New Release: Fettercairn 16 Year Old 2nd Release 2021
The second ever release of Fettercairn’s renowned annual expression has arrived, and it showcases what just what it is that makes this Highland distillery so special.
This release is the latest in a series of Fettercairn whiskies that look to cement the distillery’s unique identity in the whisky world. That identity is full of tropical fruit flavours, spice, and the mark of its unique distilling techniques across all of its whiskies. One of these unique techniques that they have become known for is that they continually douse their stills in cold water. This cools the copper stills and increases condensation inside so only the lightest vapours are allowed to rise. The result of this distilling science is what they believe to be a lighter and purer spirit. In lieu of a tour, there is no better introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Fettercairn than through these sensational drams.
The 2021 release of Fettercairn 16 Year Old uses a combination of Sherry matured and Sherry finished casks, balancing the use of both to smooth out any spikes. These casks were hand-selected from a small, family run Bodega in Jerez. The sherry used in the casks was a combination of first fill Oloroso, refill Oloroso, and first fill aged Palo Cortado Sherry butts. Free from any chill filtration, this is bottled at 46.4% ABV and arrives with a beautiful cask-imparted colour. Expect sherried notes of dried fruits, aged wood on the nose, with tropical fruits combining with coffee, liquorice, and rich citrus on the palate. A smooth dram, but none the less complex for it.
A single malt made with crystal clear focus (and crystal clear water, as a matter of fact). The tagline with this specific edition in the Fettercairn core range is that purity is a rare thing, something every whisky collector knows through experience. This whisky spent its maturation in ex-bourbon casks, and has a wonderfully spiced, fruity flavour because of it. The water from the Grampian foothills in Angus, Aberdeenshire, is added to the spirit, but it is also this very water that drenches the stills to cool the copper. This dram is slightly stronger, at 47% abv, and has punchy aromas of raisin, gingerbread, and banana on the nose and orange, pear, coffee, and liquorice on the palate. The finish is divine, and one to remember.
If you had this whisky at a blind-tasting, you would be forgiven for thinking that this one spent some maturation in a tropical environment. But it is this drams maturation in Angus, Scotland, that gives it that juicy kick. The trick is the dark, humid environment Fettercairn matures its spirits in and the special methods it uses to create intriguing drams. Juicy tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, and lemon all dance on the nose, with hints of warming ginger cake and maple syrup complementing each other on the palate. This whisky is the product of 29 hand selected casks, only 6,000 bottles of Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 002 have been produced. A big dram that follows through on its lofty ambitions.
This is not only Fettercairn's most popular single malt, it is one of The Whisky Shop's too. A fan favourite, this 12-year-old has wisdom beyond its years. This expression spent all 12 years of its maturation in ex-bourbon casks, and balances fresh and fruity sweetness with kicks of vanilla and gentle spice. A truly terrific dram, with bang for your buck in abundance.