Glenfiddich Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Glenfiddich, Scotch Whisky A-G

Glenfiddich Original 43%

Tasted: Dec 2015

Nose: Quite oily and a little mutted with apricot, honey, barley and well-hidden citrus. With time a little milky oak and grass appears.

Palate: Fresher but still fairly oily with hints of baked fruit, toffee and subtle sweet-ish spice. A little drying on the middle but the honey balances.

Finish Spicy with a touch of herbal marc-like notes.

Conclusion: Too oily and the younger component of this blend stands out like a sore thumb!

Glenfiddich Malt Masters Edition 40%

Tasted: Dec 2013

Nose: it has a serious almost herbal grain whisky-like character with plenty of sherry oak. Perfumed violet notes appear along with cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg. Yes it would appear that the majority of character is coming from the oak but that herbal intensity balances the oak rather well.

Palate: Like the nose soft and grainy and huge gobbins of oak! Those grainy sherry notes come back clearing the way for some soft fruit, light spice and a touch of barley. The gentle sugars emerge just as the oak begins to bitter.

Finish: Very long with the turmeric and nutmeg notes returning along with some coffee’d grainy notes.

Conclusion: Yes it’s pretty much all about the oak, but it’s very clean sherry.

Glenfiddich Rich Oak 40%

Tasted: Dec 2013

Nose: Dusty and gristy barley with a touch of mature oak, brittle honeycomb and crisp citrus to freshen. Quite fleshy with some sub-tropical fruit, green banana, vanilla and a youthful rose petal marc note. Eventually the oils encroach and counter the fresher notes.

Palate: Opens with the mature vanilla oak, followed by some citrus. Becomes quite fleshy with a hint of granite and pine resin.

Finish: Medium length and a little hot with the rose petal marc lingering.

Conclusion: It appears to be a lovely vatting of old and younger spirit, with the younger spirit getting the upper hand on the palate.

Glenfiddich Rich Oak 40%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2014

Nose: A lush and sexy nose, resplendent with tropical pineapple, banana and apricot. Stunningly deep with a touch of creamy oak, barley, orange, white liquorice and sweet spices, plus a light minerality.

Palate: Opens with the lightly sawdusty oak followed by crisp citrus, light pineapple and apricot. A lot taughter and more stony/ minerally than the nose with hints of peppery spice.

Finish: Lovely soft finish with lingering gentle spice.

Conclusion: A lovely, rounded and sexy Spey!

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #01 IPA Cask 43%

Tasted: Oct 2016

Nose: Slightly bubblegummy white fruit along with peach, apricot and pineapple followed by what appears to be voluptuously sweet first fill American oak and barley. Some citrus adds balance.

Palate: A huge mouthful of rich, creamy, milky, buttery oak. I think I can taste a touch of barley and citrus.

Finish: Finally the citrus breaks free of its oak shackles.

Conclusion: As much as I like American oak it was far too dominant on the palate.

Glenfiddich 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Apr 2004

A simple, delicate, fruity nose with some creamy oak. Straightforward, light and soft. A lot of oak on the palate. Reasonable length.

Glenfiddich 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Oct 2005

A simple, youthful nose with citrus fruit and a hint of spice. Clean citrus fruit with a hint of smoke. Mouth filling but simple. Good length.

Glenfiddich 12 year old 40%

Score: 7.8

Nose: Quite fruit with lightly oiled sub-tropical apricot, grass and plenty of very creamy oak. With time the caramel’d vanillins dominate.(3.0)

Palate: soft, lightly tropical apricot and Apple with hints of oak, barley and straw. Better balance if a little straightforward. Good depth though.(3.4)

Finish: medium length. Straightforward finish.(1.4)

Conclusion: Pleasant, if a bit simple. Very oak dominated nose. Palate better balanced.

Glenfiddich 12 year old ‘Caoran Reserve’ 40%

Tasted: Dec 2004

A clean, bourbon oak dominated nose with some sweet, creamy fruit and a vague hint of peat smoke. Young and estery with a slight ginger note. The palate is clean and soft with indistinct fruit and a slight peat smoke note on the middle. A pleasant quaffing malt, nothing to get over excited about to be honest. Reasonable length with some white chocolate notes in the finish.

Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve 40%

Tasted: Apr 2004

Mellow, earthy, sherried fruit nose with a touch of Bourbon. Quite sweet on the palate, straightforward sherry fruit, a tangy middle with Bourbon oak on the finish. Pleasant.

Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve 40%

Re- tasted: Feb 2013

A slightly high toned and confected nose with hints of sweet tangerine, apricot, banana and huge globs of creamy oak. Quite a broad and impressive nose, which is mainly down to some good American oak, but well balanced by a crisp, mineral note.

The palate is fleshy but quite crisp and austere. Hints of custard mingle with some light sherry wood notes. Again quite fleshy with a touch of unsweetened pineapple and banana. Gently spiced but a little on the short side, which seems to be down to the citrus.

Glenfiddich 15 year old Solera Reserve 40%

Score: 8.1

Nose: Rock hard barley with herbs, minerals and a touch of creamy oak which softens the aromas. Hints of honey and a light perfumed note appears. (3.4)

Palate: Hard as nails barley and hints of toasted caramel. Relatively straightforward with building citrus and granity notes. (3.3)

Finish: Good length with a slightly hot finish. (1.4)

Conclusion: Pleasant enough.

Glenfiddich 15 year old Distillery Edition 58.1%

Score: 8.9

Nose: Stunning intensity of coffee’d spices and mature oak. Buckets of herbal honey and crisp, edgy barley follow. A touch of manurey-peat emerges along with some granity citrus notes to add freshness. A drop of water makes the noise gorgeously juicy. (3.8)

Palate: Quite granity, grainy and dry with some soft barley, apricot, apple and gentle spices. There’s a whiff of smoke but the palate isn’t as complex as the nose suggests. Water makes it simpler but brings out a pleasnt sugar coating to the fruit. (3.4)

Finish: Long, lightly honeyed finish with the alcohol drying. Water softens and brings out a light, perfumed white fruit and barley note. (1.7)

Conclusion: Would have scored a lot higher if the palate showed the same complexity as the nose.

Glenfiddich 15 year old Distillery Edition 58.1%

Score: 8.9

Nose: Intense and very woody with spice infused herbal honey, coffee, menthol and leafy herbs. The fruit is light but deliciously juicy, which is held in check by the grainy, sherry woodiness. With time the spices become darker and take on a rye-like demeanour and a light balsamic note appears. A drop of water brings the luscious fruit forward as well as the barley. (3.7)

Palate: Intense and woody, like the nose with an abundance of coffee’d spice and tannin. Beneath lies some succulent barley and dried fruit with a herbal twist. A drop of water emphasises the fruit, like it does on the nose. (3.6)

Finish: Long an herbal with a light bittering from the oak but dilution makes it a little over bitter and shortens. (1.6)

Conclusion: Pretty woody neat and although dilution knocks back the wood the plate becomes a little watery and bitter.

Glenfiddich 18 year old Ancient Reserve 40%

Tasted: Apr 2004

A mellow yet quite intense nose. Earthy sherry, sweet oak, a touch vegetal and spicy. Pleasant depth and complexity of citrus, orange fruit. Very smooth and oaky palate, a bit simple with sherried fruit and a dry finish.

Glenfiddich 18 year old Ancient Reserve 40%

Score: 8.3

Nose: Quite oily with some gorgeously luscious orange/ Satsuma. Developing notes of nutty coffee, sweet fruit, herbs and lightly sawdusty oak (3.5)

Palate: Oily and soft with a sheen of lightly nutty honey and granulated sugar. Some wood tannins, light herbal and citrus notes balance the sweetness. (3.3)

Finish: Medium length. Soft and mellow (1.5)

Conclusion: Pleasantly mellow and easy going.

Glenfiddich ‘Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask’ 19 year old 40%

Madeira Cask Finished/ Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: Opens with lightly herbal fudge with a balancing citrus twist. Lightly sawdusty oak hints at some age and the sugar coated barley begins to emerge. The oak becomes increasingly creamy and ads a lovely degree of spice. With time the fruit takes on a fleshy, slight tropical demeanour – apricot, white fruit, mango and liquorice.

Palate: Softy spiced, sugar coated, lightly tropical fruit begins followed by barley and creamy toffee. Mouth-filling and deep, with the oak becoming increasingly fudgier with time.

