Fettercairn: Fior (Scottish Highland SIngle Malt Whisky: 42% ABV)
Visual: Reddened gold.
Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.
Nose: Mild hairy gooseberry. Musky. Shortbread. Slight sour grapefruit. Pencil shavings. Almonds.
Body: Thick mouthfeel. Sour berries and grapes. White grapes. Slightly oily. Light trifle and brandy cream. Sugared almonds. Golden syrup. Vanilla. Water makes more bourbon like. Rye crackers.
Finish: Creamy. Oily mouthfeel. Almonds and marzipan. Musty berries. Water adds rye cracker notes.
Conclusion: Subtle whisky can start off feeling a bit empty for me, and take time to build up before I start to notice the notes within. Which can mean they have weak first impressions. I blame Octomore. Anyway, that is my way of saying this is quite the gentle and subtle whisky.
Oddly for a subtle whisky it has a real thick mouthfeel, so when it initially felt empty within it was like I was getting pure texture sensation and nothing else. Kind of like some of the more subtle sashimi I have tried in that regard actually.
Then it starts to rise, tart, musky, yet still subtle grapes – then sherried trifle and brandy cream that starts out low but rising, then finally breaks through the soon to be omnipresent almonds and marzipan character that finally defines this.
It is strange, by the end I cannot imagine the light whisky I first encountered as it has so filled that flavour vacuum with the new sensations. Never harsh, but now full of flavour. I can’t speak much on how water influenced it – I had nearly finished the measure by the time the full flavour came into play so I only had a little room to experiment. It seems to keep fairly similar, but with a few bourbon like notes added in.
So, in the end, how do I feel on this? I’d have to take longer to give a proper conclusion but for now I’d say as long as you are willing to let this bed in for a while then it will reward you with a surprisingly full and easy going whisky. If you are in a rush – look elsewhere.
Background: *ahem again and again* “Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!”. Not had much Fettercairn before, this seems to be their new main bottling and is a lot darker than I remember Fettercairn being. Not much to add, was listening to more of the Guilty Gear XX soundtrack. Despite never having played the game. Ever