By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
I'm generally skeptical of finishes, I know I'm not the only one. That's not because I don't believe they can do great things, it's because so many people use finishing to try to "save" or "hide" flawed or boring whisky. If you start with great juice and use a great barrel to bring something more special to a whisky, then I'm all for a good finish. Here, though, we're fully into a double maturation range. We started with the same awesome 'Fiddich base that we've selling for several years. Two of these gorgeous hogsheads were dumped into a freshly emptied sherry butt more than three years ago. The result is something absolutely unique and undeniably delicious. None of the pancake syrup (thanks for that one Todd!) character that you sometimes get with sherry finished whisky. Because the barrel was originally used for many years to age single malt, we're getting it's very different than the seasoned sherry barrels that we normally see used for finishes. The color is auburn. The nose is an exotic bouquet of toasted vanilla bean, exotic wood, nougat, clean fresh leather, dried apricots and Christmas spice. The palate is medium bodied with extremely well integrated red fruit, nutty compote and baking spice. With water the nose explodes with dried stone fruits, exotic honey. nutmeg, clove and fresh sweet buns. On the palate it's definitely very zesty and easily drinkable, but the water adds texture and length. I couldn't be happier to have more than 500 bottles from this cask, it's easily one of the best values we've ever put our name on. Stupendously high quality 20 year old malt aged for an additional three years in quality old sherry butt for less than $120? It's so good I just don't get why the distillery isn't doing the same themselves.