Glenfiddich tasting notes
I'm a terrible slacker, I went to this tasting back in February and have only just now got round to writing up my notes. BAD ME.
It's largely due to Glenfiddich's marketing back in the 1970s and onwards that single malt whisky is now so popular. Unfortunately, while their standard bottling may have been interesting back then compared to the crappy blended whiskies that dominated the shelves at the time, it's rubbish by modern standards, but it kept selling mostly because it was cheap. I believe that they've discontinued it. It certainly wasn't part of this tasting, at which we sampled seven different bottlings as well as a new-make spirit bottled straight from the still.
- New make spirit: the nose was cherries, pears and paint, the taste pure unadulterated evil. With water the nose was sweeter, the taste still evil.
- 7yo: nose of paint and fruit, taste (with water) was sweeeet with apricot and pepper. Surprisingly good.
- 12yo, 1997: the nose was similar to that of the new make - cherries and paint, with the pears replaced by orange peel. The taste - mint. With water it dies completely. This should definitely be drunk unwatered.
- 15yo, 1994 "Solera": this is an odd beast. After being aged in the normal way (which permits the age statement - in whisky, the age statement is that of the youngest spirit in the bottle, which may contain much older spirit as well, as the distillery blends several casks together to make each batch of the final product), casks are then blended together Solera-style in a large vat. When spirit is drawn off from the vat and bottled (the vat never being fully emptied) it is topped up with more casks. This is, I believe, unique amongst whiskies. The resulting product is pretty good, with a nose of fruit cake and honey, tasting os raisins and brandy.
- 18yo, 1991: nose of apples and brandy, the taste sweet cinnamon. With water it didn't change much, but just became a bit less interesting. This was pretty good, but not great.
- 21yo, 1988, rum cask finish: this was an excellent whisky. The nose was mellow with leather, beeswax and vanilla. The taste of spice and - predictably - rum. With water some citrus came out too, but it's better without.
- 30yo, 1979: nose of chocolate and port
- 30yo, 1976, cask strength, sherry cask finish: this was spectacular but isn't generally available - you might be able to buy it at the distillery if you're lucky. The nose was of dry sherry and honey, the taste replaces the sherry with good tawny port. Doesn't need water despite the strength.