The Feathery ~ 40% (Spencerfield Spirit Company)
40% ABV, £45 for 70cl
What they say:
The Feathery is a blended malt which has been entirely matured in first class sherry wood which makes it slightly sweeter, fuller and more rounded than standard malts.
The Feathery is the first expression of a range we are developing celebrating original Scottish craftsmanship. The Feathery is the original golf ball painstakingly hand crafted with feathers ,tar and bird skin to make a perfectly rounded ball which was more streamlined and effective. The only downside is that it was also very expensive given the number of hours that went into one ball, when playing a game with a feathery the golfers would position two “spotters” who would ensure that the ball was never lost on the course.
Colour: Deep golden brown.
Nose: Dry, nutty, sherry notes, sweet, creamy vanilla, with hints of ginger.
Palate: Warm, rich oak and deliciously sweet sherry flavoured sultanas, orange segments , full mouth feel, raisins and soft fruits.
Finish: long and satisfying finish with spiced orange and chocolate clear and a hint of Butterscotch.
Overall: Very satisfying and well rounded. Great balance of the Citrus and the rich dried fruits, cinnamon and butterscotch notes add to the elegant complexity of this well-made malt whisky.
What I say:
The Feathery blend from The Spencerfield Spirit Company joins their stable of Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip blended whiskies as well as Edinburgh Gin. The Feathery has a strong bias towards sherried whisky within the blend aiming for that predilection amongst some whisky-lovers for their dram to be sherried.
Fruity and malty, cocoa, Jamaican ginger cake, hints of almond oil and linseed oil, sweet
Smooth and sweet, full-bodied, rich red berry fruits, honey and golden syrup, strawberry shortcake or tart
Drying fruit and nut, medium/long a little sweet and some youthfulness maybe appears here in the finish
Would I buy it:
A big sherry fan myself I was really rather taken with this blended malt. Surprisingly good and very affordable, within this blend much had been done to preserve those beneficial elements from the sherry including deep fruitiness, chocolate and nutty characters. This is achieved easily whilst avoiding the overly tannic leathery and sulphuric/rubbery elements. Of note I recently learned that sherry casks are often treated by burning sulphur candles inside them after use (or conditioning*) to prevent mold and bacterial growth spoiling them when they are shipped dry(ish) to be used in the whisky industry. *The majority of sherry casks used in the whisky industry these days are not ex-sherry maturation casks, but casks specially made and conditioned by filling with sherry for a short period of time. Traditionally sherry shipping casks would have been transported full, gladly emptied of their contents by happy imbibers here in the UK and then re-used for whisky. Due to demand for casks and as most sherry is bottled at source before shipping these day. ‘conditioned’ casks may stand/ship for reasonable periods of time empty, during which they are subject to contamination due to the rich sugary residue inside the oak cask. Fumigation with sulphur candles appears not to be an issue for wine and sherry production; where the norm is to refill the cask immediately anyway – bypassing the need for fumigation. Whisky however penetrates deep into the wooden cask for a prolonged period of time, and appears to be excellent at extracting the sulphuric notes indicative of a poor sherry cask management.