Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

firecane.jpgFire & Cane is the fourth release from Glenfiddich's "Experimental Series" which seeks an answer to the question: "What would happen if we lightly peated our house style of whisky and then finished it in ex-rum casks?"
Malt Master Brian Kinsman was an apprentice at Glenfiddich when they first ran this peated spirit through the stills. Using peat from the surrounding Highlands to dry the malt, a grassy smoky flavour made its way into the spirit. Years later, and now master of his craft, Kinsman blended this aged smoky whisky with spirit matured in ex-bourbon casks. After marrying the aged peated and unpeated single malts, the mixture was placed in South American rum casks to finish for up to six months resulting in a non age stated single malt that's peated to 5 ppm and bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: At first, a blast of pungent campfire smoke with a light bready note that gradually dissipates to reveal toffee, crème brûlée and apples.
Palate: Rich, full-bodied and smooth on entry with the typical fruity Glenfiddich pear notes taking a backseat to cinnamon and nutmeg-spiced toffee. Smoky vanilla and toasted oak combine to form an interesting, almost marshmallow-like flavour.

Finish: Warming, gentle and lingering with a chewy, tarry, smokiness that goes on and on and on...

Overall: The results are in: Experiment Number Four is a delicious consummation of flavours! 

Just a sip of this dram practically conjures up images of wood-paneled rooms with overstuffed chairs and a roaring fireplace. Fire & Cane is a robust, food-friendly whisky with a dessert-like profile that could either accompany your sweet course or stand in for it.  

Sampling this whisky, I'm struck by a wish for Glenfiddich to make a smoky version of their highly quaffable 15 year old. I think the combo of the the sherry influence and Highland peat would probably be as close to perfection as one can reasonably expect this side of Heaven. 

But I digress. 

My desires for a smoky addition to the Glenfiddich core range aside, Fire & Cane is probably unlike anything you've tasted recently from this iconic Speyside distillery. It's not the first time the distillery has experimented with rum finished whisky to great effect (see the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 year old) but it's the first time with a lightly peated spirit. At $79.95 in the LCBO, it may be worth grabbing a couple of bottles before this limited run is gone for good. 

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