Whyte and Mackay relaunched Fettercairn as a Single Malt back in 2018. Four new whiskies ranging from 12, 28, 40 to a 50-Year-Old – not to mention one or two travel retail offerings – have been readily available ever since. Now I think it’s fair to say that the good folks at W and M have shied away from giving Fettercairn the spotlight. This is partially understandable when you consider that they’re also responsible for Dalmore and Jura, most whisky brands would be stretched to compete with those huge reputations!
Although there have been official bottlings in the past, they have never made it into my glass. My own experience has been limited to independent bottlings from the likes of Cadenheads and Murry Macdavid.
So, the cast has been chosen, rehearsals have taken place, and the time has come for Fettercairn to take center stage.
I’ve been hearing lots of positives. Let’s see what this is all about!
Bourbon cask led, vanilla sponge and mint with a butteriness giving the lighter notes somewhere to sit. Some fruitiness too, particularly pineapple with a nice dusting of Icing Sugar to balance.
Soft feel with occasional peaks warm of spice. Ground ginger and nutmeg passably a touch of cocoa. The pineapple is still there too, but all of the constituent parts are nicely in there place, thank you very much!
Ahhh, there are the “Bourbon cask” themed notes once more, vanilla cream with a white chocolate and very slight but far off suggestion of eucalyptus.
Nutty goodness, hazels and almonds to be precise, maybe 1% of said almonds are of the sugared variety. Tree bark, oats and raisins layered in honey follow. Comfortably more weight than it’s younger sibling. Very slight candied lemon zest, and Mr Pineapple is still in residence, but only for a moment at the end.
Wow, a lot fruitier than I was expecting, fresh ones initially, melon, grape and (the very welcome) pineapple. Still with a stoic underlying nttiness (more wall-nuts at this point), which is followed by well-defined Ginger sponge with black treacle and more candied lemon zest. Maybe a touch of freshly ground pepper heat for warmth.
Creamy and meadium, a smidge of the pepper heat lingers followed by those fresh fruits and the candied lemon peel.
Well, the Fettercairn peeps are off to a very solid start here. The 12-year-old is a more than passable delicate (with headlining moments) whisky in its price range, pleasant, balanced and friendly. The 24-year-old, although being unashamedly “Bigger” than the 12, by nature is a great, refined walk through a forest larder to the spice cupard, via the fruit bowl. Buy no means is it overwhelming, in fact both whiskies approach and leave you with a friendly handshake.
It’s worth pointing out that it is (understandably) quite a jump in age and price between the two, no-doubt they will have a reason for this. I’m a tad concerned that said gap could result in missing out on an important group of customers within that price range. Obviously, time will tell, and as you all know, the success of these whiskies is down to you, not me!
GO OUT AND TRY SOME!
But well done to the Team at Fettercairn, keep up the good work!