Glenfiddich is one of the biggest scotch single malt brands in the world and the Glenfiddich 12 year old is probably one of the highest selling scotch single malts around the world. The 12 year old is a nice approachable, accessible and consistent single malt, you know what you are going to get. It is a solid go to single malt and one that can easily be forgotten once you really get into your whisky journey. Next in the core range are the 15 and 18 year old versions. The 15 is quite interesting in that it is matured in solera casks which, in short, is the process of bottling some of the contents of the cask and topping it back up with more spirit approaching the right age. This means that there is always some spirit that has remained in the cask for many years which impart flavours into the spirit that is used to top the cask up until it has been matured for the required age. The 18 year old version is lot simpler in that it has been matured in a mix of oloroso sherry and bourbon casks. Both are bottled at 40%.
Whisky: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 40%.
Nose: Vanilla, sherry, wine, cinnamon bun
Taste: Oak, cinnamon, vanilla, milk chocolate, minerals, spice
Finish: Some oak, mocha
Summary: The difference between this and the 12 year old is quite stark. The fresh fruity notes have gone and instead you get sherry and wine. There is something a bit dull about the flavours though. Nothing really tingles the tastebuds or get me salivating for more. It is pleasant enough though but it is just another middle of the road sherry cask whisky. I was expecting more given all the effort taken during the solera maturation process.
Whisky: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 40%.
Nose: Dried fruits, vanilla, leather, brown sugar, mixed spice, honey
Taste: Dried fruits, brown sugar, dark chocolate, walnuts, pepper spice, coffee
Finish: Chocolate, pepper, oak, dry
Summary: This is an improvement on the 15 year old in terms of offering more flavours but in comparison to other single malts at this age there is not much to excite me here. Although at approx. £65 you are not being totally ripped off. This is a relatively accessible 18 year old single malt but suffers the same middle of the road style that fails to grab my attention amongst all the competition out there.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com