Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Whisky Review: Exclusive Malts Fettercairn 17 Year 1995/2013 for K&L Wines

Fettercairn is a distillery in the eastern Highlands that is generally in the 'out of sight, out of mind' category, as its production is mostly slated for blends. It does produce some single malts of its own, but the selection isn't very broad.

The Davids of K&L managed to snag this cask from the Creative Whisky Company and bottled it under the Exclusive Malts label. The spirit was distilled in 1995, aged in an unspecified type of oak cask, and bottled in 2013 at the full proof of 57.1% without chill filtration or coloring.

Thanks to Florin for the sample.

Exclusive Malts Fettercairn 17 Year for K&L

Nose: musky perfumed oak, toasty, buttery, a little plastic, porridge-y malt, orange/citrus honey, berries, raisins, a little salty, a touch of something farm-y/sulfurous. After adding a few drops of water, the malt becomes more pronounced, the oak and raisins integrate, but it feels younger overall.

Taste: very sweet up front - primarily wood sugars and raisins, which is eventually countered by a solid dose of oak tannins, with grain riding underneath. After dilution, the oak and malt integrate more, so the sweetness is more balanced, while the raisin notes become more expansive and juicier.

Finish: fudge-y oak, malt, hints of raisins

Unlike both Michael and Florin, this one just didn't do it for me. I can't cite any particular flaws with the whisky, it just didn't bring anything particularly interesting to the table. I can see why Michael thought this one might be from an Nth-fill sherry cask - there are hints around the edges - but it might just be the high concentration of oak. This does make me want to search out more Fettercairn, but it doesn't turn me off of the distillery either. Ultimately my feelings about this one are all irrelevant, since this sold out long ago.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you didn't like it, my only consolation is that I have another bottle. Maybe you sat on the sample for too long?

    Reading Michael's notes (especially the nose) it sounds like he's describing the enchanted garden. I'm with him on this one:

    "Great whisky, depth, well aged, specific vanilla & fruits (no soap). One of the best whiskies I had this year! 4*"