The Glenturret claims to be the oldest working distillery in Scotland, a hotly contested title as it is so difficult to prove. The site of the distillery certainly seems to have been used for distilling as early as 1763, when it was known as Thurot Distillery, and some accounts even suggest there was illegal distillation happening there as early as 1717. However, licensed distilling on the site only started in 1818, when John Drummond began making whisky.
Unlike many small Perthshire distilleries of that period, this one survived the trials of the 19th century, and in 1875, it changed its name to The Glenturret, taking the name from a nearby distillery which had failed 20 years previously. The downturn of the 1920s hit the distillery hard, and in 1928, The Glenturret was emptied and turned into farm buildings. It remained closed for 30 years until the intervention of James Fairlie, who bought and refurbished the distillery with new buildings and completely new equipment in the late 1950s.
The distillery was, for a decade, part of Rémy Cointreau (1981-1993), before joining Highland Distillers (now Edrington). In 2002, Edrington invested £2.2 million in upgrading the visitor facilities and creating what they called ‘The Famous Grouse Experience’.
The Famous Grouse flew The Glenturret nest in 2019, when The Glenturret was purchased in a joint venture led by The Lalique Group, a French Luxury lifestyle company which saw a fresh new visual identity for the brand. This change came with a new range of six single malts crafted by whisky maker Bob Dalgarno, released in September 2020.
The Glenturret is also famous for Towser, the distillery cat, who entered the Guinness Book of Records in the 1980s and was estimated to have killed nearly 29,000 mice in her lifetime of over two decades.Show more