Fettercairn Warehouse 14 and Jura Pale Ale Cask on Taste; Cutty Sark Cocktail; New Whisky Research; Tiny Tiree
Bit of a Whyte &Mackay week this week with two of their single malts on taste as promised samples arrived.
Let‘s start with Jura Pale Ale Cask Edition. As the name suggests this one has been matured in US oak bourbon wood and finished in Pale Ale casks from selected craft brewers. It‘s at standard 40% abv and available from UK stores now at around £35 per bottle. The release arrived just before my last column but that one was already a bit busy so I decided to await the sample before mentioning. It‘s the latest in a line of Cask Editions.
Appearance: Gleaming amber with light orange/old brass highlights.
Nose: From bottle, fresh sea air, honey, nut and wood sweetness. In glass, definitely light honey, baked ripe stone fruit, touch of salt. Soft vanilla, a touch of hop and yeasty notes. Slightly spiritous (maybe some younger whisky?) but mellow and warm. With water, more honey, fruit and oak. Vanilla comes out more and a slight waxiness.
Palate: Spices, sweet maltiness, touch of salt. Citrus zest and pith; some honey and peanut; dried herbs.
Finish: Medium length, herbs, honey and quite dry.
They suggest a cocktail, the Jura Hopscotch Highball, which can be made using this expression:
– 35ml Jura Pale Ale Cask Edition whisky, 15ml lemon, 10ml sugar, 50ml grapefruit
– Shake first four and strain over ice into an 8oz highball
– Top with an IPA of your choice
– Garnish with grapefruit wedge and mint sprig.
Haven‘t had time to try this one yet and I don‘t tend to have any IPA at home (not a beer drinker) but needs must so I‘ll buy some!
Fettercairn Warehouse 14 was featured in this column recently when the sample was en route. This is one of the special releases from Fettercairn and is bottled at 51.2% abv. It was distilled in 2016 and matured 81% in ex-bourbon barrels, 7% in refill ex-bourbon wood and 12% in beer barrels from local brewers. Quite the beer thing going on here with the new Jura using beer barrels too.
Appearance: Medium straw/Chablis colour. Tears very slow to form.
Nose: Sweet – candy floss; baked pineapple; oak and vanilla. Fresh, clean air; barley sugar; salted caramel and honey. With water, softer and creamier – vanilla cream. Some icing sugar, sugared almonds, a hint of ginger and the same caramel as before the water. Coconut.
Palate: Quite mouth-drying though initially sweet. Almonds and tingly spices – gingery with honey and salted nuts.
Finish: Quite long and dry; ginger and savoury spices; vegetal/leafy notes and sweet oak wood.
Last time, I said I‘d try the Cutty Sark cocktail recipe I included last time and which came from the Cutty Sark media release. Well, I‘ve had the chance to do that. Quite a dry flavour and the tea is intriguing but I‘m not a fan of soda water so might try it with tonic for a bit more sweetness. The tea instructions say 1 teaspoon of the tea leaves per cup but there are no guidelines as to water to leaves ratio i.e what quantity the tea people consider a cup to be. Maybe as a 1 cup kitchen measure? I made mine 50:50 tea and Cutty Sark as per the recipe before topping up with the soda and adding the lemon. Very refreshing, a good hot day aperitif.
A tweet this week from the Scotch Whisky Research Institute:
„For anyone interested in the lab-scale replication of whisky distillery processes and the prediction of new make spirit flavour, we are pleased to let you know about an Open Access paper published this week https://lnkd.in/e4XqPbeA. This paper is based on the research of our recent PhD student Martina Daute. The work was carried out at The Scotch Whisky Research Institute in collaboration with Abertay University and funded by IBioIC and BBSRC.“ A paper for all interested in whisky science, including those intending to try The Whisky Ambassador Advanced Course.
The spirit at Tiree Distillery will be ready for first release bottling next year. They‘ve shared a pic of their „warehouse“. Small but perfectly formed and currently known as Cask Corner! Most of their casks are the smaller, quarter casks (about 125L) from the US, these being sourced from Heaven Hill Distillery. They are producing single grain, predominantly rye and a single malt. The single grain is currently in virgin oak. The single malt started off in bourbon cask in 2021 and has been racked into ex-oloroso sherry casks though I don‘t yet know if it will spend the rest of its maturation life there. A lot of experimentation going on which makes it all quite exciting. There‘s been more distillation early this year but only a very small quantity while they concentrate on their gin for the spring/summer season. They’ve recently opened up again for the tourist season. The first two casks filled this year with new spirit for whisky are bloodtubs. You may not have heard of those before but they are small casks of only 30 – 40 litres and these ones were previously used at Bruichladdich. I have a sample of the single malt spirit making its way to becoming whisky and will try it in time for next column.
Till next time, enjoy your spring drams (or autumn if you‘re in the southern hemisphere or maybe just water if you‘re in the current unseasonably hot Spain).