Archive for the ‘Fettercairn’ Category

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Fettercairn 2009 (6 year old) 46%

Re-charred Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: 2009 Btl: 2016/  Tasted: July 2016

Slightly vinegary and industrial aromas with some balancing apricot, sweet peach and charred oak. Late hints of vanilla and apricot.

Soft, rounded and barley’d on the pallet with plenty of warm vanilla. Lightly industrial on the middle with hints of green fruit. More industrial on the finish and a little spirity but there are some pleasant sweet peach notes as well.

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Fettercairn 2009 (8 year old) 46%

Re-Charred Bourbon Hogsheads/ Dist: 2009 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Oct 2017

Quite fresh and citric with youthful, warm cereal and just a hint of industrial hardness. Unlike many bottling of ‘cairn it displays some clean, pleasantly sweet barley and vanilla.

The palate opens with more of the rather foresquare oak, although for re-charred casks there is a surprising lack of bitterness. Still faintly industrial, well, it is still ‘cairn with a touch of barley, but mostly oak! Good length with a touch of citrus, apricot and barley in the finish.


A.D Rattray Fettercairn 2009 (8 year old) 60.3%

Bourbon Cask 1091/ Dist: 2009 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Aromas of salt and vinegar chip sticks! Bizzare!!! Ascerbic, vinegary, industrial and subtly rubbery. Hmm! There’s more than a few off notes here!

The palate is dry and slightly starchy with thankfully less vinegar! Hints of white fruit and barley appear on the middle and the finish is short, earthy and masked by the alcohol.

Water makes the nose oiler, sweeter and less vinegary. There’s also some white fruit and barley now. The palate is still industrial but a touch of oak can now be discerned.

A.D Rattray Fettercairn 1989 (26 year old) 54.5%

Bourbon Cask No1/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

Mature and manurey aromas of baked fruit with chunky, toffee’d oak, mature honey and a touch of citrus. There is a distinct lack of industrial character although it does become quite earthy and coffee’d.

Soft and mature on the palate with marzipan and honey. A touch of baked fruit can be discerned but the oak is dominating. A touch of citrus comes through on the middle to freshen. Long, bitter finish with coffee and aniseed but the honey hangs around long enough to just about balance. Good spicy after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Fettercairn 1995 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2362/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Feb 2014/ Tasted: Mar 2014

Where’s the industrial murkiness? Not here for sure! Maybe this is an exceptional cask or maybe it takes this losing for Fettercairn to loose all the character. The aromas are quite subtle with lightly oiled, grilled nuts and hints of dusty oak, powdered barley and light petrol. There is also an edgy, almost dark, chocolate rye –like spice note as well. I’m stunned!

The palate is a little hard, but thankfully not industrial with barley, mature spices, dark chocolate powder and dusty oak. The industrial notes do appear but they are wrapped in a dark maltiness. A little beefy on the middle and the spices are becoming slightly herbal. Good length with the chocolate powder notes lingering. Well, this has to be a first a bottling of Old fetid-cairn that I’d quite happily drink – Now where’s that blue moon!


Hunter Laing Distillers Art Fettercairn 2002 (14 year old) 48%

Bourbon/ Code: ART0077/ Dist: Jun 2002 Btl: Aug 2016?/ Tasted: Sept 2016

The nose is quite flinty with a faint Industrial/ earthy character. Hints of barley, white fruit, white liquorice and subtle vanilla notes follow.

The palate is slightly industrial with some sweet-ish barley, white fruit and honey. A little hot on the finish with the industrial notes lingering.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2009? (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0114/ Dist: 2009? Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Pungent and slight industrial aromas with hints of lightly herbal honey, hard barley and toffee.

The palate is a little watery with caramel and hard barley. Quite an industrial middle and a herbal, spirit finish. Too young!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Quarter Cask Finished

Dist: Oct 2008 Btl: Sept 2015/ Code: HEP0112/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Hard as nails barley and verging on the industrial side. However some sweet fruit notes attempt to balance. With time some earthy spice, but not much oak.

The palate is more barley’d and a little sour with some dried fruit and oak sweetness. Still hard with hints of baked fruit on the middle. Medium length, still a little austere with a citric and creamy vanilla finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008(?) (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 2008(?) Btl: Sept 2015/ Code: HEP0113/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Quite sweet and barley’d on the nose with herbal honey and white fruit. A little hard at the edges with some sour fruit and very buttery oak emerging. Quite pleasantly balanced actually.

