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08 May 2024



distillery region scotland

Wolfburn Distillery, located in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, stands as the northernmost whisky distillery on the Scottish mainland. It derives its name from the watercourse it uses, the Wolf Burn, which flows into the nearby North Sea. This name carries historical weight, as it revives the legacy of the original Wolfburn Distillery founded in 1821, which was once a prominent local producer until its closure in the 1850s.

The modern Wolfburn Distillery was re-established on a site just 350 meters from the ruins of its predecessor and began operations in 2013. The initiative to resurrect the distillery was led by a group of private investors, with Shane Fraser, a veteran with over two decades of experience in whisky production, taking the helm as the distillery manager.

Designed to blend traditional and contemporary methods, Wolfburn’s production facilities feature a 1.1-ton mash tun, four stainless steel washbacks, and two copper pot stills—a 5,500-litre wash still and a 3,600-litre spirit still. These are smaller than those found in many other distilleries, affording Wolfburn a craft scale operation with a focus on quality. The distillery's production capacity stands at approximately 125,000 litres of alcohol per year, emphasising its artisanal scale.

Wolfburn’s whisky-making process is notable for its adherence to traditional methods, including the use of non-peated malt and the absence of chill filtration and artificial colouring in the final product. The water used in the distilling process is sourced from the Wolf Burn itself, ensuring a continuity of the natural resources that gave the original distillery its name.

The core range of Wolfburn whiskies showcases a variety of styles. The Northland Single Malt is matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, which impart soft, sweet vanilla tones. The Aurora expression diversifies the maturation process by also using Oloroso sherry casks, which add rich fruit and spice notes. Moreover, the Morven Single Malt, a lightly peated whisky, provides a gentle smoky character, broadening the distillery’s profile.

Finally, most recently, and most significantly, there is Wolfburn 10 Year Old -- a major milestone in the life of a new distillery. It is aged only in ex Oloroso sherry casks we think it's a great testament to the work put in by the team at Wolfburn.