Fettercairn Distillery was founded in 1824 by Alexander Ramsay, owner of the Fasque estate, who converted a corn mill at Nethermill into a distillery. After losing his fortune, Alexander was forced to sell the estate to the Gladstone family in 1829. 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.
In 1973 Whyte & Mackay acquired Fettercairn distillery and it has remained with the company since. 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. The Fettercairn arch dominates the entrance to the town and was built to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1861. This symbol has also been used in the design and logo of Fettercairn malts.