Fib Volume 1: Pictish Beastie


Just one review today as we’ve been busy on one of our “occasional” trips to Campbeltown.

    Fib Volume 1: Pictish Beastie

    Region: N/A

    ABV: 58.8%

    Price: £54.00

    The "Pictish Beastie" mentioned here is the Fib whisky mascot. This bottling marks their first blended whisky, combining two casks. The first cask is a sister cask to the Deanston barrel from the initial Copper & Oak/Permutations series, which was finished in a 1st-Fill PX Sherry Hogshead. The second cask is a Fife single grain originating from Cameronbridge Distillery, which was finished in an ex-Glenallachie Sherry Butt. It is bottled at a cask strength of 58.8%. Only 250 bottles were released.

    Nose

    We’re met with an initial white pepper spice which takes over most of the nose, but behind this sits aromas of caramel shortcake, vanilla ice cream, brown sugar, orange marmalade and chocolate coated raisins. The grain spirit is definitely there, but the maltiness does provide a richer, heavier sensation. It’s quite a closed off nose, not too much jumping out at first sniff, but it does open up with a little bit of air to reveal some lemon cough drops, grapefruit, slithered almonds and ginger nut biscuits.

    Palate

    The palate begins with a heap of sweet citrus, lemon drizzle cake, fondant icing, tinned pineapple rings and orange juice. This moves quickly into richer flavours of terry’s chocolate orange, sticky toffee pudding with lots of caramel sauce, and rum & raisin ice cream. It’s got a pretty decent mouthfeel, it begins quite viscous but loses some of it as the dram progresses into the good length finish. There’s a fair whack of alcohol here, cinnamon and ginger spice, but it’s still drinkable at its natural strength, albeit quite warm as it hits the chest.

    Nose (with water)

    With a little water, some of that original peppery spice has mellowed, and we’re finding more leathery sherry aromas, old books, strawberries in balsamic and even a hint of light grill-smoke in the background It’s still quite sweet overall, but the water has really brought out more of the sherry casks as opposed to the bourbon-led aromas we were finding on the undiluted nose.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate brings us a similar beginning of zesty citrus, however the mouthfeel has all but gone. It picks up a little bit later with butterscotch, Chantilly cream and marzipan on a similar length finish. It feels like the punchy alcohol has disappeared, but taken some of the more interesting flavours with it. Saying that, it’s become much more sippable and we could see ourselves drinking through a dram quite quickly.

    Conclusion

    We don’t tend to drink too much blended scotch, so felt a little blind going into this. It begins quite fiery, peppery and hot, a testament to the ~59% cask strength but there are promising notes behind this. The palate is really where this dram sings though, it’s got a lovely, zesty opening, a rich, creamy and sweet middle, moving into a warm finish. We appreciate the amount of information that Fib give about this marriage of casks, and we think it’s turned out pretty well. Perhaps a few more years maturation in a final cask would mellow some of the upfront heat.

    Score: 6.5/10

    Value

    We think this is pretty reasonable, it’s not a huge vatting of casks and given it’s cask strength then £54 seems pretty good to us.

    • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
    • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
    • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
    • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
    • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
    • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
    • 4 - Below average. Passable.
    • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
    • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
    • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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