28 October 2010

Fettercairn Fior "Or Should I Say Phwoar"

Despite being around in one way or another since 1824, it’s fair to say that even up until now the Fettercairn distillery still remains relatively unknown outside the circles of hardened whisky enthusiasts.

Having produced some highly acclaimed single malts over the years, the majority of the distilleries output, infact over 95% of it is used in the production of blends for ‘Whyte & Mackay’.

Recently the distillery has undergone a bit of a relaunch, and to celebrate this they have released a new range of single malts, of which I was very fortunate enough to sample a little while back.

The first bottling from the new range that I nosed and palate tested was the ‘Fettercairn Fior’ and it has to be said that this was a great start to all the ‘Fettered’ things to come.

The nose kicks off with a symphony of balanced sensations, in the form of an espresso coffee with a thick foaming crema, accompanied by a box of rich dark and very decadent chocolate truffles.

A subtle wave of damp compost and a whiffette of burning autumn leaves make for the next set of sensations, along with an infusion of warm treacle and a bowl of stewed prunes.

Things are kept rather fresh with the zest and peel from a Jamaican ortanique, followed by a puff of ground cinnamon that’s been infused by a pod of vanilla.

The palate provides a glorious weighty chewette, with more of that fabulous espresso coffee, but this time with the addition of a big spoon of sugar and an accompnaying slice of rich dark chocolate torte.

There’s an overwhelming edge of oak that if anything provides the perfect foundation and framework of balance throughout. Along with a subtle and almost Islay-esque wave of sweet smoke.

Those ortaniques make a reappearance, along with a strange yet delicious infusion of ginger, coriander and salted caramel. Followed by what can only be described as a very subtle lingering wave of diluted cognac.

This is a superb and sophisticated drop of drammage and one that I hope will be discovered, drammed and indeed savoured by whisky newbie’s and enthusiasts alike. Here’s to many more single malt releases from the dramtabulous Fettercairn distillery!