Single malt whisky - tasting notes

29 Oct 2013

Fettercairn 1995 (SV cask #405+406)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Fettercairn

I know some people like Fettercairn, but the ones I’ve had so far were always a tad below par. I still have to try one of these newer official bottlings though. This middle-aged version was bottled by Signatory a couple of years ago.


Fettercairn 1995 Signatory #405 #406Fettercairn 16 yo 1995 (59,9%, Signatory Vintage 2011, bourbon barrels #405+406, 368 btl.)

Nose: fairly sweet, malty and fruity (apples, gooseberries), quite modern in that respect. A little vanilla. Some spices (pepper) and fresh oak. Not much to say really, this isn’t too bad but it’s very neutral and not very expressive in the first place. Mouth: strange, with chalky notes, a beer-like note, some bread and a pretty big rubbery note (not sherried rubber, but something of a fresh cleaning glove). Also a lemony note that evolves into soap or toilet refresher. Lots of herbal notes and a bitter zestiness in the end. Not sure what to make of this, it’s a challenge. Finish: green herbs, pine wood and grapefruit zest.

Very strange whisky, especially with the rubber / soap. Around € 70, still available in some places. I can understand some drams are not within my preferred profile, but this comes close to faulty production if you ask me.

Score: 69/100

Fettercairn 1995 (SV cask #405+406) 1 Ruben Luyten 2013-10-29
  • Florin

    Did you know that Fettercairn uses (or used) soap inside its stiills? So says David Broom in his World Atlast of Whisky, p.123: “There’s an open-topped mash tun, stills with soap grinders on the sides – soap was used as a surfactant to reduce frothing in the wash still but did not add flavor…”. But notice that the soap did not add flavor, so what you’re tasting must be something else… :)

  • Ricardo

    Surely sounds awful! Thanks for the heads up.

  • John

    I have a bottle of this and have been struggling to get through it. As Ruben’s review notes, it has a soapy taste. This is the overriding flavour of this whisky – as though someone has maliciously added a bar of soap or some washing up liquid – utterly disgusting!



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.