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Friday 26 November 2021

THAT CHEEKY DIMPLE IN HAIG

 CAMERONBRIDGE CAMERON BRIG AND THE HAIG DIMPLE


Built between the rivers Leven and Ore near Windygates in the Kingdom of Fife, the Cameronbridge distillery dwarfs all other distilleries in Scotland, both those for malt and grain whisky. The distillery takes its name from the bridge that crosses the River Leven on the distillery grounds. With a production capacity of circa 100,000,000 litres of alcohol per year, the Diageo's wholly-owned grain plant Cameronbridge not only provides the backbone of many of the company's blends, it produces the liquid for the Cameron Brig and Haig Club single grain whiskies.

Cameronbridge is the largest grain distillery in Europe. It can also lay claim to be the oldest. Its story also involves two of the most remarkable – and strangely overlooked – distilling dynasties in whisky, the Haig and Stein families. In 1826, Cameronbridge became the very first Scotch distillery to produce grain whisky in a continuous still. However, this was not a 'Coffey still', at least not yet - instead, it was a much more primitive version, invented by one Robert Stein (John Haig's cousin). This version of the continuous still was just a series of pot stills that were arranged consecutively.

The first record of a Haig making whisky was in 1655, when Robert Haig was hauled up in front of the church elders for daring to distil on the Sabbath. In 1751 his great-great-grandson John married Margaret Stein whose family members were already making whisky at their distilleries in Kilbagie in Clackmannanshire and Kennetpans in Kirkliston. Four of their sons became distillers, opening their own plants in central Scotland and Ireland. The youngest, William, founded Kincaple and Seggie in Fife; the eldest son John founded Cameronbridge in 1824.

Their daughter, also named Margaret, had married a local lawyer John Jameson in 1788. The Jamesons moved to Dublin to run a new Stein family distillery in Bow Street which had been opened in 1780. Contrary to popular belief, the Jameson Irish Whiskey company was not actually founded in 1780, but in 1810 when John Jameson bought the distillery from his wife's cousins, the Steins. The original Jameson Distillery in Bow Street is now home to the Jameson Visitor Centre. The Stein, Haig, and Jameson families were significant figures in the whisky market from that time forward.

                                     

It was a time of rapid growth in production and also in new methods of making whisky. The Lowland distillers had long been large-scale producers, but had been limited by technology and law to producing their whisky from pot stills. Things were changing however, and in 1829 John installed the patent still which his cousin Robert Stein had invented and was operating at his own Kilbagie distillery. One of the Stein stills was used until 1929.

Soon after, Irish engineer Aeneas Coffey had improved Stein’s design with his own patent still. John Haig immediately installed one of them as well. When Alfred Barnard visited in the 1880s, two Stein, two Coffey and a pot still (to make ‘pot still Irish’) were operational. Though considerably larger in scale, today the same Coffey design is still used at Cameronbridge.

This pioneering move by Cameronbridge changed the course of Scotch whisky history, though Haig continued making malt whisky at the distillery. That finally ended in 1929 with the removal of Cameronbridge’s pot stills, and it has been grain all the way ever since. Today the distillery’s three column stills pump out an ocean of alcohol, split between grain whisky for blends and neutral grain spirit for the likes of Smirnoff, Gordon’s, Pimm’s and Tanqueray, the world leader in Gin. Surplus neutral grain spirit has a ready demand for numerous applications the world over, including medicine.

In 1865 John joined in an alliance with eight other grain distillers and in 1877 this was formalised into the Distillers Company Limited [DCL]. Haig joined with the owners of Port Dundas, Carsebridge, Glenochil, Cambus, and Kirkliston to control 75% of Scotland’s grain capacity. This not only allowed the new firm a dominant – eventually monopoly – position in supply, but the ability to fix prices. DCL would, in time and after many mergers, evolve into Diageo.

Cameronbridge remained as the powerhouse of DCL’s grain division and, with the closure of Port Dundas in 2010, is now Diageo’s sole wholly-owned grain plant and from 1998, production of Gordon’s and Tanqueray gins and Smirnoff vodka has also been based here. It was expanded further as part of a £40m investment in 2007.

It was unusual insofar as for many years it was the only one of the grain distilleries to have its own brand – Cameron Brig. Although other distilleries would try their hand at this, only Cameron Brig survived. In 2014, the distillery was given greater prominence as the provider of the whisky for the David Beckham/Diageo single grain brand Haig Club.

