Despite being one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland, Fettercairn has never been a popular whisky. Not only because it was mainly used for blends, but it was also very seldomly released as a single malt. And those few single malts that were released weren’t always the best (with some exceptions).

However, this seems to be changing in the last few years. Fettercairn is increasingly being bottled by the independent bottler, which has resulted in some beautiful gems in the meantime, although it can still be a hit or miss every now and then. Also since 2018, Fettercairn has released its first official bottlings again after a decade. This was then a 12 year old and a 28 year old strangely enough. But both were relatively well-received, so two new ones were added this summer, with one of them being this 16 year old.

This Fettercairn has matured in bourbon casks, before being finished in sherry & port casks. Bottled at 46.4% ABV.

Fettercairn 16 year old tasting notes:

Nose: fresh forest fruits, with mainly blueberries and plums. A hint of port. But also sultanas in the background. Maple syrup and milk chocolate. Cherries. Oranges too. Later also nutmeg appears.

Taste: some fruits at first such as blueberries and raisins. Honey and sweet cherries. A hint of cardboard. Which is followed by vanilla and a hint of oranges. Slightly oaky. Milk chocolate and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, a pinch of ginger.

Finish: mid-long, slightly drying but this seems to go away all of the sudden? A little bit of oak and with the same spices as can be found in the taste. Dark chocolate too.

Rather nice actually. Although not overly complex, it’s well balanced and with the right amount of spices to prevent it from becoming too sweet. Although maybe a tad too expensive for what you get.

Sample provided by Whyte & Mackay.