year Old (released in 2007)
- Single Cask 1977; 29 Year Old (released in 2007)
|Water source||Loch Turret|
|Owned by||Edrington Group|
+44 (0) 1764 656565
|Mash tun||1 tonnes||1 (open, manually stirred)|
|Washback||6,000 litres||8 (Douglas fir)|
|Wash still||12,600 litres||1|
|Spirit Still||6,800 litres||1|
|Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)||340,000|