                                                               

Dimple Haig first came to market rather late in 1893 at a time when demand for blended Scotch whisky was exploding in all directions. Its successor, the triangular dumpy bottle with a dimple on each face (Dimple Pinch) became the deluxe, sophisticated brother to the standard Haig & Haig blend within a lustrum, while in the US it has long been known as Dimple Pinch and is so named. It consists of over thirty malt and grain whiskies.

                     

The extended Haig family dominated the industrial Lowland whisky scene and were well-placed to surf the boom. The distilleries concerned were primarily Glenkinchie and Linkwood for their single malts and Cameronbridge for their single grains.

At Glenkinchie, clear wort and long ferments pushed things towards lightness and fruit, while a glance at the enormous stills (the wash still is the largest in Scotland) immediately suggests masses of copper contact and reflux. The new make is rather sulphurous, but this facet disappears in the cask, leaving this light, fragrant whisky with just a hint of meadow flowers and lemon.

Linkwood is another of the light Speyside camp. The new make has the aroma of a spring meadow – mixing cut grass, apple and peach blossom.

Two of John Haig’s sons – Alicius and Hugh Vietch –established Haig & Haig in 1888 as an export business, overseeing the sale of the company’s whiskies in the US. Their work in the lead-up to Prohibition established the popularity of Dimple Pinch in the US. The 12 YO Dimple Pinch that came to the US circa 1900 as the deluxe, sophisticated brother to the standard Haig & Haig blend was a bestseller in the premium class, till overtaken by Chivas Regal 25 YO in 1910.

Whether the name inspired the bottle or vice versa is unclear, but Dimple has always been packaged in a distinctive lozenge-shaped three-sided bottle with pinched sides like a collapsed pot still. By 1900, Dimple was the second-best selling premium whisky in Colonial Asia after Phipson’s Black Dog, till overtaken by Johnnie Walker Black Label ~1925.

By 1939 the combination of the Dimple and Gold Label brand extensions made Haig the top-selling Scotch in the UK, while Dimple Pinch had recovered its pre-Prohibition sales in the States. While the brand disappeared in the UK (until the advent of Haig Club), Dimple was stilling selling over a million cases by the millennium when its key markets were South Korea, Germany, Greece and the US.

A Biomass Energy Plant was installed converting spent grains and pot ale into energy and supplying about 30 MW or 95% of new energy needed by the distillery. Carbon dioxide emissions have been cut back by 95%. A production water recovery system saves about 30% distillery waters. The waste water is so treated that the effluent disposal into the nearby River Forth has been cut down to 1 % compared to the system of the past. 10,000 homes and a local hospital are supplied the otherwise waste heat.

12 year old Cameron Brig Single Grain is said to be the basis of the Johnnie Walker 12 year old expression. The distillery plant creates the grain spirit used in brands such as Johnnie Walker, J&B, Bell’s, Black and White, Haig and White Horse. Cameron Bridge Grain whiskies are also bottled by the independent Bottlers like Cadenhead, Duncan Taylor, Signatory, Scottish Malt Whisky Society and others. A distillery bottling called Cameronbrig (a NAS Single Grain Whisky) is also available.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Grain whisky production differs from the processes used to create malt whisky in several key ways. Firstly, the bulk of cereal is not malted barley, but unmalted wheat or maize, with a small proportion of malted barley included to promote effective fermentation. The use of unmalted cereals reduces costs.

Secondly, prior to mashing, the unmalted cereal is milled and fed into giant cookers, where it is heated with water. It is then pumped into large mashtuns, where the malted barley is added. From this point onwards, production mirrors the sequence familiar to malt whisky distilling, though the actual distillation process takes place in continuous, columns or Coffey stills, all of which operate on similar principles, and consist of parallel analyser and rectifier columns. These stills are able to produce much larger quantities of spirit than their pot still counterparts. The use of non-malted cereal and the sheer scale of operation make grain whisky considerably cheaper per litre than malt whisky.

At Cameronbridge, 4,000 tonnes of cereal are used every week and it is estimated that the distillery consumes as much as 15 per cent of Scotland’s entire wheat crop. Each of the three Coffey stills can turn out 4,000 litres of alcohol per hour, and is able to operate continuously for more than 200 hours before cleaning is required. While one of Diageo’s smaller malt distilleries, such as Oban, handles 36 tonnes of mash per week, Cameronbridge processes up to 30 tonnes of mash per hour.


