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Glenturret claims to be the oldest active distillery in Scotland, but as with many stories rooted in the murky depths of history, the truth is a bit more complicated. Distilling HAS been practiced in the Crieff area since 1775, with the Hosh distillery located on the site of what is today Glenturret. Evidence of illegal distilling dates back even farther to 1717. (There was also a nearby unrelated distillery using the name Glenturret from 1826 until the Hosh distillery bought the rights in 1875.) Glenturret ceased production in 1923, a victim of Prohibition, and remained closed for over 30 years until James Fairlie bought and refurbished the distillery in the late ‘50s. With new buildings and new equipment, Scotland’s oldest (or perhaps among the newest - depending on who you ask!) distillery was back in operation, and today is thriving. It’s best known as the site of the Famous Grouse Experience, a visitor center for blended scotch The Famous Grouse, which is where most of Glenturret’s limited output ends up. A lesser amount is released as a single malt, usually as a 10 or 12 year old bottling. However we were lucky to get our hands on this one, which spent 27 years aging in oak casks. It unfurls layers of fresh grass, cracked pepper, nuts, and spice - all together a truly distinctive sipping whisky.
Unrelated to its whisky, Glenturret is also famous for Towser, the distillery cat, who entered the Guinness Book of Records in the ‘80s for killing nearly 29,000 mice in her 23 year lifetime (although we’re not sure who was counting!)