Visiting Fettercairn Distillery and the launch of the 2023 18 Year Old

PR invite // All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

Fettercairn Distillery has just launched their new batch of 18 Year Old and I was invited to the distillery for the launch. I’d never been before so was really curious to see it all.

Fettercairn Distillery

Fettercairn Distillery is located about a 45 minute drive from Aberdeen in between Stonehaven and Montrose.

Upon arrival we were treated to a lovely breakfast, from the Gannet team, who also set up our lunch later in the day for us. The visitor centre is bright and has a mix of copper and teal details which brings the branding all together. I’m sure many of you already know but the teal in the Fettercairn branding is representing oxidised copper which you can often come across at distilleries – one good example can be seen in my photo of the stills.

We got to have a tour around the distillery with Distillery Manager Stewart Walker and Assistant Distillery Manager Bruce Aitken (who also holds the current world record in the Highland Games light hammer throw, throwing the 7.25kg hammer 47.76m, and the record still stands since it was set in 2000). We tried a dram of the Fettercairn 12 Year Old by the wash backs – and it’s such a pineapple-y fresh whisky, which suits a nice summers day so well. My highlight of the distillery tour was seeing the stills, as it’s the first time I see a water jacket on a still in real life. The water jacket encourages reflux which results in a lighter style of spirit as more of the lighter vapours make it across the swan neck, whilst the heavier ones fall back down into the still. It’s also quite mesmerising to look at and I’ve got a lovely video of it which will be up on Instagram soon.

After our tour we enjoyed a tasting of the 2023 Fettercairn 18 Year Old whisky, hosted by brand ambassador Andrew Lennie. The 18 year old has been matured in first fill and refill ex-bourbon casks before being finished in responsibly sourced Scottish Oak. It was a lovely rich expression with that tropical spirit underneath a cask influence of spices, almost a chocolate tone and mature fruits.

After the tasting we travelled a short distance to be nearby to the Fettercairn Forest, but more on that in a wee bit, as lunch waited in the little Fettercairn Cottage. We had some delightful cocktails and a lovely lunch with salad, sausage rolls, wonderful focaccia and charcuteries which was perfect in between drams. And now back to the Fettercairn Forest as we headed across to the area where Fettercairn has planted oak trees, which will hopefully stand the test of time so that in the future there’s a new little forest right here behind the distillery. We also tried a little spirit sample by these little oak trees and the thought of trying something that needs so much time and patience, right by saplings that will take more than a hundred years to grow tall is quite mind blowing…

Last but not least we were treated to a warehouse tasting with Stewart and Bruce, where we tried a variety of whiskies from ex-beer casks, ex-bourbon and ex-Ardbeg casks which were all really interesting.

Dinner at Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish

The day wasn’t over yet as a dinner at Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish in Aberdeen awaited that evening. I’ve heard so much about this restaurant and I was so excited to check it out. What made it even better was that the different courses were paired with Fettercairn whiskies and I’m such a big fan of trying whiskies with foods. It’s such an interesting way of exploring flavours.

The stand out dishes for me were the incredibly tender roe deer that we had with the Fettercairn 16 and the mint chocolate chip ice cream with valhrona chocolate mousse which was served with a dram of Fettercairn 22. I just love chocolate mousse – it is one of my all time favourite desserts. I’ll definitely be back to Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish in the future to try more wonderful food!

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Check out my Instagram @swedishwhiskygirl or @scandinavianabroad to see even more photos and follow along on future adventures.

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Moa Nilsson

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