 

The Haig Club Scotch Whisky RTD Cans

                                                                  

Haig Club single grain Scotch created a range of ready-to-drink (RTD) cans in partnership with David Beckham in 2020. The pre-mixed range comes in two flavours: Haig Club Clubman mixed with root ginger ale and lime, and Haig Club Clubman mixed with crafted cola.

Bottled at 5% ABV, the Haig Club RTDs are available to purchase from Supermarkets like Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s in the UK priced at RRP £2 (US$2.50) per 330ml can. This innovation with Haig Club provides low ABV pre-mixed drinks for convenience and are reportedly selling well with great taste and were particularly popular in summer.

According to the brand, the sweetness of the cola complements the whisky’s “smooth toffee, butterscotch and vanilla notes”, while the classic combination of ginger ale and lime gives drinkers a “zesty citrus” hit. The cans share the same striking electric blue packaging at the whisky’s distinctive square glass bottles that take design cues from the world of fragrance.

 




Thursday 25 November 2021

FETTERCAIRN COMES BACK INTO THE PUBLIC EYE

 THE GLORIUS RETURN OF FETTERCAIRN

WAREHOUSE EDITIONS TO FOLLOW 

A flowing and shimmering new sculpture representing life, growth and transformation emerged in the rolling foothills of the Cairngorms in late November 2021, as Scottish land artist Rob Mulholland unveiled his latest creation at Fettercairn Distillery.

The sculpture represents the inspiration behind the piece - FOREST FLOW is a ground-breaking project 10 years in the making that has seen tens of thousands of oak saplings planted on the land next to the Fettercairn Distillery on the 8,500-acre Fasque Estate. This future- focussed project will establish a new land management vision for the next 200 years and challenge whisky-making convention by providing responsibly sourced and managed local wood to mature whisky - ultimately enabling Fettercairn distillery to craft single estate whiskies.

Set on a clear pool of pure spring water from a natural source only a few hundred yards away, 'FOREST FLOW' watches serenely as saplings draw water and nutrients from the ground and circulate them to create a vibrant life. This bespoke piece of art has been created to fully harmonise with its environment through the depiction of essential whisky-making ingredients, crystal clear water from the Cairngorms, locally grown barley and the wood for maturation. The sculpture also celebrates the unique water-cooling ring on the stills at Fettercairn, allowing only the finest vapours to rise creating the purest spirit.  

THE VISION

Fettercairn Distillery is embedded in the landscape. It draws its raw materials from its natural surroundings - the water, barley and the future oak forest - which are all within sight of the distillery. The water from the Cairngorms fills the mash tuns and is poured over the outside of the stills cooling it and is then naturally cooled and re-circulated. This is the same water that sustains the newly planted Fettercairn forest and nourishes the surrounding landscape.

Scottish Oak Casks: The Fettercairn Forest project is led by whisky maker Gregg Glass, who has conducted numerous trials with wind-felled and responsibly sourced Scottish oak as well as extensive tests and experimentation in collaboration with experts across different industries. The Distillery has already laid down whiskies in different types of Scottish Oak cask and plans to release the first commercially available Fettercairn Scottish Oak bottling in 2022. The sculpture is due to be incorporated into the Distillery visitor experience in the same year.

                          

Fettercairn has done a range of official bottlings, which include Single Malts aged 10, 12, 13, 14, 25 and 34 years. Independent bottlings do occur occasionally, but not with any regularity. The most recent independent bottlings were carried out by Douglas Laing & Company. Fettercairn is also used as an important component in the Whyte and Mackay Blends, which owns the distillery from 1973 till date, but under the Emperador Distillers Inc. since 2014.

In terms of the distillation process, Fettercairn has a fairly ideal location, being located right next to one of the highest mountain ranges in Scotland. This ensures that the distillery has year-round access to the extremely fine water accumulating from rainfall and snow melt in the springs and lochs of the mountains. The distillery’s current production capacity stands at 1.6 million litres of pure alcohol a year. 

Fettercairn uses four stills in the production of its Whisky; two wash stills which have a capacity of 12,800 litres, and two spirit stills which also have a 12,800-litre capacity. Both the wash and spirit stills have a distinctive pear shape, with the base of the still having an extremely wide and rounded spherical lid and a gradually narrowing neck, which can be fitted with plates at different heights to alter the degree of distillation. Additionally, the distillery uses an unconventional cooling process to lower the temperature of the spirit stills; cold water is simply run down the exterior of the stills.

