Monday, December 12, 2011

Have just tried > Glenfiddich 15 years old

The Glenfiddich 15 years old forms part of the core single malt range of the iconic Glenfiddich distillery.  It is different to other expressions in this range as it has a higher ex-sherry cask percentage. The single malts destined for this release are initially matured in a combination of ex-sherry, ex-bourbon and new oak casks, before undergoing a unique process for the Scotch whisky industry.  It is then put in to a solera vat - a large wooden tun or vessel normally used in the Spanish sherry industry.  The solera vat marries the whiskies together and it is then taken, cut with water and bottled at 40% ABV. The Glenfiddich 15 years old can be found in most supermarkets, liquor stores and specialist whisky retailers and should cost between £35-40.

Glenfiddich is the most famous whisky distillery and single malt brand in the world. It sells the most Scotch single malt of anyone, and by a mile. The distillery is located on the outskirts of the town of Dufftown in the Speyside region of Scotland. The name is taken from the Glen Fiddich, the valley in which it lies and translates as 'valley of the deer' from Gaelic. The distillery is massive and has a capacity of 10 million litres per year, making it Scotland's largest distillery.

Glenfiddich is almost unique as it is still a family owned business. The distillery is owned by the same family that established it - William Grant began construction of Glenfiddich distillery in 1886 and William Grant & Sons was formed in 1903. Today, they own the neighbouring Balvenie and Kininvie single malt distilleries, as well as the Girvan grain distillery and new Ailsa Bay single malt distillery in Ayrshire. For further information on the Glenfiddich distillery and its history, then visit the distillery profile page on our website

Normally, we now write our tasting notes and thoughts on the featured whisky but have decided to do something different with this one. Last week, we took part in a tasting of the Glenfiddich range on Twitter which was organised by Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire blog.  Steve had collected together a number of whisky fans and bloggers, plus the major coup of Glenfiddich's UK Brand Ambassador Jamie Milne.  To see the chain of tweets for the tasting, go to Twitter and type #FiddichTT in to the 'search' box. Below are some of our fellow participants tweets from the tasting of this Glenfiddich 15 years old.

On the nose
@S_Rob - orange preserve, coffee and choc up front. A little mint, liquorice and mentholated notes
@distiller - apples and cinnamon...dutch apple pie...ginger spice...again vanilla fudge... slight dessicated coconut
@FrazerJ - marmalade tones, reminds me of breakfast at Grans. :-)
@jonmbryant - Boom! Raisins, thick sherry, blackcurrant lozenges
@mnshanbhag - nose oranges, cherries, honey
@TheWhiskyWire - Wedge of spiced apple strudle and a Christmas cake that’s had its sumptuous fruits soaking in a orange liqueur
@DurhamFanDan - Cherry pie filling, blackcurrant lockets, spice (cinnamon)
@whisky4everyone - malty cereals, dried pear & apple, raisins, sultanas, hints of fig & treacle, candied orange zest

On the palate
@mnshanbhag - palate ginger, mint, raisins, sherry
@S_Rob - minty freshness a good description ? but not in a toothpaste way !! Spiced orange preserve with cloves & ginger at the fore. Eucalyptus & star anise/fennel. Baked apple & coffee in the background
@chocophilenyc - Still the ginger and cloven spice/dark suger
@TheWhiskyWire -Spiced toffee apples, sherry soaked dried fruits, clove studied clementine’s and an implosion of honey & wood spice
@distiller - my wife says it smells like xmas pudding...soaked almonds and marzipan... @GlenfiddichJM - My wife (bless her) thinks it smells like whisky. She just knows she likes it
@TIA568B - really getting the vanilla from that American new oak, a bit of butterscotch and some xmas pudding
@DurhanFanDan - Palate is very complex. Lots of sweet honeyed (or golden syruped) fruit. Finding blackcurrents, but not the "locket" element. Baked apples, marzipan, aniseed, Cointreau!!!
@whisky4everyone - v soft, velvety, almonds, brown crumbly sugar, over ripe pears, raisin, fig, slight earthy note, nutmeg

On the finish
@S_Rob - A long finish for me, mellow and rounded with the spice/aniseed alongside a gentle dryness
@DurhamFanDan - Goes fruity at first and then gets very dry, lots of spice at the end
@TIA568B - Great fruity finish with the 15 YO
@whisky4everyone - deliciously sweet and sumptuous finish, lots of dried fruit then drying oak spice

What's our verdict?
This is a lovely dram and our favourite of the core range tasted.  All are decent drams but this 15 years old has an extra depth and complexity.  It is a high quality whisky, especially considering the price.  Some people turn their noses up at Glenfiddich "because it's popular", but it must be remembered that most popular brands have strived to get where they are in the market (and to consistently remain there) and are in that position for a reason.  The reason is that the quality of product is very good and appeals to a wide audience - this is true in any facet of business or life.  This is a whisky that has to be tried and one that will not break the bank.

1 comment:

Warren Bobrow said...

I love your last line. Will not break the bank. It's always exciting for me to receive some fabulously expensive Scotch Whisky from a PR agency, but as far as paying for them, I'd rather find a way to save money.