This week’s edition features my visit to the Glenturret Distillery to taste their recently released Prowess expression. It would mean a lot if you shared this article with your whisky-loving friends on your social channels – thank you!

Readers may recall my enthusiasm for Glenturret, which I previously extolled in a prior article (accessible here). Thus, when an invitation arrived to return to this historic distillery and sample the newest entry in their Trinity series, Prowess, I eagerly cleared my schedule. As an added treat, I was also afforded the opportunity to dine at Lalique, the distillery’s Michelin-starred restaurant – a long-standing aspiration of mine since my initial visit to Glenturret in 2021.

Nestled in the tranquil town of Crieff, Glenturret has been producing exceptional whisky since 1763. The distillery’s historic charm enables visitors to envision its evolution through the centuries, including the continued use of a milling machine that has served for over a century.

Our tasting began at the Boat House at Loch Turret, where we savoured two peated expressions perched high above the distillery, two miles away. The loch serves as the distillery’s water source, flowing directly to the distillery through a pipeline. The 7-year-old dram, redolent with aromas of green apple rind and notes of vanilla and Werther’s Originals, punctuated by a subtle smokiness, was the highlight for me. It proved an ideal complement to the chilly morning, as mist draped over the loch, gradually unveiling its natural splendour.

Ian Renwick

Later, Glenturret’s distillery manager, Ian Renwick, treated us to a sampling of the core range, whose labels bear the year of release. His illuminating commentary revealed the relatively limited production, as exemplified by the 12-year-old, a blend of merely 60 casks. We discussed the rising costs of casks and how at a board meeting the increased expense was a topic on the agenda. Without hesitation, it was decided that there could never be a compromise on quality, and to purchase the finest available.

By conducting themselves in this way, and with Bob Delango (30 years at Macallan) being the master distiller, it is hard to imagine them releasing anything that does not meet their own exacting standards. They have solidified my belief that everything is about quality, and not meeting set costs dictated by an FD. If you will excuse the pun, they are cost-fluid, and triggered by not succumbing to mediocrity, but excelling in excellence.

While Glenturret’s current production yields around 225k litres of alcohol – a fraction of the output of other distillery’s annual output – its capacity for a modestly increased production in the future will allow more people to enjoy it. I remember being in a well-known whisky retailer recently asking if they had any available. They replied unfortunately not, as there is simply not enough supply and every delivery sells out quickly.

John Laurie

Visiting the Glenturret distillery, one cannot help but notice the feline residents that roam the premises. The distillery’s Guinness World Record-holding cat, Towser, who caught a staggering 28,899 mice in her illustrious career, is a testament to the importance of these cats to the distillery’s operation. Towser’s role in keeping the barley safe from the wild rodents was integral, and today, Glen and Turret, the two resident cats, continue to keep watch over the distillery. These feline guards even have their own entrance to the still house, where they can rest in the warmth radiating from the equipment. One cannot help but wonder what protection they offer against the barley, but their presence certainly adds to the charm of the distillery.

After checking in to the wonderful Cairn Lodge hotel, opposite the Gleneagles Golf course, and freshened up, it was time for the main event of the day – dinner and tasting at the distillery. Arriving at dusk, the interior which has undergone an exquisite transformation since the luxury brand Lalique and entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss acquired the distillery, looked wonderful. Renowned for its superlative crystal glassware, Lalique has brought its refined artistry and meticulous attention to detail to create a lavish ambience that pays homage to the distillery’s rich heritage.

Before being escorted to the dining room to enjoy dinner, John Laurie, the MD, presided over a tasting of Prowess (£11,800), their new and exceptional 33-year-old expression. This is the second release in Glenturret’s Trinity Series, with the first being Provenance (£9,800). With just 320 decanters available worldwide, Prowess will be highly sought-after and collectable.


Prowess has a deep amber colour and on the nose offered an abundance of dark chocolate, coffee, dark over-reduced marmalade, and treacle. The palate was equally exquisite, with rich currents buns and marmalade glaze, and Crêpes Suzette flavours, complemented by hints of vanilla that added depth and character. Tasting Prowess alongside Provenance, the other 33-year-old expression in the Trinity Series, was a fascinating experience. Provenance offered notes of heather, honey, nuts, mahogany, and classic car leather on the nose, while the palate had a lovely oiliness with hazelnuts, raisins, orange peel, and some vegetal notes that offered layers of flavour and complexity.