The palate is like the nose – quite barley’d, but lacking the honey notes, so it emphasises the usual industrial character. Medium length with a herbal, lightly citric and alcoholic finish. The creamy oak adds a semblance of balance and out lingers the industrial notes!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Wine Cask Finished/ Code: HEP0174/ Dist: Oct 2008 Btl: Mar 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

Pungent hard, rough edged barley aromas with tar, burnt rubber and sherry(?)

The palate shows what appears to be raw sherry and raw spirit. Slightly coffee’d with a mixture of hard barley and slightly sweet barley, although not enough of the latter! Hints of white fruit appear on the middle. Short and spicy finish with treacle, liquorice and a hot wheat-a-bix after-tatse.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Sherry? Quarter cask finish/ Code: HEP0207/ Dist:Oct 2008 Btl: July 2016?/ Tasted: Aug 2016

Subtly spicy and herbal on the nose with the refill sherry notes sort of blanketing the light industrial character. With time a touch of barley and marzipan appears.

The palate shows more of the refill sherry character with stewed fruit, liquorice and dried fruit notes. The distillery character is again subtle and comes through on the middle. Tart and citric finish with malt, barley and a hot spice finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0208/ Dist: Oct 2008 Btl: Sept 2016?/ Tasted: Oct 2016

Aromas of cider vinegar and sweet barley. Fresh and invigorating with hints of white fruit.

The palate is soft and vanilla’d. Quite clean, if a little bitter with barley and cider apple. Medium length and a little industrial on the finish (well it is Fettercairn after all!) with a touch of liquorice root.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2005 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0015/ Dist: May 2005 Btl: Mar 2014/ Tasted: Apr 2014

A youthful but quite sweet nose of perfumed fruit with hints of boiled sweets, hard barley and an almost peaty note. Surprisingly clean and lacking it’s usual rough character!

The palate is soft and very un-industrial! Like the nose it has a touch of boiled sweets with light barley and white liquorice notes mingle with hints of herbs and vanilla. Good length if a little sharp on the finish, but actually quite pleasant.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Sherry Finish

Code: HEP0235/ Dist: Mar 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

A hard, industrial barley nose with hints of dried fruit and ascetic notes. Classic!

The palate shows a touch more toffee’d sherry and dried fruit but the distillery character comes through. Slightly earthy, dusty and cardboardy with cocoa powder, astringent herbs on the finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2008 (9 year old) 46%

Wine Finished/ Code: HEP0290/ Dist: Mar 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Oh, that’s a lovely nose! Sulphury and rough with late hints of shaving foam. Yes, I was being sarcastic! There is a touch of sweet oak and barley, but not enough.

The palate is incredibly industrial, murky and sulphured with hints of beeswax. Rough and hot finish with a touch of sweet-ish barley and a shaving foam after-taste. It’s really that pleasant!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Fettercairn 2002 (11 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0033/ Dist: Oct 2002 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

Aromas of nail polish remover and manure. Very industrial with murky coffee and wet cardboard.

The palate is earthy, rubbery and industrial with wet cardboard and burnt caramel. Lovely!

Douglas Laing Provenance Fettercairn 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1242/DL11512

Dist: Jun 2008 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2017

The nose is, shock, horror, surprisingly sweet and floral with some bubblegummy white fruit and creamy oak.

The palate is much like the nose with a little more of the creamy oak character. Bubblegummy, soft and sweet with a good finish and lingering hints of Turkish delight, rose petals and oak. Is this really ‘cairn?

Douglas Laing Provenance Fettercairn 2007 (10 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1301/ DL11776

Dist: Feb 2007 Btl: May 2017/ Tasted: Sept 2017

A sweet and fruity nose! Yes, really! Sugar coated pineapple and banana with oodles of sweet vanilla oak. There’s a subtly citric edge to the aromas but it’s amazingly clean! OMG!

The palate is pretty heavy on the oak and barley, but I’m not complaining as it’s actually quite pleasant! Slightly citric on the middle with sugar coated fruit and custard powder. Short and remaining citric. Surly somebody switched the sample labels because this is just so unlike ‘cairn!


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Fettercairn 1995 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2103/ Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Dec 2011/ Tasted: Dec 2011

Shock, horror, this is initially actually quite pleasant……….. for a Fettercairn! Still as usual industrial with hard as nails barley and brittle honey. A bit on the sugary side and amazingly slightly perfumed with hints of white liquorice, but there is no escaping it’s stinky, industrial, decaying vegetation, faintly cardboardy character.

