Fettercairn – Launch of the new 18 Year Old

I was delighted to receive an invitation to visit Fettercairn Distillery for the launch of the new 18 Year Old Single Malt expression. This is Fettercairn’s first-ever single malt that has been finished in 100% Scottish Oak.

It was a delight to be in the safe hands of several members of Fettercairn’s senior team:-

Andy Lennie, Fettercairn Single malt Specialist

Stewart Walker, Distillery Manager

Bruce Aitken, Brewer

Kelly Anderson, Brand Home Manager

Gregg Glass, Master Whisky Maker

Master Whisk Maker Gregg has taken the Scottish Oak Programme as a deeply personal project. He said,

“The Scottish  Oak programme is about more than the sawmill and the distillery, it is every aspect of Whisky making – From forest to field to Fettercairn”

On the land next to the Fettercairn Distillery, 13,000 oak saplings have been planted. A total of 109 farmers signed up to help assist with the project and the nearby Fasque Sawmill.

Fettercairn has a tropical style and their unique distillation process gives lighter, floral and tropical fruit notes.

Fettercairn has four stills, two wash stills and two spirit stills. There is an unconventional cooling system to lower the temperature of the spirit stills, they have cooling rings which stream cold water down the exterior of the stills.

Steph Forsyth the Global Communications Manager from Whyte & Mackay did a fantastic job herding us around the distillery and organising taxis, hotels, minibus and an outstanding evening meal. I will detail the meal at a later stage in this blog.

The first part of the day was to meet in the visitor centre for some tea/coffee and breakfast rolls. Then it was off to tour the distillery and to see the unique stills. Throughout the tour, we managed to sample a couple of Fettercairn expressions.

After a grand tour, we all headed into the Fasque Estate where in a log cabin we enjoyed a cocktail and a delicious buffet lunch. After lunch, we had a dram of the Fettercairn 18 Year Old which we took it with us on a stroll up into the fields where the 13,000 oak saplings were planted. We toasted these young oak trees with the 18 Year Old.

Prior to returning to the distillery we went and had a look around the sawmill and checked on some oak that is destined to be made into Whisky casks.

On arrival back to the distillery, we were treated to a warehouse tasting. We tasted a few expressions then invited us to the experimental area of the warehouse where we tried a 1-Year-Old sample that was matured in a 100% virgin Scottish Oak blood tub, very interesting and tasty.

A very interesting and educational day with many drams and cocktails tasted with all the guys and gals from Fettercairn. All the guests, bloggers/writers and journalists had a grand time and are very interested in the Scottish Oak Programme. I for one will be checking the Fettercairn website for any news or updates on this exciting programme.

We all headed for the hotels so that we could freshen up and change for our gala dinner at Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish Restaurant.

The meal was outstanding and each course was paired with either a cocktail or a Fettercairn dram.

First course – A Copper Cooler cocktail – Fettercairn 12, pink grapefruit, honey and soda.

Fish course – Fettercairn 12

Main course – Fettercairn 28

Dessert course – Fettercairn 22

Coffee or tea served with Fettercairn 18

A superb way to finish an exceptional day. BIG THANKS to all at Fettercairn, Whyte and Mackay and Richmond & Towers.

All this leaves me to do is give my own tasting notes.

First maturation was in a mix of first fill and refill American white oak bourbon casks and then the final maturation was in 100% Scottish oak casks

Fettercairn 18 Year Old – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46.8% Alc/vol 70 cl

Colour…Old straw bonnet

Nose…Tropical fruit punch is in charge, pineapple jelly, hint of honeycomb and crushed macadamia nuts, some milk chocolate and golden syrup over cornflakes.

Taste…Varnished sandalwood, hessian, cooling oils, in came the sweetness and fruit, barley sugars plus some American cream soda, followed by Fettercairn house style a  tropical treat, pink wafer biscuits and yellow fruit jam.

Finish…A drying oakyness, the tropical fruits are slowly going away, creamy banana coffee cake and a medium sweet finish 

Not only a grand day but with some of the best Single Malts  I have tasted in a while, a complete Whisky adventure. Once again thanks to all.

One gift we all received was an acorn glass together with three acorns for u s to grow at home.

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