Malt from the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains, Fettercairn has a diverse range with bold flavour profiles.
Fettercairn was originally opened in 1824, after its owner, Sir Alexander Ramsay, had lobbied the government to license Whisky.
He was one of the few owners to buy a license right off the bat, and Fettercairn was the result.
Today they are owned by Whyte and MacKay, and are thriving having just released a line up of new bottles.
Independent bottling do exist from the earlier days of Fettercairn, but can be rare. Although they are worth getting your hands on if you can.
The New Collection
Fettercairn had four new bottles out this year including a 12 Year Old, 28 Year Old, a 40 Year Old and a 50 Year Old.
The 12 Year Old has been matured in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks. it is the quintessential Fettercairn Whisky, with big floral notes and lots of fruit.
The nose begins with honeysuckle and caramel. There is a slightly darker note of burnt sugar, with warming hints of coffee.
More floral notes appear, with a delicate nod towards oak wood.
The palate is deep and brims with spicy ginger and orchard fruits. The caramel becomes vanilla and melts into the sweetness of the oak.
Lots of exotic fruit, such as pineapple, banana and mangoes appear. They are fresh and juicy, with a lovely tang to offset the sweetness of the caramel.
The finish is bold, with lots of coffee, oak wood and a soft milk chocolate note.
The next in the series is the 28 Year Old, which has also been matured in American white oak, ex-Bourbon casks.
Like its younger sibling, it is sweeter and packed with fruit.
The nose opens to pineapple and banana, with delicate notes of honey and black treacle.
Ginger spice, with big notes of madeira cake and jam come through, adding a lovely dessert flavour overall.
The palate is well rounded and full of citrus fruits and pepper spice. Oranges, lemons and nectarines abound, adding a lovely zest.
Caramel, vanilla and oak take the lead here, alongside slightly bitter notes of coffee and cinnamon.
The finish is full of fruit and oak with a lasting note of caramel.
The 40 Year Old
This malt was first distilled on 23rd December 1977, and has been matured in American White Oak ex-Bourbon before being finished in Apostoles Sherry Cask No.6 from the Gonzalez Byass Bodega.
The nose opens with lots of sherry spice and thick, sugary treacle. It is incredibly sweet and bold.
Orchard fruits appear, with a hint of cinnamon and ginger.
The palate is rich and full of balsamic vinegar, lemon and oranges and notes of brown sugar.
This develops into caramel and oak, with a little bit of honey and spice.
The finish is warming and wraps everything up in spice.
The 50 Year Old
The last in the Fettercairn line up, we have the incredibly aged 50 Year Old. it was distilled on 11th June 1966 and matured in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks before finished in Tawny Port pipes.
The port really comes through on the nose, with lots of heat and spice including ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a hint of cloves.
This grows into apples and oranges alongside sweet almonds and cherries.
The palate is intense, with big notes of coconut, pineapple, more cherries and summer berries. Caramel and toffee smother everything with a rich sweetness.
Port wine, travel and peanut brittle appear, adding yet more layers to the array of saccharine flavours already on display.
Fettercairn have really hit the mark with these releases. They have a high standard of craftsmanship and some exciting innovations. Well worth taking a look at, the might just become your new favourite.