The palate is again not too bad by Fettercairn standards, yes, it’s industrial with a hint of burnt rubber but there is some pleasant honey to balance the slightly murky-malt and cardboardy spices. However I wouldn’t part with 50 odd pounds for it though.

 Speyside Distillery Scott’s Selection Fettercairn 1989 (16 year old) 55.9%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1989 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Mar2005

Clean, pronounced, light, crisp, nuttyaromas of perfumed orange blossom, dried apricots and earthy notes with a spirit prickle – no burning car tyres here. Dry on the palate with an oily mouth feel and an intensity of slightly smoky, crisp, nutty, winey white fruits. A pleasant spicy middle and a long nutty finish and a floral/ botanical note in the finish.

This is incredibly oily, it really coats the mouth. A drop of water subdues its earthy charater and emphasises the orange fruit note. On the palate it softens and again brings out the juicy orange/ tangerine/ Satsuma flavours along with a spiciness and a hint of smoke.

As they say, every dog has its day!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2000 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0689/ Dist: Oct 2000 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

Unsurprisingly the nose is quite hard and industrial in character, but it does have some pleasant grassy notes. Youthful cereal marc like aromas dominate but there is a semblance of white fruit beginning to emerge. A surprisingly clean nose!

Hmm, the palate however is rather fizzy. Sort of elderflower fizzy pop to be honest. Lightly sweet with a rather intrusive level of alcohol. Short, but still clean though.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2002 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0959/ Dist: Oct 2002 Btl: Dec 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2013

Oily, youthful and industrial aromas. Quite hard and very marc-like, but there is a touch of granulated sugar.

Light and not quite as hard as the nose suggests on the palate, but still quite oily, and youthful with cereal and a touch of light spice. White fruit and white liquorice. Quite alcoholic with the marc notes showing on the finish, which is a little tart.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2004 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV1096/ Dist: Feb 2004 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A lightly rubbery nose with wet cardboard, granulated sugar and industrial baked fruit.

The palate is again quite industrial but some sweet vanilla counterbalances along with a touch of malt and citrus on the middle. Long, with a light boiled sweet finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2005 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: Apr 2005 Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: PRV1152/ Tasted: Nov 2015

A sweetly barley’d and fresh nose with crisp citrus, white liquorice, stem ginger and sponge cake. My god this is amazingly clean!

The palate is again very clean with a subtle barley character and hints of bubblegumy white fruit and peach. Gently citric with a touch of Sauvignon-blanc grassiness on the middle. Medium length with hints of white liquorice and barley in the finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2003 (11 year old) 46%

Code: PRV1110/ Dist: Mar 2003 Btl: Sept 2014/ Tasted: Oct 2014

The nose is subtle and a bit non-descript to be honest. It’s clean though! There’s a touch of white liquorice, honey and citrus with time.

The palate is very fresh and very citric. Again clean and very un-industrial! There’s a touch of white pepper which really builds and a little white liquorice note. Good length. Definitely back-end loaded with white fruit, honey, barley and vanilla coming through on the finish. By ‘cairn stands this is very good!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Fettercairn 2000 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0977/ Dist: Nov 2000 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Quite sweet and honeyed by Fettercairn standards. Still the aromas are a little spirity with hints of citrus, white liquorice and vanilla. I’m amazed at how clean this is!

The palate is still a little hard with citrus, tough barley and spices. Again amazingly clean with good grief even a degree of elegance! Very spicy middle but the finish is a little hot with hints of grass. My god, a drinkable Fettercairn! Whatever next!

Fettercairn Fior 42%

Tasted: Sept 2014

The nose is thick, flat and caramel flattened. God knows how much they’ve used! It’s so dark and there’s no whiff of sherry. Maybe there’s a touch of fruit sweetness at play but it’s hard to see past the blanketing caramel. 

The palate is un-surprisingly as flat as a pancake! Bitter, cardboardy, no fruit, no anything apart from mountains of caramel. Seriously poor! As an aside the tasting notes on the box are a work of pure fiction: 

“Tasting of dark chocolate, coffee beans and peat smoke, with nutmeg, mint, citrus fruits and truffle. The finish is said to be of sherry trifle, marzipan and pineapple.” 

Maybe it’s what it might have been if a vat of caramel hadn’t been tipped in! 

Fettercairn 12 year old 40%

Tasted: July 2003

Oh my god! Burning car tyres and sulphurous sherry. It awful! I’m trying to find some redeeming features and well maybe there is some spicy toffee, but I’m failing here!