Fable Batch One Blended Malt


Reviews of affordable whiskies with some entertaining tales along the way…

Fable is an independent bottler, owned by Pendulum Spirits Limited. Based out of Livingston, near Edinburgh, the company sources casks of Scotch whisky and releases them as part of a series of bottlings arranged around a well-known Scottish folktale. Company director Calum Lawrie was previously employed by Diageo, which may partly explain the prevalence of Diageo-owned distilleries within the Fable releases. In fact, every expression released thus far has come from a Diageo-owned distillery.

Fable has centred its single cask releases on the story of the Ghost Piper of Clanyard Bay, a legend that crops up in various guises throughout many collections of Scottish stories. The story centres around a coastal town, in this case, Clanyard Bay. The people of the area were plagued by mischievous Faeries who lived in a nearby cave. The story goes, that one day, out of nowhere, a mysterious Piper appeared.

It was a commonly held belief that Faeries hated the sound of the pipes, so with his trusty hound by his side, the Piper marched into the caves and began to play. Deeper and deeper he went, playing all the while. The Faeries were outraged but such was their hatred of the music they were forced to flee. The people of Clanyard Bay were never troubled by their kind again but of the Piper, sadly, there was no sign. He was forever lost in the labyrinthine maze of tunnels, never to venture forth again. It is said that on some nights, you can still hear the sound of his pipes echoing from deep within the caves.

The story is a great example of Scotland’s rich storytelling tradition, something I like to see being supported by the Scotch whisky industry. As part of their marketing for the series, Fable created a short illustrated film to tell the tale and the label of every bottle features the work of artist, Hugo Cuellar, with each one referring to a particular section of the story. One features Clanyard itself, another features the moon. One has the Piper and his Hound appears on another.

The original range focussed exclusively on single malts, with casks from distilleries like Linkwood, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Mannochmore, Blair Athol, Glen Elgin, Glen Spey, Teaninich and Caol Ila. The second set of releases, however, are blended malts that take some of the whiskies used in the first batch and combines them to create something new. As is normal in such cases, the exact makeup of each blend isn’t made clear but perhaps Fable has offered some subtle hints on the label – the label of Blended Malt Batch One features the image of a Hound, some Crows and the Moon. In Volume One, those images were to be found on bottles of Mannochmore, Blair Athol and Dailuaine. Is that, therefore, the recipe of this blended malt?

Fable Blended Malt Batch One is 7 years old and bottled at 46.5% abv. 3000 bottles were released.

Smell: It’s light, fresh and gentle. Lots of soft fresh fruits. Shortbread and buttery pastries. Apples and pears. Lemon zest. Lemon curd. Young Speyside vibe. Also some toffee and a little bit of oak. Vanilla cream and baking spices.

Taste: Breakfast cereals and runny honey. Citrus fruits and soft, oaky spices. Apple, pear… even pineapple. Toffee. Bitter woody note on finish with peppery spice.

Thoughts: Comes across rather well developed for a dram only seven years old. Yes, it has a youthful vibrancy about it but there’s also a depth that you don’t expect to find in such a young whisky. Of course, the 7 year age statement could only be referring to the youngest component in the blend and there might be some older stuff in there, too. Certainly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was.

The whisky is light in colour and light in mouthfeel but the 46% bottling strength helps to deliver the fullness of flavour that we all crave and the end result is a surprisingly good dram at a very reasonable price.

Price: £38. Great price. Good dram. Interesting bottler. You can’t really go wrong.

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For more on Fable visit https://fablewhisky.com

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