Fettercairn 28 1988 Cadenhead Small Batch

Thanks to /u/throwboats for this sample.

I’m still not totally sold on this whole “Fettercairn” distillery, and I’m probably going to have to keep trying whiskies until I really figure it all out.

My one buddy says it should breathe for an exorbitant amount of time to be good. So of course I served it blind and immediately forgot that. Because I’m smart like that.

There’s been a few releases of 1988 Fettercairn, and today’s is no different: 3 ex-Bourbon Hogsheads vatted together, released at cask strength.

So let’s see how Fettercairn 28 1988 Cadenhead Small Batch does, shall we?

Price: €189

Region: Highland

Vintage: 1988

Bottled: 01.03.2017

Cask type: 3 Bourbon Hogsheads

Number of bottles: 750

Abv: 55.4%

Colour: 7.5Y 8/8

Nose: Rich orange, honey, vanilla, burnt grass, wood

Strong orange note, some honey, some vanilla. Has this whole grassiness thing going on, though then a fire starts and there’s this wood/burnt note there.

Nice enough to nose, though I’m not the biggest orange fan. I am a honey and vanilla fan though, so that’s working for me.

Taste: Sunflower, Meyer lemon, mineral, butter, angel food cake

Seedy, sweet, acidic, and mineral. Water brings out a strong, hard sweet note, and it’s a bit disjoint. This is like a slightly off version of some Lowlands I’ve had, where it’s hard on the mineral and acidity but it’s not floral. More just a lot of sweet.

Also it feels like it was pulled a bit too quick. There’s a decent amount of heat, even with water.

Finish: Cardamon, dandelion, marzipan, vitamin C tablet, lemon pudding

Similar mineral/orange/off putt bitter notes. Doubles down on the acidity, and it gets everywhere. And you know what happens when acid gets everywhere: That’s how you get hippies. Turn around and you’ll have an old man eating organic granola telling you they changed the world, man, when they really just sold out and had sex in public.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, this is weird, that’s what I was trying to convey.

Conclusion: Weird / Too much burn. I felt like they took the standard “lemon/mineral” profile, and were like “what if we just kept adding that, over and over again”.

I should like this. It should be in my wheelhouse. But the burn, the extra bitterness, and overall the slightly off feeling left me unhappy. I’m glad I tried it, I’m sad I didn’t leave it for the recommended long, long amount of time to really check what happens with it.

Suffice to say, try before you buy.


Scotch review #1331, Highland review #217, Whisky Network review #1993

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