Whisky Review – Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak
40%ABV
£34.44 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Dominated by fruit. Apples. Pineapples. Lemon rind. Lots of wood spices. Pepper. Dusty toasted oak. Vanilla. Burnt toast.

Palate.

Lots of sweet toffee. Fundamentally oaky with lots of gentle wood spice and a little pepper heat. There is a chewiness to this dram which I wasn’t expecting. A lot of rich vanilla also dominates the palate. The development turns dry into the finish.

Finish.

Dry. Lots of wood spice. Spiced vanilla, a little toffee.

Adding water.

A small drop due to the bottled strength. The nose looses some of the fruit elements in favour of toffee sweetness, vanilla and oak spice. The palate remains the same, now with the nose more representative of the palate. The finish is more oaky, with some added sawdust.

Conclusion.

This is a nicely balanced, well aged and constructed dram. It is however, very woody and uncomplicated. If you like your drams with buckets of wood spice and vanilla this is for you. Personally I far prefer other whiskies in the core Glenfiddich range, with my favourite being the 15 year old Solera reserve. So far anyway, I still have the 21 year old and Snow Phoenix expressions to try in the near future.

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Whisky Review – Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve

Glenfiddich 15 Solera
40%ABV
£32.92 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

It’s ‘tasty’ on the nose. Nicely sherried. Rum soaked raisins. A quality Christmas cake. Baked oranges. Cinnamon spiced. A little dark chocolate in the background.

Palate.

Surprisingly oily on the mouthfeel despite its 40% ABV and therefore chill filtration. Sweet and easy drinking…oh so easy drinking! Sherried fruits. Oranges. Toffee. Fruitcake in abundance. Christmas spices.

Finish.

Medium length finish. Warming. Sweet rich fruit stays for a good while. A little salt. Dark (slightly bitter) chocolate oak at the very end.

Adding Water.

I’m only adding the slightest drop. The tiniest drop of water has had quite the dramatic effect on the nose. The intensity of the aromas have increased quite a bit. The fruitcake has intensified, and in addition to the original undiluted nose we have a little added oak influence. The palate reflects this also, becoming somewhat tastier (if that were possible), albeit a little lighter in mouthfeel. More oak tannins coming forth in the development. The finish remains sweet, fruity and moreish as ever.

Conclusion.

It’s bloody lovely. So easy to sip on and moreish, which results in an empty glass too quickly (not a bad thing as long as you can pace yourself!). It is without a doubt my favourite of the Glenfiddich range that I have tried so far. Easy, accessible, beautiful, joy.

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Whisky Review – Glenfiddich 15 year old distillery edition

Glenfiddich 15 year old distillery edition
51% ABV
£41.53 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Buckets of rich, intense fruit. Apples, pineapples, tropical fruits. Some floral oak spice, and the increased ABV really packs a punch. I’m getting some candied sweeties (sweet cigarettes), honey, vanilla and thick toffee.

Palate.

It’s thick. Toffee malt. The bang of the alcohol kicks. Then the toffee is back, fruit medley, vanilla and the toffee chews. A bit of thorntons special toffee chewability in there.

Finish.

Apples. Loads of then, then The oak takes over for a dry finish. Toffee and vanilla remain. With oak spice and pepper.

Adding Water.

A small measure of water in my half dram. An addition to the diluted nose is experienced in terms of some additional age. There is a definite wood oak, polish note added in. Not massive but in the background. Some sawdust. Additional floral along the lines of mr. Sheen. And some garden flowers poking through. In the palate we have an easier experience to the undiluted taste. More deducible flavours, with some added oak and wood spices, a little dryness in the development and a more defined balance. The finish is slightly weakened, but now has a little more age to the drying oak remaining on the fruit fade.

Conclusion.

Anyone expecting a heated up version of the 15 year old Solera reserve may be disappointed as it is not a sherried whisky like the Solera. This is like the 12 year old on steroids. That’s a good thing! It’s nice to see this dram finally has some good coverage in supermarkets where it only used to be available online before. Well done Glenfiddich. I would still love to see some craft presentations of your regular drams mind you. And that experimental cask I tried at the whisky show last year. It was mega!

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Whisky Reviews – 18 year olds! Glen Marnoch, Glenfiddich & the Glenlivet

Glen Marnoch 18 year old
40% ABV
Aldi(!) £24.99

Colour. Dark caramel. 🙂

Nose.

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.

Palate.

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.

Finish.

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!

Adding water.

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.

Conclusion.

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
40% ABV
£45.57 from MasterOfMalt

Colour. Gold

Nose.

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.

Palate.

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.

Finish.

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.

Adding water?

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.

Conclusion.

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
43% ABV
£50.52 from MasterOfMalt

Colour. Gold

Nose.

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.

Palate.

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.

Finish.

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.

Adding water?

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.

Conclusion.

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!

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