Finglassie ‘Lowland Smoke’, bottled in 2021, Marsala cask, 54% – Cooper’s Choice

To close of a short series of undisclosed single malts we’ll try this one. Of course, it’s not really undisclosed, since the subtitle of the whisky says ‘distilled at Inchdairnie Distillery’, but Finglassie is close enough.

Inchdairnie Distillery is a lowlands distillery in Scotland, in the Kingdom of Fife and has been operational since 2016, which means this 2021 release is, at its highest, 5 years old. According to www.scotchwhisky.com the distillery is set up to maximize flavor. I guess they mean that it’s a very technologically advanced distillery, because otherwise a statement like that doesn’t make much sense.

This Finglassie is a heavily peated version of their distillate, and it’s not the only one from Cooper’s Choice. There are two other ones that are also finished in wine casks. One in a Madeira and the other in a Sauternes cask.

Image from Whiskybase

To me, this generally is a bit of a warning sign, since very young whisky from new distilleries should nowadays be able to be rather palatable, like Torabhaig, Raasay, Waterford, Lochlea, Lindores Abbey and so on. For these drams they decided to use casks that impart lots of flavor, and while I might be too cynical about this, I tend to think that that happens to hide the spirit behind.

In short, I would never have bought a bottle of this, but my friend Tom (van Engelen, from the guest posts) did, and sent me a sample.

Sniff:
It mostly smells young, peated and sweet. The marsala is rather noticeable, with lots of grapy sweetness. A straw like smokiness. Blue grapes and jam.

Sip:
Dry with a lot of peppery heat. Some surprisingly oily smokiness, but quite harsh. Sawdust grist. It’s very, very hot. Some wine cask stuff too, but that bit of fruitiness is pushed back by pepper and alcohol.

Swallow:
An oily smoke again, with some lingering dry heat.

Not surprisingly, it tastes like young whisky with a lot of cask influence forced upon it. After having tried this, I literally have no idea what Inchdairnie spirit would taste like at approximately four years old. I do understand a bit more about what four year old whisky from a very active Marsala cask tastes like, but that’s not what I hoped for.

As I expected, I don’t care for it.

78/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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