This is one of those understated Eastern Highlands malt distilleries which has been around a long time, mainly providing spirit for the blenders but which comes up with the occasional surprise single malt bottling.
Recently expanding its production capacity to 3.2 million litres a year, Fettercairn is at the heart of the blends of Whyte & Mackay. The latter acquired the distillery in 1973, on taking over the then owners, Hay & MacLeod & Co and W.S. Strong & Co., who had formed a partnership to buy Fettercairn in 1971. Prior to that it had had a long and somewhat chequered history, including fire and periods of closure, going back to its foundation in 1825. It was sold five years later and had a variety of owners, including Sir John Gladstone, the father of the long-serving British Prime Minister, Sir William Gladstone. Ross and Coulter bought it in 1923 but closed it a few years later. There were several subsequent ownership changes until Whyte & Mackay took over and a new era emerged, culminating in Emperador Distillers Inc buying the Whyte & Mackay assets in 2014.