Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon refill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Pendulum Spirits Ltd
Average price: € 95.00
Official website: fablewhisky.com
In one fell swoop, today we introduce a new distillery and a new independent bottler to the blog.
Let’s start with Dailuaine, a distillery part of the huge Diageo portfolio that, like many, allocates a large part of its production to the multinational’s blends with only sporadic bottlings of its own (including a Flora & Fauna).
Founded in 1851 in the heart of Speyside, in Charlestown-of-Aberlour, it was the first (in 1884) to add the iconic pagoda on top of the roof of its malting kiln (to minimise contact between peat smoke and barley), and quickly became the largest distillery in the region. It continued to expand until a fire in 1917 forced its closure for three years, passing shortly afterwards into the hands of DLC, the future Diageo. The six stills and ten washbacks guarantee the ample production needed to supply the blends, and 2013 saw the installation of a bio-energy plant to process ‘spent’ grain from other distilleries.
Founded in early 2021, Fable Whisky is instead a rather atypical independent bottler, which has chosen to tie its products together with the thread of a story, starting with The Ghost Piper of Clanyard Bay, where each release is presented as a chapter, in no real chronological order, re-imagined by writer Des Waddy with the protagonists illustrated on the label by Hugo Cuellar based on a design by gpstudio. On their site, you can admire an animation with Jeff Rawle’s narration voice.
Three blended and eleven single casks, of which there are different versions depending on the target market: in the case of this Dailuaine, there are twelve editions, aged between eleven and twelve years, all from single cask hogshead ex-Bourbon refill.
Specifically, in this edition for Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK we find a July 2010 distillate bottled in December 2021 in 287 bottles, obviously at (very) cask strength.
With alcohol only faintly perceptible on the nose, composite notes of vanilla, unripe apple, almonds, candied citron and freshly cut grass emerge from the glass in an interesting balance between sweet and sour evocations. Over time, more fruit peeps out (peach, currant) that seems to want to shift the balance towards sweetness, but a clear mineral vein (with flashes of green tea and aloe) keeps the freshness bar steady.
On the palate, the alcohol is again on point, with notes of white pepper, ginger and cinnamon (a little) that frame a good body in which the impressions of the nose return, where the mineral component raises the tone, also declining in a slightly metallic vein. We are under the banner of acidic sensations (grapefruit, pineapple, gooseberry) in which the fruity ones (peach, pear, apple) are diluted with some hints of lemon cream, cereals, nuts and balsamic notes.
The finish is fairly long, proudly vegetal and balsamic, with notes of peach, pear, nuts and citrus.
The high collectability of the beautiful packaging is matched by a solid, well-constructed whisky, without great depth but not lacking in points of interest, certainly far from being pleasing and proud of its personality.