Glen Marnoch 18 year old
Colour. Dark caramel. 🙂
There was initially (this is a newly opened bottle) a smoky balanced blend nose to this, reminding me of johnnie walker black label. That soon changed completely. Now it is sherry based. Light fruitcake. Rum soaked raisins. Black cherry. Oak spices. A little pepper. Some milk chocolate. Oranges and peel. Quite a mouth watering nose.
Fruity. Very fruity. Oranges. Raisins. Dried dark fruits. Toffee and sherry malt. Pepper. Quite dry. Some coffee. Chocolate. A lighter mouthfeel. But does have some oiliness to it. Some fizziness.
Medium-long. Fruit and Toffee fading into Orange peel. Milk chocolate. A little coffee. Some bitter tannins. Taste a little peach at the very end. Like fizzy peach soft gum sweets!
Just a small drop as its at 40%. Nose has a little more age on it with some sawdust and more oak spices coming through. On the palate this is also reflected, although things seem a lot mellower and better balanced. The finish remains as undiluted, though it dries out quicker.
Well well well. Surprised. It’s a really nice, well constructed, tasty dram. I wouldn’t say it was intense, but a very easily accessible, easy drinking, stable of an aged sherried Whisky. I really like it. Price wise it’s a bargain. Was really expecting something pishworthy. But there you go! Can’t always tell by the supermarket label can you?!!
Glenfiddich 18 year old
£45.57 from MasterOfMalt
Toffee. Apples stewed. Leather. Tobacco. Vanilla. Honey. Furniture polish. Rich oak spices. After time in the glass some darker fruits come through and a little fruitcake. A very complex and alluring nose. Now I’m getting some sawdust and older museum furniture notes.
A light mouthfeel. Slow development. Sweet orchard Fruits. Pepper. Chilli. Mellowing out to more fruits. Apples. Bananas. Then more sherry notes. Fruitcake. Raisin. Grape. Very smooth.
Sweet fruits stick around. Toffee and honey. Some age pokes through in the form of sawdust. A little soft spices. Drying out and leaving oak behind.
A small drop as already 40%. The compilation of fruits step forward with the aged notes retreating a little. Some coffee mocha is apparent on the nose and palate. The palate remains full of fruit and spice and the toffee notes become more in the foreground. The finish has a little more age to it and a little less dry.
I’m surprised again! Why? Well. First time I tried glenfiddich 18 year old was as a taster of 12/15/18. It was my least favourite that day with 15 shining through for me. Now it could be that 15 would shine for me today as well, but I’m not trying 15 am I! As I’m going into this new bottle (previous taste was from a mini about 18 months ago) I was expecting disappointment and have found none. This is a very very nice aged dram with some good complexities and excellent balance. Can’t say much else on this one right now. Want to finish my dram! 🙂
The Glenlivet 18 year old
£50.52 from MasterOfMalt
Treacle toffee. Honey. Brown sugar. Gentle sweet. Initially I’m thinking almost simple. Considering its slightly higher ABV it’s easier on the nose than the others in terms of olfactory burn! Vanilla. Rum and raisin ice cream. Needs time in the glass to give more. Grass and hay. Showing age with Some floral polish. Oak spice sits in the background.
Sweet and creamy. Light pepper burn. But very easy and smooth. Brown sugar. Sweet Honied malt. Some dark fruits coming through. Very chewy. A little salt.
Sweet salty to dry. More sweetness in the sugar but some burnt caramel edges left behind. Drying oak is left at the end. A little bitter at the very end.
A few drops added has increased the range on the nose. More spice is evident and greater depth to the dark fruits hidden in the background. Still very dark sugary nose. On the palate it feels slightly hotter. More spice and pepper and the fruit (as with the diluted nose) is more up front and concentrated. The finish gives a little more age and dryness. Much more complex with a drop if water.
It’s a nice dram but feels the less complicated of the three. I was wondering if my palate was playing up and reset it with a break, food, beer and a pint of water! It’s easy. Accessible. Simple. And good quality. Just not as overly complex as I expected. I’m not sure if this is new bottle syndrome. But I will revisit in a month or so to determine this.
18 year old Comparison Conclusion.
For me the Glenfiddich was the surprise winner! With a close 2nd from the Aldi Glen Marnoch. Again. More surprises. It’s funny how going into a mini tasting session like this can come with expectations which are flipped completely on their head!