If only all 15 year olds were this good….
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 one of the most complex aging processes in the industry. It starts off in either a bourbon, sherry, or new oak cask. It is then blended with the 2 other casks in a large Solera Vat (which is always kept at least half full of previously married whisky then transferred to Solera Tuns for a finishing/resting period before it is bottled).
Appearance: Pleasing burnished gold in the glass,bright spritely appearance in the glass. Smooth coat of whisky on swirling. Not many legs forming.
First Impression: Medium-to-light peat smoke, honey, heather, vanilla.
Taste: Heavy almost slightly viscous mouthfeel to the malt. Medium to heavy mouth feel .Interesting layers of peat, oak, sherry, vanilla and sweetness, followed by the grain and heather notes. Nice honeyed malty body. The peat and oak nip the edges of your tongue pleasantly. Finish is peppery oak, peat, honey and dried papaya.
Drinks: Could either be enjoyed in a decent spirits glass (Riedel or better yet Celtic Malts Spirits Glass) glass or used in a scotch cocktail (like a Blood and Sand) to excellent effect.
Cigars:Will stand up to a good medium-bodied cigar.Try a Davidoff or Joya de Nicaragua Robusto or Torpedo with it.
Bottle: Traditional Glenfiddich rounded triangular bottle. However, the glass is a lighter,browner shade of green (with a more muted older looking matching label that is almost oxblood with a muted gold ribbon) than the deep green of the more well known 12 year-old (which has the relatively bold black and gold ribbon label). Comes in a presentation shipping tube. Real cork closure.
Final Thoughts: A interesting complex and slightly challenging single malt especially for its relative cheapness. A safe, solid choice and a good buy for someone seeking something beyond their usual dram and not wanting to risk a lot of money. There is enough complexity and flavor for most with nothing too striking to be off putting in terms of style/taste. Good, interesting and unlikely to offend would be another way of putting it. Reccomended.
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. Also somewhat maddening navigation (especially to get to the information of the various bottlings). Still, all that being said, worth a visit.