Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane header

Glenfiddich have released the fourth instalment of their Experimental Series, Fire & Cane. This whisky follows on from IPA, Project XX and Winter Storm, each of which showcased a bold and unique side to the distillery. Fire & Cane combines peated and unpeated whisky which has initially been matured in ex-bourbon casks, before being finished for 3 months in Latin-style rum casks.

Peated whisky isn’t something which is normally associated with Glenfiddich, however they have produced peated spirit since 2003, when current Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, was still serving his apprenticeship under David Stewart MBE. A few smoky expressions have appeared over the years, including the 12yo Caoran Reserve, the 125th Anniversary bottling and the Vintage Cask which was initially released for the Global Travel Retail market.

Speaking of the release, Kinsman said: “We started with the question – what would happen if we did something with peat that we had not done before? The answer is an unconventional and unexpected whisky, one that is truly surprising. During the tastings, some experience the unusual smoky notes, while others tasted toffee flavours – this phenomenon can be attributed to the Scotch spending three months in sweet rum casks.”

Peated spirit, unpeated spirit, bourbon casks, and rum casks. That’s a lot to be going on in one whisky, how will it all come together?

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
Experimental Series #4
43% ABV
£43 here

Nose: A slightly medicinal start, Tiger Balm possibly, then soft, aromatic woodsmoke, smoked limes, pink grapefruit, peat hearth, poached pears and rhubarb, and some singed orange peel. There’s a richness too; plump sultanas, buttered fruit loaf and some cinnamon.

Palate: The gentle, rolling smoke hits first, with sweet pipe tobacco, clove and nutmeg. Loads of honey and toffee, and that orange note is back again, along with malt loaf and buttered gingerbread.

Finish: The toffee and smoke combine nicely, along with cask stave, and a slightly sweet, nutty earthiness. Hazelnut praline?

Overall: Blimey, what an excellent whisky. I wondered if the smoke, bourbon and rum influences would overwhelm the naturally delicate Glenfiddich spirit, and result in a rather disjointed whisky, but it’s remarkably well integrated. The smoke and citrus, and the toffee and fruit, provide a nicely layered whisky, with good length and enough depth even at 43% ABV. And then there’s the price; £43. A bargain, if I’m honest. There are already two bottles in my house, and I suppose that tells you all you need to know.



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