Fettercairn 31yr old 54.7% ABV (Cadenheads).

fettercairn 31yr old

The following notes have kindly been uploaded by Jack Rogan, @scotchjak. You can follow Jack on Twitter, using the button at the bottom of this post.


Type of whisk(e)y – Whisky (scotch).

How long has the whisk[e]y bottle been open? – Under 1 month.

Introduction to the whisk[e]y (casks used, distillery, is it a special release etc) – As the Distillery Manager at Balblair said on a recent tasting I was part of ‘you can’t tell me a whisky matured the same at 6 feet from ground level in a stone built dunnage warehouse as it would at 30 feet inside a metal warehouse.
This leads me to wonder about the likes of Cadenheads and Gordon and MacPhail. How authentic really are those whiskies they produce? Well, they may not be entirely authentic but based on this, by christ they can be magnificent.

I had the joy of trying this malt back in early May during the online tasting week for Springbank, Glengyle, Cadenheads etc. There were variety of tastings on offer alongside different unique bottlings. I picked up a 5 year old heavily sherried Kilkerran which sits excellently alongside my 8 year old.

This however spent all 31 years in a Bourbon Hogshead. Light in colour and wonderful in flavour. Fettercairn has long been a pub favourite of mine but finally I own a bottle at cask strength and natural colour.

Appearance – A gorgeous golden colour which thinly coats the glass and is slow to develop tears. Clearly a light spirit which Fettercairn pride themselves upon with their unique stills. Completely clear before adding water.

Nose – Baked apples and pears laced with light ethanol (this is 54.7% after all). Sweet and sugary like what would hit you walking into a sweetie shop as a child aka sweet pure joy. There is a faint hint of caramel and toffee too but hardly anything, if this had been heavily coloured you would almost discount this as being from the added colour, this is different, this is Cadenhead’s. Water changes this very little, if anything it softens it marginally.

Palate – Spice, cinnamon and cardamon. Completely mouth coating but not following into the back of the mouth with the ‘burn’. A gorgeous warmth, if this doesn’t perk someone with a cold into life then send them for a covid test. Really deep and warming after a couple of goes. Weaker with water, more pear and strawberry. A slight bitter cherry near the end perhaps.

Finish – You have to really hold this dram in the mouth to feel anything, even then, there isn’t much ‘burn’. It is a beautiful sweet and candied finish to an excellent malt. Whilst no water makes things longer lasting and more spicy, this is admittedly a magnificent dram no matter who you are. I remember this malt being more mind blowing than I currently find it and so hope that my 1 of 252 develops into what my May brain remembers.

Overall thoughts – Would I buy it again? Hell no. Only reason I did was I got a small inheritance and could justify this one bottle at an exceptional price to myself. Is it value for money? For me no liquid is worth almost £300 a bottle but if you want something that could almost warrant it, then this might be it. Cadenhead’s have a magnificent collection of cask from distilleries young and old, home and abroad. Do not hesitate to look them up!


Notes – This whisky is non chill filtered and natural colour.

Pic creditCadenheads.

Many thanks to Jack, @scotchjak (Twitter) for submitting his tasting notes, both comprehensive and informative.

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