Fettercairn has fourteen dunnage warehouses on the distillery grounds, which have the capacity to house 32,000 casks of Single Malt. The distillery uses a mixture of Sherry and American oak casks in its ageing process.

HISTORY

Fettercairn is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. It was founded in 1824 by Sir Alexander Ramsay, the owner of the estate on which the distillery is located. The distillery was originally named “Nethermill”, named after the converted mill building in which the distillery started operating. Sir Ramsay decided to found the distillery following the Customs and Excise Act of 1823, which drastically reduced the amount of taxation placed on Whisky production.

1829: Ramsay's Fasque estate, on which the distillery buildings sit, was sold to the Gladstone family. Their most famous son was William Gladstone – British Prime Minister four times during the late nineteenth century. Gladstone was a great friend to the Scotch Whisky industry. He abolished the taxes on malt and the Angel’s Share, and introduced legislation allowing Scotch to be sold in glass bottles for the first time. As Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1860, he allowed all distillers and brewers to blend grain whiskies with malt whiskies, the birth of Blended Scotch whisky. Grocers, who had expected to be included in the list, were added in 1863. Most of their Blended Scotch whiskies had aged by these three years and readily overtook the 1860 varieties in virtually no time. This was firm proof that ageing in an oaken cask improved the quality of the whisky. Gladstone allowed the distillery to be run by another family.

The management of the distillery was placed in the hands of James Durie. Responsibility for the running of Fettercairn passed from generation to generation in the Durie family, with Durie’s son, David Durie, taking on the distillery after his father passed away.

1861: The village of Fettercairn has as rich a history as the distillery. It lies in the heart of rich farming land – a beautiful rural setting which has always attracted visitors. On 20th Sept 1861, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert sneaked away from nearby Balmoral to stay incognito at the Ramsay Arms (still the village pub). They enjoyed drinks and a meal, all in secret. The villagers later raised a monument to commemorate the visit – an imposing arch which still stands in the centre of the village.

In 1887, a fire raged through the distillery, destroying the vast majority of the equipment. The distillery had to close for the next three years for a complete refurbishment in order for the distillery to return to the level of functioning capacity needed for production, which basically involved rebuilding the entire facility. After its triumphant re-opening in 1890, the next few decades were extremely quiet at Fettercairn, eventually resulting in the closure of the distillery in 1926. Fettercairn remained inactive until 1939 when it was acquired by Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd, a subsidy of the American-owned Train and McIntyre. Production resumed immediately under the new ownership, and Fettercairn enjoyed the next few decades in a state of quiet productivity. During the 1960s the distillery experienced a boom in production, and the number of stills was expanded from two to four, raising Fettercairn’s capacity to its modern-day level. The 1970s proved a tumultuous decade for the distillery, with it changing hands multiple times as a result of various corporate mergers, eventually falling into the possession of Whyte & MacKay. During this time, Fettercairn remained one of the only active distilleries in the Eastern Highlands, many of its peers having closed due to the harsh economic climate of the 1980s.

Most recently, the history of the distillery took another turn when Whyte & MacKay were bought out by the Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya. In the wake of the 2008 credit crunch, Mallya decided that the brand would be more successful if it marketed itself as more “luxurious”, leading to the introduction of a 24-year-old, 30-year old and 40-year-old series to the Fettercairn bottling portfolio.

      
            

Fettercairn Distillery has spent much of its history being overlooked, maligned, or misunderstood. But the Highland producer is turning the tide. Fettercairn is the least-known of the brand’s whisky distilleries. Dalmore and Jura get more headlines and sales. It’s not historically had many official single malt expressions. It has had the dubious reputation of being one of Scotland’s most pilloried distilleries. For years it was something of a whipping boy, chastised for a sulphury, rubbery spirit that was distinctive for the wrong reasons which led to scores of negative reviews.

Coming off the almost exclusively blending line, Fettercairn Fior and Fasque were brought onto the market a few years ago but the brand had been pretty stagnant ever since. Under Emperador, the Highland distillery plans to put its chequered past behind it and forge a new identity. New expressions with a revamped look and lots of work behind the scenes have aimed to transform the distillery and tell a new side to the story. The range launched in 2018 includes a 12-year-old, 22-Year-Old, 28-Year-Old, 40-year-old, and even a 50-year-old that, alongside some rare and small-batch releases, aims to celebrate the new fresh, vibrant, and approachable house style. Each bottling of the Fettercairn single malt displays the emblem of a Unicorn, a symbol of Scotland since the reign of King Robert III and a feature of the Ramsay coat of arms, once flown over the Fasque Estate upon which the distillery still stands and on the inn, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent the night more than 150 years ago. Moving ahead, May 2020 saw the release of a 16YO single malt, made with chocolate malted barley and matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks.

