As Scotland’s oldest distillery, Glenturret has had a long and colourful history. From illicit stills and smugglers, through the worldwide boom in Scottish whisky to near dereliction post-prohibition, the site here at Glenturret has survived through the centuries. Glenturret was established as a single malt distillery in 1775, using the pure waters of The Turret Burn and traditional distillation methods and equipment. After the economic depression of the late 1830s, the sole survivor of the many bothy distilleries that had flanked the Turret Burn was Glenturret. Eventually trade improved, and we know the owner in 1870, a Mr Thomas Stewart, made full use of a period of growth and expansion in the Scotch whisky industry and enlarged the plant, machinery and warehouses.
All went well until 1920, when prohibition in the United States was responsible for a drastic drop in sales, and The Distillery fell silent in 1921. The long closure and neglect of The Distillery caused considerable dilapidation at the site.
However in 1957, James Fairlie purchased the Glenturret Distillery and began its revival. By June 1960, whisky was again in production and used to supply blenders. As time went by, the company decided to lay down spirit for eventual sale as a single malt of varying maturity. Inevitably finances were strained by the need to invest in such slow moving stock. In 1981, one of Glenturret's customers, Cointreau et Cie, came to the rescue with an attractive offer for The Distillery and the new owners brought considerable expansion and investment. In 1990, ownership passed to Highland Distillers.