Fettercairn 16 year old
This relaunched and re-packaged Fettercairn has taken the whisky scene by storm. The whisky spent most of its maturation period in traditional casks before being finished in Port and Sherry casks. The whisky was made using chocolate barley (pretty uncommon) and was bottled at 46.4% ABV.
Expect a whisky rich with dark, red berries, some cocoa hints and earthy notes. Stem ginger, rich dark syrup and maple flavours appear there too. Lovely.
Fettercairn distillery was founded in 1824, just a year after the enactment of the Excise Act 1823. The founders of the distillery went bankrupt and sold their estate, including the distillery, in 1830. It operated for some 60 years before being destroyed by a fire. The distillery underwent a massive refurbishment between 1887 and 1890 and was sold again in 1923 and 1939.
The 1939 acquisition saw Fettercairn become part of the Associated Scottish Distillers Limited (ASD) whom, at their height, controlled Bruichladdich, Benromach, Glenury Royal and other distilleries. ASD ceased trading in 1954 and Fettercairn was sold again and again until 1973 when Whyte & Mackay took it over. By this point, Fettercairn's malting floors had been decommissioned some 13 years earlier.
In 1989 a visitor center was opened just as the industry as a whole recovered from a slump in demand that saw many distilleries close down. The Whyte & Mackay group was sold in 2007 and again in 2014 to its current owners: Emperador brands from the Philippines.
The preference for a medium-length fermentation (less than 50 hours), unusually shaped stills and stainless steel condensers give the new make spirit a malty and rich character. Fettercairn spirit is aged in first fill and virgin oak casks.