I was privileged enough to go to the Toronto Whisky Society’s recent tasting, in which we were able to serve five different high end malts, all of which are available at the Kensington Wine Market, where a member was able to pick it up and bring it back to us.
The second whisky available was Fine Blend Malt extra old – Whisky-Fässle. This is one of the now coming out casks that I’ve spoken of before. If you missed that review, here’s a quick version:
There were some casks that were found in a warehouse. No labeling and with alcohol below 40%. The person who found them identified them (by profile) as 60s/70s Macallan, Tamdhu, Glenrothes, and Mortlach. He immediately bought the barrels, vatted them with some young, under developed ex-bourbon Glenfarclas for 10 years in ex-sherry casks.
Since then they have showed up under different independent bottlers. It’s also the easiest and least expensive way to have whiskies this old, from this decade. Unless you really want to pay the prices for 70s Macallan. Me? Oh, I’d love to, but my wife said I can’t sell the car for whisky.
This time we’re onto Fine Blend Malt extra old – Whisky-Fässle, noted by the sad duck on the cover but with the tasty juice inside. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $219.99 CAD at Kensington Wine Market
Cask Type: Sherry butt
Colour: 7.5YR 7/8
Nose: Leather/smoke, farmyard, old cherry, applewood, oatmeal, cinnamon
Initial nose is exactly what you want from good quality sherry casks from the old days. It’s like your favourite actor in a movie: It makes things better and happy. Same thing here.
Lots of funk and cereal notes, and eventually there’s spice.
Taste: Earth funk, leather, algae, cloves, strawberry, fresh lemon
More funk, however this is a lot more earth forward than I typically enjoy. Was hoping for some richer red fruit notes here. Takes some time to pull out something other than earth.
That said, that great leather note is still there, so the movie is still working for me.
Finish: Leather, strawberry, sulphur, tobacco, parsnips, spritiness
And we finish with tobacco. Yes, I completely know that tobacco isn’t a proper notes, that different types of tobacco have different levels to them, with fruity, earthy, coffee, etc. And as I attempted to explain while tasting this: I don’t like tobacco, and there’s a definitive note there that screams to me and makes me not like it as much.
Oh, but leather is there again, so… repetition? Funny? Something.
Conclusion: Alright, so let me just put this bluntly: I enjoyed the last one of this “series” of casks more. However like stubbing your toe while eating ice cream, it doesn’t make the ice cream bad, however you’re not going to remember it how you want.
End of the day: This is an interesting, if less powerful and complex cask then the last XO. I loved the leather, the nose was my favourite part, and the taste, if earth dominant, is still quite nice. I can’t get past the tobacco, so if you like tobacco, add 7 points to my score and buy a bottle.
Scotch review #720, Blend review #78, Whisky Network review #1191