Review: Fettercairn 30 year old single malt scotch whisky

Fettercairn Distillery – Whyte & Mackay

43.3% ABV

£205 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 87/100

Fettercairn30YO

What they say:

The official bottling of 30 Year Old Fettercairn, reportedly distilled in 1978

Official Tasting Notes

Colour:

Warm honey gold with shimmering sandy highlights.

Nose:

Rich and pleasing. Marmalade, ground coffee with whispers of crushed almonds, marzipan and spice open the initial bouquet of complex aromas. Matured for 30 years in the finest wood, you can easily taste the influence of our Spanish Oloroso sherry butts.

Palate:

A treasure chest of flavours gently unfolds on the palate and exposes its many hidden secrets. Warm, sensual and inviting. Citrus fruits, sweet mango and wild berries tease the tongue with their tantalising flavours. Enjoy subtle hints of freshly cut pineapple, tangy grapefruit and cranberries. This fruit bowl of abundance truly rewards the palate providing it with a long-lasting memorable after taste. As the sating goes ‘all good things come to those who are prepared to wait.’ Outstanding.

What I say:

Thanks to Whyte & Mackay, via Steve at Somerset Whisky and Tom at Tom’s Whisky Reviews for the sample

Colour:

Russet copper gold (13/20), light-medium sized droplet tears

Nose:

Rich toffee, almost treacle toffee, oaky wood, parkin cake, fruity apple, orange, peach, apricot, dries into dates, figs, molasses, polished oak wood, musty and slightly vegetal, dunnage warehouse

Taste:

Bright and polished (almost tooth-cleaning!) something complex and (spun) sugary and also resinous about it, fruit cake, mince pies, sticky toffee and Christmas puddings, dried fruits, raisins figs, butterscotch toffee, chocolate and banana milkshake, a light sprinkling/dusting of cinnamon spice, toasted almonds, peach melba ice cream with brandy snaps

Finish:

Medium-long, ginger and cinnamon toffee, dark chocolate with salted caramel, nuts and raisins

Overall:

On the face of it any official 30 Year Old whisky should blow your socks off, sadly at best I felt like I had lost a sock after trying this whisky. Full of beautiful aged flavours and polished almost to perfection on the palate. Yes there is advanced wood ageing flavours and the heavy Oloroso use has worked well delivering an array of complex and beautifully indulgent flavours. However, this was as satisfying as a glossy picture of your favourite dessert and not actually getting the dessert itself. Good value for money for an official 30 Years Old bottling, plenty still available as Fettercairn seems to be one of those under-the-radar distilleries. I suspect this will not be a good investment bottle, so only buy one if you want to enjoy drinking it.

Don’t take my word for it:

Read Tom’s thoughts here and Steve’s reaction here