Sunday, April 21, 2013

Glenfiddich 12, 15 and 18 Scotch Review

It is great when you have the opportunity to taste an entire range of age expressions from the same malt, all at once.  I don't often get this opportunity, but I attended an event hosted by Glenfiddich recently and took down some notes.  My conclusions are not exactly what I expected from this flight!

First the 12.  This dram gets a bad rap as it is a touch cheaper than the ubiquitous 12 year offering from The Glenlivet, but I think it has some characteristics that merit experiencing.  The nose is light and floral.  On the palate, I get pears and green apple. This whisky finishes crisp but does not linger.  Overall, I'd happily pour a dram for the new Scotch drinker as it is utterly unintimidating.  Score: 70.

The 15 is my favorite in this group, particularly given the value.  Glenfiddich uses the Solera vatting system to marry this Scotch - everything gets married in a large vat that never goes below half full.  So while the youngest whisky in the 15 year bottle is indeed 15 years old, I like to think I'm tasting a few notes, however diluted, from the additions made before my grandfather was born.  On the nose I get figs, brown sugar and dried fruit.  The palate is white chocolate, caramel and golden raisins.  The finish on this one is long and lingering - probably my favorite part!  Score: 83.

While the 15 takes the 12 to a very unique destination, 3 more years of age brings the Glenfiddich 18 back to a very standard 18 year old spry side expression. I still get dark fruit on the nose, but the 18 adds pepper into the palate and some more heat in the finish. It is no doubt a good whisky but for the substantial price bump I stick with the 15. Score: 78.

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