Fercullen is an Irish whiskey brand marketed by the Powerscourt Distillery in Wicklow, a few kilometers south of Dublin. It was founded in 2015 by local entrepreneurs Gerry Ginty and Ashley Gardiner who also attracted Mike Pierce (Arran distillery) and Master Distiller Noel Sweeney (ex-Cooley).
Sweeney was a key figure for acquiring stocks of old whiskey elsewhere, bottled as Fercullen, while their own production matures in the warehouses. One of the oldest expressions is the Fercullen 20 Year Old Five Elements that we have in our glass today.
This is the second annual release in the Five Elements series – there used to be an 18 Year Old in 2020 as well. Each version starts with a bourbon matured 16 year old which is then transferred to other cask types. It comes from a mix of Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, Marsala and Moscatel casks.
Fercullen 20 yo ‘Five Elements’ (46%, OB 2021, 1500 btl.)
Nose: aromatic start, with lots of creamy tropical fruits. I’m getting candied pineapple slices, mashed bananas and mango. Also ripe yellow plums. Then sherry spice comes forward, as well as honey and vanilla. Greener nutty notes and orange blossom in the background. Overall nicely sweet and vivid.
Mouth: similar candied fruits, like peaches and mango, followed by orange peels. More bananas and hints of lime. Then gingery notes and cloves appear, leading to gentle hints of chocolate. Nice balance of tartness and sweetness, with sherried notes and a winey edge taking over in the end.
Finish: medium, sweet and spicy, on darker fruits, milk chocolate and toffee.
A great fruity nose caught my attention. The palate is spicier and slightly less complex. Overall a really drinkable, well composed Irish whiskey. A pleasant surprise. Still available from Master of Malt.