Review: Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is the fourth release in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series, joining the IPA Experiment (Experimental Series #01), Project XX (Experimental Series #02), and Winter Storm (Experimental Series #03) in a series of releases intended to “push whisky boundaries and challenge traditions” in order to create “new and unusual single malt whisky.” For the fourth experimental release, peated and unpeated distillate was matured in ex-bourbon barrels, married together, and finished in Latin dark rum casks to create a spirit with smoky and sweet characteristics.
Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Specifications:
- Spirit: Scotch.
- Type: Single Malt.
- Region: Speyside.
- Age: NAS (No Age Statement).
- ABV: 43% (86 Proof).
- Cask: Matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in Latin dark rum casks.
- NCF (Non-Chill Filtered)? No.
- Natural Color? No.
- Price: $49.99 for 750 ml.
- Color: Amber.
- Nose: Green apples, pears, brown sugar, molasses, banana chips, faint smoke.
- Palate: Malty mouthfeel. The peat becomes more noticeable on the palate, but this remains a rum forward spirit. There’s a vegetal, floral funk that could be coming from the peat or the rum. Campfire smoke, green apples, pears, overripe banana, mango, green bell peppers, dates, prunes, caramel, brown sugar.
- Finish: Short. The smoke and fruit fade quickly. Caramel and brown sugar linger briefly. Toffee, baking spices.
As a fan of peated whisky and rum, I’ve been looking forward to Glenfiddich Fire & Cane since first discovering a label for it in the TTB database. When I first nosed the whisky, I was surprised by the barely discernible peat influence – I wasn’t expecting Ardbeg or Laphroaig levels of peat, but I was expecting something more. After taking my first sip, the peat made its presence felt and my fears were relieved. Make no mistake, Fire & Cane is primarily rum forward with only a light peat influence, but I wasn’t expecting intense peat from Glenfiddich and the combination works well overall. My only complaint about Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is that the finish is too short.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative to the heavily peated whiskies from Islay or a budget friendly introduction to the world of peated whisky, you can’t go wrong with Glenfiddich Fire & Cane.
Elias’ Rating: 85/100
- Color: Amber.
- Nose: Sweet. Fresh fruit. Candy. Cinnamon. Faint smoke trying to make it its presence felt.
- Palate: Classic Glenfiddich profile with green apples and pear. More peat smoke. Definitely some rum funk. Mouthfeel is thinner than what I would’ve preferred.
- Finish: Medium length albeit on the shorter side. Fruit turns to spice. Pumpkin pie. Peppery, some caramel and a soft pleasant oak. Peat all but disappears.
This was surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because I took it for a gimmick – Young, hastily finished with a cool marketing shtick. But this is a nice malt. I didn’t get any of that artificial sweetness that you get with some cheap rums. The Glenfiddich profile is sustained with soft peat and rum funk providing continuity and balance from nose to finish. My knocks on it would be not too complex, especially in the peat smoke department, and thinner mouthfeel. I will confidently say that it is better than the 12 and 15 on this palate. Even a nudge ahead of the solid 14 ex-Bourbon. Well worth the $50 price tag.
Jayson’s Rating: 83/100