Finish: Good length, basically a continuation of the palate – tropical fruit and creamy toffee’d oak.

Conclusion: A wonderfully complex nose which talks awhile to unfold. The palate is slightly linear but has a good depth. Lovely crumbly spiced finish though.

Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask 40%

Score: 8.5

Nose: Initially the aromas are very herbal with hints of lightly singed heather. Beautifully mature honey follows with soft apricot, creamy oak and lightly perfumed spices. (3.6)

Palate: Full, gentle and nutty – Light syrup coated praline and crunchy barley. Some edgy herbal honey comes through with sweet apricot, barley and oak. (3.4)

Finish: Long with lingering apricot and hints of rose Turkish delight. (1.6)

Conclusion: A lovely, broad and robust Spey.

Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Madeira Cask 40%

Score: 9.4

Nose: It reeks of maturity! Plenty of edgy and sawdusty oak. It has an almost old Glen Grant like feel, with some lightly tropical fruit, brittle honey, herbal honey and honey coated barley. With time a light coffee note emerges. Stunning stuff! (3.8)

Palate: A beautifully deep palate, displaying plenty of mature honey and sawdusty oak. Gently spiced, fleshy apricot fruit fills the mouth. Delightful! (3.6)

Finish: A lovely, crisp, granity finish which balances and cleanses the palate leaving a lightly peppery after-taste. (2.0)

Conclusion: Sensational stuff!

Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Red Wine Finish 40%

Score: 7.9

Nose: Quite shy and herbal with hints of red fruit, burnt wood, violets and grainy coffee’d oak. With time the oak begins to show some maturity. (3.4)

Palate: Soft and nutty with a delicate herbal red-ish fruit note. A little grainy with a touch of coffee but the caramels and tannins dampen. (3.0)

Finish: Good length with a mineral and citrus laced finish. (1.5)

Conclusion: Pleasant nose but the oak clamps down on the palate.

Glenfiddich 21 year old Gran Reserva 40%

Tasted: Jan 2008

Quiet a sweet nose, slightly floral with marzipan, rum soaked almonds, banana, toffee, pure vanilla pod, cinnamon and the crisp ‘fiddich fruit underpinning. Creamy on the palate with the oak leading the way followed by the rum finish and the crisp ‘fiddich fruit.

Like the nose it is quiet sweet with sultanas, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and a touch of smoke. The crisp barley bites through the sweetness and it finishes quiet dry with a late spice note. Very complex!

Glenfiddich 21 year old Gran Reserva 40%

Score: 8.9

Nose: Quite shy and oily with sweet apricot, white flowers and hints of dusty pollen and sawdusty oak. The heavy oils dampen a little but the depth is very good. (3.6)

Palate: Moist and succulent with mature orange blossom honey, herbs and granulated sugar coated barley. It becomes pretty sweet with time in the mouth and finally the sawdusty oak comes through. (3.5)

Finish: Long with the citrus finally coming through to freshen. Leaves a lovely, light coffee note.

Conclusion: Beautifully mature with a lovely finish. The palate is a little over sweet for me but that’s nit picking to be honest.

Glenffidich 30 year old 40%

Score: 9.6

Nose: Stunningly deep and fruity with copious quantities of luscious herbal honey and integrated sawdusty oak. Beautifully poised with light orange moments, herbal moments, malty moments and sweet spice moments. Eventually it moves into dusty mocha and liquorice. Damn orgasmic and almost perfection. (3.9)

Palate: Soft and full, opening with the gently toasted sawdusty oak and mature honey. A perfect balance of malt and oak. The honey is so luscious it’s untrue! A light herbalness and the alcohol keeps it fresh. Some late spices dazzle along with hints of milk chocolate raisins. (3.8)

Finish: Very long with marzipan, milk chocolate, walnut oil and mature fudge in the finish. Light cocoa powder after-taste. (1.9)

Conclusion: As near as damn it to perfection in a glass!

