This a good quote to start with in our opinion, not only because it says a lot about the company, but also because we as the Dutch Whisky Brothers are like minded 😉
We know it’s been a while, but we’re back with some interesting stuff from Firkin 🥃. We’ve received some samples from Ed Leigh by TopWhiskies so we could explore the Firkin Four.
(unfortunately one of the samples found his way to the Angels, during delivery… we hope the Angels liked the Tullibardine 2021, 48.9% ABV – Double wood, seasoned with both Oloroso & Amontillado).
So before we’re going to explore some whiskies, let’s talk about The Firkin Whisky Co. :
Mike Collins… yes indeed, Mike (Firkin) Collins, with 40 years of experience in the Whisky Industry! He created Johnnie Walker Blue & Green Labels, The Classic Malts, Rare Malts, Distillers Edition, Flora & Fauna series, Cardhu and Royal Lochnagar. He wanted to do something different instead of a well deserved retirement. In a Tokyo bar, off course after some splendid drams, he created the idea for a unique whisky in the Single Cask Malt market. And it became a “Firkin awesome whisky”.
Firkin creates their whisky from double oak custom casks seasoned with a soulmate wine. Interesting, because the barrels have a unique oak profile. It’s coopered from first-fill Bourbon American oak cask and new Limousin oak casks with a custom char.
We haven’t heard that before 🤔. We know Compass Box creates some special custom made casks for their Highland Blended Malt, but double oak with new Limousin oak casks… that’s a first for us. So pretty sure that they are, and not just only claim to be, unique!
The Firkin Whisky Co. has released Firkin Four:
- Firkin 49: Tullibardine, vintage 2012 @ 48.9 % ABV – Custom Double Oak Cask, Oloroso & Amontillado
- Firkin Islay: Caol Ila, vintage 2010 @ 48.9% ABV – Custom Double Oak Cask, Marsala
- Firkin Rare: Aultmore, vintage 2010 @48.9% ABV – Custom Double Oak Cask, Tawny Port
- Firkin Ten: Benrinnes, vintage 2008 @48.9% ABV – Custom Double Oak Cask, Madeira
Funny fact about the Firkin 49 is that the new Distillery of Tullibardine build 1949. And that’s also the year when Mike (Firkin) Collins was born 😉.
We think it’s time now to explore some drams…
Firkin Rare – Aultmore
- Nose: Musty hay notes and packed with fruits like green crisp apples, peaches, strawberries. Really faint on the red fruits.
- Palate: More dark (red) fruits now. Burned caramel, tobacco, earthy and dark chocolate.
- Finish: A dry finish with some wood notes and nuts.
Score: 88 / 100
- Nose: Straight up red fruits, like strawberries and raspberries. Also a bit musty (like walking in an old library), transferring to candy cane and those wine balls from the fairs.
- Palate: Again musty, blackberries, cinnamon and a whiff of tobacco.
- Finish: Medium length with red fruit notes.
Score: 86 / 100
Firkin Ten – Benrinnes
- Nose: Creamy strawberries with vanilla. Actually more like whipped cream with sweet strawberries.
- Palate: A bit sharper, spicier. Some raisins, figs and a little sweetness of strawberries.
- Finish: Dry medium finish with slight spices.
Score: 84 / 100
- Nose: A pleasant nose with sweet peaches, almonds and some herbal notes.
- Palate: Nice and oily mouthfeel, vanilla, caramel and fresh cut grass.
- Finish: Medium, but oily and thick.
Score: 87 / 100
Firkin Islay – Caol Ila
- Nose: Briny bonfire smoke with lemons.
- Palate: A bit more smoke on the palate, but also more on the sweet side. Sweetness like cotton candy. It’s well balanced and the alcohol is perfectly integrated.
- Finish: Lingering on the bonfire with a mix of sweet and briny notes.
Score: 87 / 100
- Nose: Yes please! Light bonfire peat-smoke with lemon notes. Well balanced.
- Palate: More peaty than the nose. Tobacco, marshmallows. It’s like sitting at a bonfire and smoring those marshmallows… deliciously balanced 👌🏼
- Finish: Medium/Long finish.
Score: 87.5 / 100
(that’s a first with half a point 😅)
Those were some interesting whiskies! It’s always good to taste and see different notes. All is subjective and everybody has his/her own references. That’s why we the Dutch Whisky Brothers have different preferences.
I, @Whiskypeater, prefer the (shocker 🤣) the peaty drams, and especially from Islay. That’s why I really liked the Caol Ila. And this release by Firkin was really wel balanced. But I must admit… I’m getting more into those musty (maybe a bit funky) drams as well. I haven’t had that many Aultmore’s before, but this was an interesting one for me!
For me, @Dramtastic.86, there isn’t really a preference anymore. Maybe it’s more depending on the moment. But I do find myself shifting over to the ‘basics’. I can really enjoy a good ex-Bourbon Cask matured dram. And I’m quite into those musty, funky and faint whiskies. That’s why I was really impressed by this Aultmore. The maturation on this Port Cask was very well chosen by Firkin, if I may say so 😉.
Again many thanks to Ed Leigh from TopWhiskies. We’re sure we’ll explore some more drams from Firkin due to this journey 🥃👌🏼. And we’re hoping you might do to!
Dutch Whisky Brothers
Photo Credits: TopWhiskies & The Firkin Whisky Co.