FOMO. “Fear Of Missing Out”. I’ll be honest, I get it bad. Real bad. The Whisky Sleuth’s recent article on the topic discusses the ins and outs incredibly well if you’re not aware of what FOMO means – if you’ve not read it, I urge you to check it out.
FOMO affects me such that I find my passion for whisky means I have to walk a hard line between being an enthusiast and an obsessive. As an enthusiast, I just bloody love whisky and want to try new ones. I’m not someone who is on-trend, or fashionable so it’s not that I want to emulate others when they flash their collections on social media. I post the odd picture or two of bottles when I’m excited about them on social media, but if I really wanted hundreds of likes I’d put more effort into my online presence. The obsessive side of my passion means I’m constantly having to be aware of the dangers of overconsumption, so I’m pretty careful about that – I’d urge you to check out Adam’s and Dora’s pieces on the topic, both excellently vocalise how I feel about the “negative” side of my passion. I actively keep an eye on the varying levels in each bottle I have and keep tabs on my intake per day/week/month. I’m always aware when I kill a bottle quickly and take plenty of booze-free days.
My fear of missing out was realised recently when I missed out on Filey Bay’s First Release back in the winter. At the time I fancied getting myself a bottle as an extra present to myself after Christmas, you know, a bit of self-love, but was waiting for the Christmas spend to clear out of my account. My usual happy-go-lucky persona was, if anything, too optimistic and I never thought it wouldn’t sell out that quickly. But I soon ended up relying on hope; hope that the final few bottles wouldn’t sell out, as I watched various internet purveyors run out one by one, with the inevitable feeling of dismay when the last bottle finally disappeared. There it was – I’d missed out. Fears realised. It sounds daft when I type it out, but that’s the truth.
It was Yorkshire’s first single malt. I wanted to try it. To be able to say in 50 years that I’d tried their first batch. Not for bragging rights per se, but just a little tick in a box. It could be the start of a little tradition where I could watch how the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery changed and evolved in the future. Panicking slightly, I realised that some bottles might go to auction, so I checked them out, to see if I could get one there. So, I waited for the flippers (tossers) to put bottles up and then watch as bidding went over £100 for a couple of them, which is when I realised I didn’t want it that bad. I wasn’t paying double the money for one.
Why was I initially so bothered about having a bottle? Well, I grew up in Yorkshire and feel more affinity to Yorkshire than anywhere else in the world. Having been born in London, people say I’m not a true Yorkshireman, but tell that to Londoners when you meet them. I have a massive love for Yorkshire, God’s own country and all that. Hence my excitement when I heard about a new distillery opening up in Yorkshire that wasn’t going to do any more tedious gin. A new distillery adds to the competition too, which I think is good and healthy for the industry, as long as they do good things. Being unique to Yorkshire gives it a certain USP within a saturated market, keeping the establishment on their toes too.
From my perspective though, as a newly established distillery, Filey Bay doesn’t appear to have had half the exposure/build-up/hype that Bimber has had. You have to doff your cap to the guys at Bimber in the way they have conducted themselves, creating the brand that people want before it’s even released – with flippers of the first release making 3-4 times the asking price rather than just double those bottles of Filey Bay First Release. And from those that have tried Bimber, it sounds like they’ve hit that note bang on with the product matching the hype. Would be a touch embarrassing if it hadn’t. But I feel strongly that new ventures need to be given a chance, and time, to establish themselves, so wanted to buy a bottle.
Anyway, I’d missed out on Yorkshire’s first single malt. I was disappointed, but not for too long – there are hundreds of bottles released each week to sate the largest of epicurean appetites, one of them being the Filey Bay’s Second Release which quickly followed the first. So with memories of missing out on the First still sore in my mind, I picked up a bottle.
David and Adam have gone over the details of Filey Bay’s origins, their activities and the First Release so thoroughly that I can’t add much more of any value. My only comment I would make is an observation that the marketing people have clearly had a lot of influence with this venture from what I see on their website. Filey Bay fleece anyone? I suppose they have to make money somehow; I just hope that they’ve kept their eye on the tipple itself and not the tearoom layout.
According to the Spirit of Yorkshire website, this release is an evolution of their First Release with similar cask types selected – bourbon casks married together with one sherry cask, and a combination of pot and column distillates. It’s bottled at 46% with an outturn of 6000 bottles and can be picked up at Master of Malt for £50.95, or slightly more at the Whisky Exchange for £52.95.
Spirit of Yorkshire Filey Bay Second Release – review
On the nose: I pick up some citrusy grapefruit with fresh apple, pick and mix sweets and syrupy ginger. Some toasty biscuit mixes in there with some vanilla custard. Lacking complexity and depth, but lovely all the same.
In the mouth: The citrus here is orange rather than grapefruit, which melds well with some toasted hazelnuts, fudge, ginger with chocolate and a nice heat to remind you you’re drinking a higher proof whisky. It’s really quite pleasant, though the mouthfeel is a little insipid for me.
This dram wears its youth as a badge of honour, as it is a positive rather than a potential negative. It’s light and fresh indeed, not very complex and lacking a little in-depth, but it comes together really well.
I urge you to try these releases from newly established distilleries, even though they’re only just over the three-year old mark in some cases. Forget about age – if you tasted this in a blind tasting along with some other fruity numbers, you’d be pleasantly surprised. The lack of harshness would make you think that this was 2-3 times it’s age.
This time it’s paid off – the FOMO urges have delivered to me something really rather nice with this Second Release. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for future releases from Filey Bay.
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I am a huge fan of this. Often whisky fans (men especially) seem to feel the need to loudly signal how much they like heavily peated, macho drams. But there’s plenty to be said for lighter ones and this release shows how strong English whisky is at the moment.