Each bottle of Prowess comes in a stunning crystal decanter designed by Marc Larminaux, the Artistic and Creative Director at Lalique, and presented in an exquisite blue-lined box, making it a testament to the distillery’s long and storied history, and a demonstration of the sheer quality of the whisky held in its warehouses. For those lucky enough to purchase a bottle, Prowess will stand proudly beside Provenance, awaiting the final release in this exceptional Trinity Series.

Dinner at Lalique

Lalique is their Michelin-starred restaurant situated within the historic and picturesque distillery. It offers a unique culinary journey to guests through an exquisite 15-course tasting menu, which is accompanied by a thoughtfully curated selection of wines. John Laurie emphasised the importance of not only featuring their own whiskies but also a well-curated selection from Scotland and around the world. Lalique’s forward-thinking approach sets it apart, having given careful consideration to every element. This is not a restaurant that has whisky in every dish – in fact it was almost absent.

Extensive work was undertaken to ensure that the dining room is a stand-out destination. The floor of the entire area had to be flattened, and a beautiful wooden flooring was laid down. At a pre-opening visit, the owners decided that a deep pile carpet would work better, so was ordered, indicating no expenses were spared in creating the space. If something needs to be done here it is.

The dinner-only dining room accommodates just six tables, creating an exclusive and personalised dining experience. The decor is elegant yet understated, with comfortable green chairs and tartan stripes of the Glenturret and Murray clan, complementing the barley tones and soft lighting from the Lalique Champs Elysées chandeliers.

Mark Donald

Mark Donald, previously of Number One at the Balmoral, is the mastermind behind the menu at Lalique, which emphasizes the use of Scottish ingredients wherever possible. Mark’s creativity and attention to detail are showcased in each beautifully presented dish. The 15-course tasting menu is carefully curated to ensure that guests are treated to the freshest and most innovative dishes.

One of the standout dishes on the tasting menu is the Langoustine, Buttermilk and Sturia Caviar, where each element worked beautifully together to create a beautifully balanced flavour profile. The caviar, added at the table, elevated the langoustine with its subtle nuttiness and salinity.

Seafood is the backbone of the menu, with a visually stunning crustacea sandwich with the “bread” made from shells providing an intense flavour, and shaped like the crustacea, being the most impressive of the dishes.

The service is impeccable, with a team of highly trained and attentive staff who are passionate about food and wine. Their knowledge provided insights about each dish, and executive sommelier Julien Beltzung, having an exceptional pedigree, ensured that the drinks pairings were perfectly matched.

Julien’s choice included sake and a local cider, and the highlight for me was the Campo Alla Cerqua Sagrantino grown in Montefalco, Umbria, Italy, from Tabarrini. Sagrantino is a grape that I am familiar with having visited Umbria over 20 times, but have never tasted with such maturity. It was a divine experience with dark fruits, chocolate, and its usual harsh tannins softened to deliver a perfumed wine that lingered.


Lalique offers a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere, focusing on providing a personalized and memorable dining experience. The exceptional quality of the food, wine, and service merits Lalique’s Michelin star, although I suggest that two stars would be more representative of its exceptional qualities.

There is so much I would like to write about Glenturret, their whiskies and brand positioning. It was only in 2019 that Lalique purchased 50% of the distillery, with the other 50% being acquired by Swiss entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss. Already brand partnerships have been formed, most recently with Oyster Yachts (which I hope to write about soon), cementing their intentions for brilliance in everything they do. Awards are already being won with the 2022 Triple Wood being judged the world’s finest single malt Scotch whisky at the 2023 International Wines and Spirits Competition. Quite some feat.

I should mention before finishing, that sustainability is high on the agenda, which is in particular being driven by Mr Wyss, who in October 2018, wrote an article in The New York Times stating that he was contributing $1 billion to environmental causes. With this level of backing and care, Glenturret is fast becoming one of the most desirable whisky brands globally. I am personally a huge fan.