A 21 year old with rum is a wonderful thing.
Notes: The Highlands have a few different sub regions and styles – this one is considered a Speyside by location and style/profile.
Glenfiddich or “Valley of the Deer”, was established in 1887 and is owned by the same people who make Balvenie. This company has a range of malts 12, 15, 18, 21, 30, 40, and 50 year-olds, and a number of special bottlings. One of the better known industry heavyweights in the Single Malt category.
Uses smaller pot stills to make it’s whisky and a variety of woods to age them in. In this case they use Rum Casks – which is highly unusual in the industry.The exact origin of the casks varies (or so they say) as the non U.S. bottling’s use Cuban Havana Club Rum casks, and the U.S. version only state “Caribbean Rum” – no origin beyond that.
Appearance: Pleasing bronze/gold, nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling.
First Impression: Light peat smoke, honey, heather, malt/toffee, dried fruits, oak and sweetness of the rum cask wood comes through.
Taste: Sweet oily feel to the malt. Medium-weight mouth feel (for a scotch) Dried fruit then Cream Brulee then Cafe con Leche (Cuban coffee with milk and sugar) then malt and heather. Finish is sweet turning drier (lime, ginger, pepper, at the end).
Drinks: Decent spirits glass (Riedel or better yet Celtic Malts Spirits Glass) glass only.
Cigars: Yes, but something light – try a Natural Wrapper or Connecticut Shade Ashton, maybe?
Bottle: Traditional Glenfiddich rounded triangular bottle however the glass is more brown (with a matching label) than the deep green of the more well known 12 year-old (which has the black and gold label). Comes in a presentation shipping tube. Real cork closure.
Final Thoughts: A immensely drinkable Single Malt, not overly woody and lively – which is amazing given the age – and very easy to appreciate even for a novice drinker. A wonderful malt to enjoy before a fire and dreaming of warmer climes. A excellent choice for a gift (for yourself or a good friend).
Web site: http://www.glenfiddich.com
Website is an odd mix of the extremely detailed (on how to visit) but short on history, background, or pictures of the distillery. Still, that being said, worth a visit.