I’ve always felt the Glenfiddich brand name lost on much of the encore it deserved and with each passing phase of the moon, the brand seemed comfortable, labelled as a safe but mundane startup single malt. I’ll be honest, the 12 YO in my opinion though might seem very average and non stellar is in truth a likeable, subtle and sweet whisky. The Experimental Series…now that’s the breath of fresh air, the perfect opportunity for the distillery to disassociate itself from the lazy boy image and show off a different avatar, one that leverages varied maturation techniques to introduce that much awaited zing! The fourth from the Experimental Series, and our review for the week is Glenfiddich’s ‘Fire and Cane‘.
On first look, you can’t miss the globally revered and widely famous triangular shaped bottling. Much of the design has stayed the same and I personally still adore the angles and the sense of authority it brings everytime I hold it within the palms of my hand. But what is different is the prominence in the shades of brown that envelopes the bottle, a nuance darker as you sip through your bottle, I hope though not in one go!!
The origins of the word Fire comes from the use of peat, locally sourced speyside peat, you heard right – speyside! The resulting malt is matured and then blended with non peated spirits that have been previously matured in ex-bourbon casks. This blend is further married for a period of three or so months in Latin rum casks (hence the usage of the word “Cane”) to give a rich finish to the resulting whisky. So what you get is a Fiddich that has influences not very speyside like, but still delivers, or does it?
ABV : 43%
Eye: Deep Copper | Caramel Colouring
Nose : Caramel and char, raisins with a drizzle of honey. Soft vanilla cake with bits of melon and hints of pineapples. A bit woody with a whiff of smoke, mild sprinkles of brine, green pepper and spice.
Taste : Brown sugar with a pinch of kocher salt, oak and a hint of peat. Fruity and sweet, toffee, vanilla and dried fruits subtly replaced by ginger peels with a pinch of cinnamon.
Finish: Sweet with a dash of cinnamon | short to medium
Easy going, enjoyable and balanced, this expression isn’t really complex but does host a handful of flavours which makes it a pleasure sipper! In true fiddich style, this bad boy is a people pleaser stepping foot in both worlds – peat and sweet! You won’t be awestruck but neither would you be disappointed, as the expression aligns to the orthodox upbringing the house of Grant & Sons have given it. The peat on the nose is more char and smoke, while the palate introduces brine and bits of earthiness; I loved the bits of salt that complimented the dark, fruity and sweet flavours. And for AUD $76, it is a decent pour, one that isn’t textbook Speyside but isn’t your traditional Islay either. Weird as it might sound, I felt more of a Talisker twist embedded in the expression.