Glenfiddich Ultimate 40%

Score: 9.4

Nose: Big, sweet coffee grains go head to head with some sawdusty oak Quite herbal with hints of mint and eucalyptus ad freshness. The nose slowly unwinds to show hints of hickory, lavender and barley. Quite fragrant now with practically no sugars to temper the vibrancy. Late white chocolate accented fudge and orange oil notes emerge. (3.9)

Palate: Moist honey and barley languidly flow over the tongue. Placid and elegant with just a soupçon of sawdusty oak. The citrus notes give it a shimmering brilliance and a touch of mocha and bitter chocolaty spices add complexity. (3.7)

Finish: Long and herbal with a slightly oily sheen to the citrus, but still fresh enough to see off the oak. (1.8)

Conclusion: Beautifully fresh.

Glenfiddich 40 Years Old 43.6%

Btl: 2011

Tasted: Feb 2012

A dark, brooding, malt and molasses nose with bucketful’s of beautifully mature honey, violets and sawdusty oak. There is a beautiful fresh, almost old grain edge. Deep, luscious and complex with hints of oily prunes, raisins, lightly toasted spice, manure and burnt, decomposing straw.

The palate is quite sweet and full, opening with the old coffee grains and wood notes followed by juicy dried fruits and dark berry notes. Lightly oiled with no shortage of mouth-coating mature honey, however the gentle alcohol nip adds freshness and balance. Stunning length which lasts for minutes leaving a silky, coffee spiced aftertaste. Conclusion: Stunning!

Glenfiddich ‘125th Anniversary Edition’ 43%

Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: Gristy and lightly phenolic. There’s plenty of sweet barley and developing earthy-peat. It becomes quite herbal with a touch of wood spice. With time the peat really begins to dominate but a light floral orange and apricot note becomes apparent.

Palate: Full and rich with earthy apricot, barley, gentle peat dust and smoke. There is a lovely balance between the Speyside fruit and peat. Late notes of wood spices, liquorice and lightly creamy oak.

Finish: Lovely length with the emphasis on the sugar coated barley, intermingled with the dusty peat.

Conclusion: The peat does dominate the nose, but the palate displays a lovely balance between the fruit and peat. Finishes quite a sweet.

Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary 43%

Score: 8.5

Nose: Opens with plenty of herbal-peat and smoke, followed by crisp citrus. Reminds me a little of an unsalted Caol Ila. Quite youthful and fresh with hunts or cereal and orange emerging with time. (3.5)

Palate: Lightly oiled and quite meaty with dry, herbal-peat along with hints of smoke, cereal, citrus and wood spice. (3.4)

Finish: Long, sweetly peated finish, but the bitter oak in chocolate form leaves the finish somewhat drying. The smokiness lingers however. (1.6)

Conclusion: Not the most complex malt in the competition but it’s a pleasant peaty Spey.

Glenfiddich Cask Collection Vintage Cask 40%

Travel retail – Peated

Score: 8.3

Nose: Broad, robust, decadent and creamy with a fair dollop of peat, hyacinth, perfumed violets, apricot and lashings of oak. A mountainous nose with a late earthy barley note. (3.5)

Palate: Soft vanilla ice cream, peat and fleshy apricot. Again mountains of toffee’d oak. (3.3)

Finish: Long and toffee’d with a late spice burst and hints of menthol. (1.5)

Conclusion: An impressive oak monster but ultimately it’s a tad one-dimensional, well except for the peat that is.

Glenfiddich Cask Collection Select Cask 40%

Travel Retail – Sherry/ Bourbon/ Red Wine

Score: 8.0

Nose: Young and oily with digestive biscuit, crunchy barley, fresh lemon and a touch of toasted caramel. With time it becomes slight herbal in character. (3.3)

Palate: Opens with some soft and fleshy apricot along with hints of banana, sweet barely, sweet/ creamy oak and a touch of toffee. (3.3)

Finish: Good length with some youthful herbal notes showing. (1.4)

Conclusion: Pleasant, yet relatively simple.

Glenfiddich Cask Collection Reserve Cask 40%

Travel Retail – Sherry

Score: 7.4

Nose: Quite oily herbal sherry with herbal coffee and hints of burnt caramel. A little on the industrial side. Some citrus attempts to freshen but fails. (1.4)

Palate: A little caramel flattened with hints of barley, honey and toffee. Some edgy herbs and citrus attempt to lift. (2.8)

Finish: Medium length with a flat finish. (1.4)

Conclusion: Frankly quite dull.

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