The Fettercairn Distillery, together with Bairds Malt, recently launched the new Fettercairn 200 Club, a long-term partnership with Scottish barley growers all within 50 miles of the Highland Distillery.
The partners all live in the local farming community of Aberdeenshire.
A statement from Fettercairn notes that starting this summer, Club 200 members have pledged to supply the distillery with 100% of the barley needed to produce Fettercairn Single Malt Whisky.
The distiller says this will ensure end-to-end transparency of the highest quality locally sourced barley.
The launch of Club 200 is the final step in Fettercairn’s land stewardship vision for the next century, eventually enabling the production of its own single-origin single malt whisky.
In keeping with the desire for greater transparency in the industry, the Bairds Malt team are part of the club to help nurture the relationship between the distillery, the land and those who will define the future of whiskey made by Fettercairn.
The partnership celebration also marks the reopening of the Fettercairn Distillery Visitor Center after it was closed due to the pandemic and improvements made during its closure.
New improvements to the visitor center include an iconic new sculpture, Forest Flow, by environmental artist Rob Mulholland.
All of the new developments follow last year’s unveiling of Fettercairn Forest, which saw more than 13,000 young sessile oak trees Quercus petraea and Quercus robur planted alongside the distillery on the historic 8,500-meter Fasque estate. acres.
This work represents a broader commitment by Whyte & Mackay distillery owners to develop a sustainable future for responsibly sourced Scottish oak.
Stewart Walker, Distillery Manager of Fettercairn Distillery, said: “We talk about being progressive and defying convention and Club 200 really supports that commitment. Working with local farmers not only supports our vital community, but also ensures that the highest quality locally supplied barley is used in our unique distillation process while truly cementing our relationship with the land. We are delighted to look to the future in such a positive light and today marks a turning point for the future of Fettercairn, we look forward to welcoming our partners and visitors back to the distillery.
Charlie Strang Steel operates Sluie Farm in Aberdeenshire, less than 15 miles from Fettercairn. There, his family has been growing beef, wheat, oats and barley for three generations. He said he believed the time was right for this new initiative.
“It’s really important that the distillery uses Scottish barley from some of the incredible farms in the region, rather than taking it across the border or in a boat from elsewhere,” Steel said. . “We are able to grow quality assured Scottish crops to very high standards, especially as more and more people are looking for local produce. Scotch whiskey should use Scotch barley – it’s that simple for me and great to support local people and businesses.
David Innes and his son Matthew farm 560 acres at Mains of Fordoun where they grow spring barley, winter wheat and barley, rapeseed and seed potatoes.
“We’re quite proud to supply the distillery, it’s good to know that Fettercairn uses grain sourced from the immediate area…true to its nature and location,” Innes said. “We like the idea that if you give someone a bottle of whiskey you can tell them that you helped grow barley, the raw material. Most of the time farmers like us don’t know really where our barley ends up. It comes full circle in a really nice way and we know we’re also supporting the local economy.
For more information on Fettercairn and Club 200, see www.fettercairnwhisky.com.