Well then... It’s #FibFriday once again, and this week we don’t have a whisky fib for you. Instead, we have something we have wanted to prepare for you for a long time. It’s finally here! Tomorrow sees Fib Whisky, in selected bottle shops - keep an eye on our social media - release our first series of 8 natural cask strength, natural colour, single cask whiskies! Then, if that wasn’t exciting enough, after the bottle shop exclusive over the weekend, our online shop here on the website will go live, for you to get our drams directly. And pretty, pretty Glencairn glasses! What could be better?
The Copper & Oak Series, as we have entitled our inaugural range and the rest of our regular releases in this style, each represent the whisky exactly as we got it. Copper celebrates the beautiful polished metal of the pot still that distilled the whisky, unique to each distillery. While Oak, funnily enough, represents the wood that distiller put the spirit into. As independent bottlers, we will not always be able to buy direct from the distillery, and sometimes our sources will have re-racked the whisky at some stage in its life - whenever we are able to come across that information, we will happily declare it, sharing with you everything we know. The inaugural 8 releases that make up Series 1 all represent incredible examples of Scotch whisky, mainly single malt but also single grain. In the future, watch this space for exciting Christmas releases, and in future Copper & Oak series, also some beautiful international surprises. We always intend in the Copper & Oak series to bottle at natural colour, unchill-filtered of course, and at natural cask strength. The only occasional exceptions will be when we are importing a cask we already know is great from those countries with interesting export laws regarding alcohol - India, for example, which cannot legally ship unbottled spirit to us above 62% ABV. In those cases, if the cask was above the legal maximum, the spirit will be watered at the distillery prior to transportation to exactly this level, never lower. Some of our bottlings may therefore seem a bit strong, but we are firm believers that the main beauty of single cask whisky is being able to experiment with the dram, adding exactly as much or as little water as you want, perhaps also taking it neat, and see how each of these subtle differences affects the flavour of your dram. It’s all about freedom, and all about the experience, of course.
And the most exciting thing about the Copper & Oak Series? Each offering in the Copper & Oak Series will, unless exceptionally otherwise stated, represent only a part bottling. For Copper & Oak, we bottle half the cask. The other half we re-rack into exciting finishing casks for further maturation at our rented site with the Auchtermuchty Bond. These finishing projects have been maturing nicely for 2 months now, and we look forward to sampling soon. The remainder of the barrel from each Copper & Oak release is re-racked only into a single other cask, with no mixing of the spirit. We have different whiskies finishing in beautiful ex-Syrah red wine barriques, ex-Rousanne white wine, even ambré barriques, all from our friends Tramontane Wines on the Catalan Coast of France. We also have a couple of finishing projects in our 50 year old ex-bodega barrels - which have previously held PX sherry and then Spanish brandy - courtesy of our good friend Andy Hogan at Spirits Innovation UK Ltd.. We also have a few other things in the works. What this means is that, a few months down the line, you are going to see all of our Copper & Oak Series again, but in a slightly different form - this series will be bottled under an as yet undetermined name, the series releases numbered to correspond with their Copper & Oak counterparts - literally to allow you to taste along the maturation process as it has affected a single cask. While we will be trying to keep a little bit of Copper & Oak stock back for this time, we recommend you try to keep a little bit in your bottle for when the time comes, so you can taste them side-by-side - difficult as we know that will be with these delicious drams! Part bottling, however, makes each release that much more limited. And, we think, therefore more fun. We expect there will be very little of this series left when the finished casks come out.
All 8 of our inaugural releases that form Copper & Oak Series 1 are ex-bourbon whiskies, from a mix of both hogsheads and barrels. In alphabetical order, we have a delicious 13 year old Allt-à-Bhainne distilled January 2009 (think a slight maltiness with pleasant lemon, creaminess and layered spice, and all the goodness of a French patisserie - this one is so multi-layered the description hardly does it justice, however: a true stunner, if we do say so ourselves). There are only 99 bottles of this, 61.3% ABV at time of bottling. £102.50 a bottle. Then we have a 24 year old Auchentoshan. The oldest whisky in our inaugural releases. Filled 4 December 1997. Only 87 bottles at 48.5% ABV, we’re afraid. A beautiful but very light and fresh dram for its age - light lemon citrus with a slight malty base and some milk chocolate. £235. Next, we have a delectably peated 12 year old Ardmore, distilled 08.12.09, still an impressive 61.2% ABV. This cask was sadly a little empty, only 56 bottles from this half - think green apple, juniper spice, and crispy smoked bacon. Very tasty. £112. We also have a delightful Deanston at 8 years old, distilled December 2013. There are 95 bottles of this one - a delicious slightly mentholic base, we think sage, with a sweet malt base and some sharp bergamot. 57.8% ABV. £80. Next up, we have a delicious 11 year old Fettercairn. This one was distilled in February 2011, now 59.5% ABV, with 146 bottles available. The dram is full of juicy fruits, with a slight tropical twist in a little bit of coconut, alongside moreish toasted hazelnuts and slight spice. A very tasty drop indeed. £125. Port Dundas comes next, bringing us to our delicious single grain. This one is 21 years old, distilled October 2000 (if anyone can still remember the millennium). The distillery closed in 2011, and all aged grain is a treat. We have 133 bottles of this one - expect a dessert in a glass ranging from cooked apple and orange juice through to a sweet vanilla sponge cake mix. We are huge fans. £110 a bottle, at 58.6% ABV. Second last, we have a 13 year old Royal Brackla, distilled December 2008. This feisty little number comes in at 61.9% ABV, tasting delightfully of heather and gorse, alongside slightly unripe blueberries. A very fresh, Highland dram. There are 74 bottles of this, priced at £120 each. Finally, we have a beautiful Staoisha - a fine example of peated Bunnahabhainn. This particular example was 8 years old at time of bottling, distilled in October 2013 and filling a happy 110 bottles out of the half cask used. It is £128. The spirit comes in at 57.6% ABV and reminds us of beach barbecues, with that slight acid of the sauce as well as a beautiful aniseed spice. A delightful piece of Islay on the tongue. Slàinte!
So that’s our range. We look forward to sharing them with you very soon, and announcing more to come in the future as Fib really gets off the ground. Enjoy our drams. Whisky is for sharing. Responsibly, of course. We can’t wait to hear what you think. Slàinte!