                         

Fettercairn actually has a lot going for it. For one, it’s beautiful, with whitewashed walls and an iconic pagoda roof sitting in the rolling Grampian Hills at the foot of the Cairngorm mountain range. The surrounding fields are filled with barley, with locals referring to it as the ‘Garden of Scotland’. Fettercairn was one of the first licensed distilleries when it was founded in 1824, when Sir Alexander Ramsay bought a corn mill and converted it into a whisky factory as a means to make money off lovely local barley while rallying against illicit distilling. He then hired an illicit distiller (James Stewart), lent his house crest unicorn to the brand’s emblem, and subsequently built an enormous gothic mansion he couldn’t sustain and so had to sell the place to the father of former Prime Minister William Gladstone.

In those early days, the distillery was a favourite of the London elite and had a solid reputation. But what followed was the usual passing through hands that many distilleries experienced, being mothballed or altered while spirit flowed primarily for the purposes of blends. The likes of Associated Scottish Distilleries and Tomintoul-Glenlivet claimed ownership before finally Whyte & Mackay took it on in 1973. The brand was relatively obscure for much of the 20th century.

A massive period of investment in infrastructure and marketing has taken place, while focus has shifted from blends and retail business to premium brands. Whyte & Mackay went back to where it was when it started out: being whisky makers and blenders first and foremost. It’s not just Fettercairn that’s benefiting from rehabilitation, but Whyte & Mackay too.

Wholesale changes began in 1991 when a new malt intake and milling equipment were added. Since then, the tun room was rebuilt, the number of washbacks was increased, the wash stills were updated, a comprehensive wood policy was put in place, the visitor centre had a makeover, and stainless steel condensers, which accentuated that unpopular sulphur-forward spirit, made way for copper ones.

Turning the ship around is a dedicated, experienced staff, like Whyte & Mackay whisky makers Gregg Glass, the legendary Richard Paterson and distillery manager Stewart Walker, who typifies modern Fettercairn best. Above all, however, is the distillery finally communicating what an interesting production process Fettercairn. A great deal of its barley is local and there are plans to increase the amount in the works. Not to claim terroir, mind, but to support the local community and create less of a carbon footprint.

While the distillery’s old malting floor remains, all malting ceased in 1966. Instead, the barley is sent to nearby Bairds Malts. The malted barley then goes through a B├╝hler mill and then an old Victorian, open-top tumble rig mash tun that was installed in the 1950s. It came from Glenugie, which was a distillery up in Peterhead, as did the spirit safe. It creates a cloudy wort with a rich, biscuity profile, so the process that follows that is all about balancing that.

Things get truly unique, however, in Fettercairn’s stills. There are two wash stills and two spirit stills, the latter with the copper cooling rings fitted in the 1950s by Alistair Menzies. He wanted to lighten the distinctive cloudy wort but didn’t have the right still shape to create enough reflux for it. The solution was ingenious. Crystal clear water from the Cairngorms literally cascades down the outside while the heart is distilled. This boosts reflux and promotes the funky, tropical notes in the new make. Nobody else in the industry does it.

Fettercairn’s improved cask policy focuses on first-fill ex-bourbon casks with a high rye content (Heaven Hill is a favourite provider) to enhance distillery character. On-site are 14 dunnage warehouses, two of which are original from 1824, housing 32,000 casks that are never racked more than three high to create consistent temperature and humidity. Classic old-world casks like sherry butts and Port pipes are used, but Fettercairn is also now a hotbed of innovation, most notably with its programme to responsibly source Scottish oak in the future.

In terms of the packaging, you’ll notice there are ‘runs’ down the top half of each of the bottles. This glass embossing takes inspiration from the rather unusual spirit stills at Fettercairn which have ‘cooling rings’ fitted to the neck of their stills which essentially act like an extra condenser. The cold water runs down the side of the still which increases condensation inside the still and allows only the lightest vapours to be collected.

An effective core range has been followed by the first release of its 16-year-old expression (new incarnations will follow annually), while this year the Warehouse 2 Collection was launched, taking small batches of single malts to showcase the treasure trove of stock that’s in its warehouses and flex the distillery’s maturation muscles. Along with the recent news of Fettercairn investing in local barley and oak, the distillery is marching forward at an impressive pace.

