Ferg & Harris, a new, luxury scotch whisky brand, has launched a rather outstanding Speyside 12-year-old whisky, which it modestly describes as its ‘core range’. And perhaps so, because alongside it, there is an even more outstanding Linkwood 12-years old and Glenrothes 32-year old.
The brand is the brainchild and passion of John Ferguson and Ales Harrison, founders of Edinburgh bottling company Young Spirits. Three years ago, they decided to combine their expertise, knowledge and access to trusted and experienced distilleries in creating this new brand, with whiskies which are all hand-selected and bottled on site in Edinburgh. They had just three people working for them. Now they have 40. They remain smitten with single malts, and travel around the six Scottish whisky regions to discover barrels off the beaten track. Ferg & Harris offers a small selection of new whiskies designed to give people an exclusive taste of a truly unique product. A typical production is of around 150 to 400 bottles.
Of course, Ferg & Harris’s whisky connoisseurs are central to the crafting process, from hand selecting the malts right through to distilling and even providing comprehensive notes and advice on how best to enjoy the drink, for those lucky enough to get their hands on one of the few bottles available.
While they were in London to present their new whiskies at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, part of the Curio Collection, I talked at length with Andy, their brand manager, who also led the whisky tasting.
The 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt, matured in Pedro Ximenex (PX) sherry casks, and is 55.7% abv, had scents of toffee, baked figs, rich raisins, followed by a quick hit of sherry sweetness on the palate and lighter fruity notes follow. A warm finish. This is a ‘sharing whisky’, to enjoy with friends, and very indicative of the brand’s style. The key is the single cask.
The 14 Year Old Highland Single Malt scotch whisky distilled at Pulteney distillery was the next discovery. At 55.5% abv it packed a punch, but the pure combination of savoury saltiness of the Pulteney and the tropical fruits from the second fill PX sherry cask is what made this Single Malt unique. Hints of salted caramel and stewed raisins, wrapped in a delightful, spiced apple finish.
Perhaps my favourite of the night was the 26 Year Old Highland Single Malt, with a 47.5% abv, and finished in a second fill PX sherry hogshead. The subtle sweet sherry added a whiff of dried fruits to the nose, marrying perfectly with the citrus, spice and floral notes of the whisky. I also detected a creamy mouthfeel with fruit and peppery notes all in one.
Alongside with superb whiskies, Ferg & Harris seem to have access to a variety of premium barrels, butts and hogsheads which are the key to an outstanding finishing.
I liked the purity of these whiskies, and I preferred tasting them neat. But we went a step beyond, with the skilful barman at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, creating a range of cocktails using Speyside 12 year old as the base. An Old fashioned with a twist, a Magpie’s Beak and a Boulevardier were rather moreish….
Find these whiskies from the Fergandharris.co.uk website.
The core range Speyside 12 year old sells at £69.99 per bottle; the Cluneleish at £500 per bottle, with a limited edition run of 140 bottles, and the Old Pulteney at £150 per bottle with a limited edition run of 160 bottles. When they are gone, they are gone! But something equally unique will come up for sure….
Ferg & Harris may not be a household name yet, but it soon will be.Tags: #scotland #scottishwhisky #fergandharris #whiskydram