Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Have just tried ... Glenfiddich 12 years old 'Toasted Oak Reserve'

glenfiddich 12 years old toasted oakGlenfiddich is one of the most famous distilleries in the world and is owned by William Grant & Sons. Situated in Speyside, it is also one of the largest, producing a massive 10 million litres of spirit per year. This goes into the blending of Grant's, which is one of the world's top selling blends, Monkey Shoulder which is their new blend and the extensive range of single malts. The brand of Glenfiddich is huge and it's famous three sided bottle, which was introduced in 1957, is a design icon. It is the number one selling single malt whisky in the UK, ahead of Glenmorangie, Glenlivet and Macallan. There are a number of 12 years old releases within the brand and the one I have just tried is the Toasted Oak Reserve. In this case, the whisky is matured for the 12 year period in specially prepared casks. The staves (thin oak strips) are toasted in an oven before then being assembled as a cask. This intensifies the aromas in the wood and this intensity is then transferred to the whisky during maturation.

The result is a very nice whisky that has a nutty aroma (almonds and toasted pinenuts) with some interesting spiciness (cinnamon and nutmeg). I also found some zesty citrus sweetness (think of candied orange peel), stone fruit (fresh peaches or apricots) and heaps of vanilla. On the palate there are the flavours of toasted nuts, sweet caramel, those spices from the nose and vanilla. There was also something that reminded me of digestive biscuits. The finish was quite short, which was slightly disappointing. This is a good, very easy drinking whisky. It is very interesting and complex with layers of flavour. I was pleasantly surprised by it as some people have an argument that Glenfiddich and other large brands like it are boring due to their mass production. My argument would be that if something is good and you enjoy drinking it then it doesn't matter if it is popular. This whisky proves this point.

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