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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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  • Friday, 10 August 2012 19:14

    Bruichladdich Sale to Remy... Some Reasons to be Cheerful

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    There has been quite a lot of commentary (and online hand wringing) already about recent sale by Bruichladdich to Remy Martin so I thought I would throw in my 10 cents (not that I would get much of Bruichladdich for 10 cents based on selling price of over $90 million).  This deal should not be a surprise or shock to anyone.  This is a classic, often repeated story and the end was inevitable.  The only question was when and how much.  If the "how much" bit is right then the "when" is now.    I have no doubt that even the one director who did not vote for this particular deal would have voted to sell at some point for what he considered the "right price".

    This is the way business and free market works.    If you have issues with capitalism and the free market (and many people do with some good reasons) but you also consider yourself a whisky person then I urge you to send me an email with all the quality brands and products (anything at all, I am not limiting this to just whisky) that have been developed in a non-free market economy.  Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea... it's your call.   I am more than willing to entertain an argument that the free market does not, without fail, produce the best consumer products.  However it won't last long and you will lose and look rather silly, but I am willing to entertain it.    This is the system that produces the products and brands we love at work in all it's glory, and we should celebrate it, not moan about it.

    It is not as if Bruichladdich is going anywhere, in fact we can expect more of their product over coming years due to an agreed investment program so you would think the 'laddich lovers would be thrilled. 

    More good news is the gap perhaps left in some people's hearts will be quickly filled by next new distiller to open up an old site (my money is on Glenglassaugh to be next "darling" of the malt whisky world) and that we can all fall in love with and idolize.  I have no doubt we will all collectively agree to overlook the inevitable "rushed to market", cash flow driven products and expressions that Bruichladdich were more than guilty of in their rise (they possibly even took that to new levels).  If we are being honest Bruichladdich have had more inconsistency and variation in their expressions than an Angel Hernandez strike zone!  (Holy cow did I just make a very obscure baseball umpire joke...  I rather think I did).  It seems likely to me that some stewardship and steady cash flow under a global quality brand will likely produce a better product and the mantle of "innovator" will quickly pass onto someone else.  This isn't the end of anything, there is nothing to lament or mourn here, the circle of life continues.  Hakuna Matata.  Can we move on now?

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