The new Fettercairn is not perfect, of course. Pricing is very high right now, considering its low levels of recognition. But across the new releases and the core range, the quality of the whisky is speaking for itself. The consistency of the bourbon cask tells a story of a developing distillery character, which is vibrant and fresh with a house style of funky tropical fruits and malty spice. All in all, the whiskies are balanced, bold, and really stand apart in a crowded market.

It might be worth the time to look at the Fettercairn 50 YO. 45 years in an ex-bourbon barrel + 5 years in a Tawny port cask, 47.9% ABV.

Nose: Wow. A pure concentration of dark cherries, Black Forest gateau, liquorice, molasses, port jus, sticky dates and stewed plums. On the lighter side, those pineapples are back, along with some cooked apple and poached pear. There’s a little spiced mango chutney, some black coffee, an old Chesterfield wingback, polished mahogany and glazed walnuts.

Palate: Totally unctuous and completely mouth coating. Sticky and syrupy to begin, with sultana cake, Madeira cake, malt loaf, burnt Christmas Cake edges, hazelnut praline and coffee liqueurs. Some charred twigs, cinnamon sticks, and liquorice are there too. Then a sweet earthiness comes through, with myriad baking spices, sandalwood, more mahogany, dry logs and bark. There’s plenty of rancio here – port rancio – old, musty and quite dunnage. It’s all rather glorious. The addition of water offers a lighter delivery with less mouth cling and viscosity, alongside a less compact development. It’s still highly opulent and packed full of ancient wood, fruit cake and spice – but overall becomes less intense and a touch brighter.

Finish: The rich, juicy fruits surge back and are complemented by austere, but gentle, oak.

The old saying tells us that you get what you pay for, and what you get if you choose to shell out £3,000 for the Fettercairn 40-year-old is a drop of absolute luxury. The embodiment of entering middle age with grace and style, this 48.9% malt boasts a sweet treacle and ginger taste with an amiable fruity finish. The 40 YO has spent a long time in that Apostoles cask, all for the better. The 50 YO, however, is on another plane. It is very well balanced between the fruit, the spice, and the oak. This is a very, very good liquid. Whilst I suspect virtually all of the bottles produced (and I have no idea how many there are) will remain unopened for all eternity, those who dare to unstopper this whisky will find a complex and utterly delicious offering that is intensely polished with wonderfully integrated wood alongside deep, luxuriant flavours. £18,000? Uh Oh!

With investment and long-term strategy, effective communication of what makes the brand unique, a wonderful staff, and quality whisky that showcases a genuinely good distillery character, Fettercairn is finally ready to tell a different story. And again next year.

 The Warehouse Collection

The distillery recently unveiled the third release in its Warehouse 2 Collection, a small batch series made to celebrate what’s described as hidden gems of whiskey barrels within its 14 dunnage warehouses. Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 003 was distilled in 2015 and matured in a selection of handpicked ex-bourbon barrels (57%), rum barrels (16%) and French red wine barriques (27%). This run was limited to 9,600 bottles.

This batch features a combination of casks chosen from the ageing stock in Warehouse 2, where high humidity combines with the relatively cool and temperate environment to make its mark on the maturing spirit. It showcases what’s described as the distillery’s tropical house style, which originates from the copper cooling ring distillation process. The whisky is bottled at 50.6% ABV to highlight the heavier weighted influence of the French red wine barriques, while adding depth to the final spirit and the base notes of Fettercairn’s signature tropical characteristics.

The distiller’s notes show that his golden-amber single malt leads with warm sweetness on the nose and, on the palate, features a fruity mix of passion fruit, papaya and red berries, alongside sugared almonds and patisserie spice.

The Warehouse Collection is said to highlight the skills of the Fettercairn distillery team, along with Master Whisky Maker Greg Glass, and their ability to seek unusual and interesting casks to craft these small batch releases.

The popularity of the first two releases in the Collection raised high expectations; The distillers knew they needed to deliver something special with the third release, without compromising the approach they’ve been striving to adopt.

Fettercairn’s Warehouse 2 has much to offer in terms of diversity and quality of casks. “The choice of French barriques combined with rum barrels for this release has brought a truly different dimension to this spirit and enabled us to keep showcasing our innovative and experimental approach.”

Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No.003 is now available with a suggested retail price of £60 in key global markets including the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France, extending to key Asia markets starting in May.

THE ORIGINAL FETTERCAIRN 12 YO &THE WAREHOUSE BATCH EDITION