Fetter cairn Distillery was founded in 1824 by Alexander Ramsay on the site of a former corn mill in the beautiful rolling hills of Kincardineshire. After losing his fortune, Alexander was forced to sell the estate to the Gladstone family in 1830. John Gladstone’s son William Gladstone, went on to become Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer and was instrumental in passing various reforms on the taxation of whisky. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Fetter Cain in 1861 during one of their Scottish tours. The distillery was rebuilt in 1890 after a fire and extended to four stills in 1966. It has white-washed Victorian stone buildings with a single pagoda chimney above the former malt barn. It draws its water from the Cnoc Calma (Sturdy Hill) spring in the Grampian mountains and its cooling water from Stankeye lake, and it uses lightly peated and median peated barley. A traditional distillery, it operated a copper-domed cast-iron mash tun, eight Oregon pine washbacks and four small pot stills. The spirit stills have unique waterfalls cascading down their necks to cool the vapours and increase reflux, resulting in a light clean spirit. The whisky is matured in American Oak bourbon casks, European oak sherry casks and refills, stored in warehouses at the distillery, the oldest Fettercairn casks being 1962. The arch and the unicorn are two symbols that are heavily associated with Fettercairn. The unicorn is said to stand for purity and strength and has been a symbol of Scotland since the reign of King Robert III. It is also used within the Ramsay clan crest, of which the founder Alexander Ramsay brought with him to the distillery.