Fib Whisky Glentauchers 13yo Bourbon Barrel & Fib Whisky Glentauchers 14yo 1st Fill Fino Sherry Finish


Today we’re looking at the 2nd releases in the Fib Whiskies Before & After Series. This series gives you the opportunity to try whiskies before and after cask finishing. In addition to being available as a double pack, these bottles have also been released individually as part of the Fibs Copper & Oak series and the Permutations series.

Fib Whisky Glentauchers 13yo Bourbon Barrel

Region: Speyside

ABV: 58.0%

Price: £70.00

This release, distilled on 25th February 2009, was matured in a Refill Bourbon Barrel until 14th February 2023, at which point 116 bottles were filled. The remainder of the cask was re-racked, and we'll explore that in today's second review.

Nose

On the nose, we’re finding rice paper, shortbread, oatcakes, fresh green apple flesh, diluted lemon juice and some light honey sweetness. There’s good alcohol integration, there’s a little bit of white pepper spice if you get deep into the glass but overall we’re mostly finding light vanilla, pear and apple notes coming through. Going back to the whisky, we’re finding something a little floral/perfumed, along with some barley sugars and the faintest hint of tinned pineapple right at the end.

Palate

The palate begin with with a honeyed mouthfeel, it’s relatively thick and silky, with the honey and caramel sweetness. The palate moves into chocolate digestive biscuits, or maybe chocolate topped flapjacks, with a zesting of lime and some apple puree too. As we continue to sip, the palate comes into more of a harmony, caramel dipped apple slices and a little bit of orange pith bitterness towards the finish. Speaking of the finish, it’s fairly long with vanilla and shaven oak lingering on. It’s a touch spicy in places, a little rough around the edges, but pretty flavourful overall.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has more upfront acidity, the apples and pears are less sweet now, and the citrus fruits are much more prominent. It reminds us of a sweet and sour mix you’d use for cocktails. That pineapple note we detected before is now a little stronger too, having been thrown on a hot grill for a few minutes.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate maintains most of the honeyed mouthfeel, moving into a handful of mixed boiled sweeties, and more of those chocolate digestive biscuits. Interestingly the water hasn’t dulled the spice, it feels even more prominent, a little bit of fiery cinnamon and chill coming through now.

Conclusion

A good bourbon cask Speysider. It’s not anything super complex, but it’s an enjoyable sipper nonetheless. It’s a touch rough in places, but we can see how that gives the dram a bit of character.

Score: 7/10

Value

£70 for a 13yo isn’t bad value at all especially coming from a smaller bottler.


Fib Whisky Glentauchers 14yo 1st Fill Fino Sherry Finish

Region: Speyside

ABV: 55.1%

Price: £76.00

The remainder of the cask from our first review today was reracked into a 1st Fill Fino Sherry cask, where it continued to mature for an additional two months before being disgorged on 19th April 2023, resulting in a limited release of just 87 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with a toasted aroma.. a mixture of toasted wood and roast nuts, cashews and almonds predominantly. The nose then moves into raisin flavoured fudge, sultanas and light caramel aromas. It’s fairly restrained, the fino provides some richer notes but not as much as you’d usually achieve from oloroso or PX. Going back, we’re finding carrot cake, ginger biscuits and some fizzy cola.

Palate

The palate has an instant hit of dry fino sherry, moving into sweeter vanilla and then caramel on the finish. The fino has given the whisky a little bit of astringency up front, but then we’re finding it mellow into Jamaican ginger cake, sugar cookies and kefir lime leaves. The mouthfeel is nice, reasonably creamy, and the finish lingers on for a good length, although there’s a bit too much chill spice that stays on our palate. There’s a good amount of oak too, leaving us with a bit of orange pith bitterness on our palates.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has more of a herbal/vegetal aroma to it, slightly unexpected. There’s more lemon zest and marzipan now, and maybe even some maraschino cherry liqueur right in the background. The alcohol spice and fizziness has definitely reduced now, and there’s a certain creaminess to the nose that wasn’t there before.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate begins with toasted oak and caramel popcorn, moving into chocolate coated hazelnuts and black pepper spice. There’s more chocolate, raisin and orgeat flavours coming through now. The mouthfeel is slightly thinner before though, but the finish maintains a decent length with Nutella and rosemary.

Conclusion

It’s interesting to try the original bourbon matured whisky vs. the sherry finished version. The fino maturation has added another layer to the whisky, but has definitely hidden some of the lighter orchard fruits and citrus we got from the original whisky. It’s not a bad thing, we enjoyed some of those richer sherry flavours but we think we prefer the original bourbon version - it feels slightly more balanced to us.

Score: 6.5/10

Value

Similar to our thoughts above, a 14yo sherry finish at £75 isn’t a bad deal these days.

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  • 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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