|Glenfiddich, 21 Year Old (Scotland) |
Glenfiddich’s 21 Year Old expression has recently undergone a major and most impressive packaging makeover, which is good enough reason in itself to re-evaluate this multi-award winning version of the world’s best-selling single malt.
Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich Malt Master, says that “Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva is one of the most premium whiskies we make. It is matured and mellowed in American oak casks then the liquid is decanted into hand-selected, Caribbean rum casks for a further four months of maturation. With its sweet toffee, fig and vanilla notes, Glenfiddich 21 Year Old is most definitely a whisky to be savoured.”
The nose features honey, brittle toffee, vanilla, dates, bananas, cinnamon and a hint of delicate wood smoke. Soft and rounded on the palate; rich, with lots of plummy spices, black pepper, honey and oak. The finish is long and warming, buttery, with an insistent background spicy citrus note.
40.0% ABV, 70cl, £99.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish (Scotland) |
Age of Discovery is the first ever 19-year-old single malt from Glenfiddich, and boasts a Madeira cask finish. According to the distiller, “Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish celebrates the pioneering spirit of Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. They pioneered sea routes from Europe to Thailand and Malaysia, in search of the sea passage to India. They established cities in China and discovered the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira.”
Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman adds that “The pioneering spirit of these explorers has stayed with us across centuries and we are delighted to be launching a range of whiskies which celebrate and remember the ‘Age of Discovery.’ It’s truly wonderful to release Glenfiddich ‘Age of Discovery’ Madeira Cask Finish, which is the first time Glenfiddich has used Madeira casks to finish a whisky, and celebrates the pioneering spirit we share with such intrepid explorers.”
Sweet on the nose, with figs, peaches, fresh pineapple and gingerbread. Notably spicy. More spice on the palate, cinnamon, ginger and pepper, with candied peel and developing vanilla. The finish is creamy, with cocoa notes. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £90.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Distillery Edition (Scotland) |
Previously only available at selected international airports, Glenfiddich has now relaunched its 12-year-old Distillery Edition to a wider market. According to Malt Master, David Stewart, “Glenfiddich Distillery Edition is a classic expression of Glenfiddich with a higher strength which adds complexity. Characteristically, we have married the matured single malts for Distillery Edition in Glenfiddich’s unique oak marrying tuns to ensure a consistently well-balanced and elegant signature malt.”
Glenfiddich Distillery Edition has been matured in American and European oak casks, including ex-Oloroso Sherry casks, and offers a rich, floral, malty nose, with a suggestion of pepper, while the palate is lively and spicy, with ripe fruit and a tang of Sherry. The finish is sweet and lengthy, with a hint of cloves.
51.0% ABV, 70cl, £37.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Madeira Cask Finish (Scotland) |
Glenfiddich Madeira Cask Finish is the first release in the Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Range, and ithas been matured in oak casks previously used to age Madeira wine.
According to Glenfiddich, “The majority of the Madeira casks came from the Canterio warehouse of Henrique & Henrique, a famous family owned Madeira company established in 1850. This is where the casks were first used to mature wine made from luscious Tinta Negra mole grapes before being transported to The Glenfiddich Distillery.”
Tinned peaches and apricots on the nose, white pepper, Sherry, vanilla and a hint of fresh tobacco. The palate is smooth and elegant, with ginger, cinnamon, sultanas and oak. The finish is quite dry, finally becoming slightly sweeter and nutty.
40.0% ABV, 70cl, £124.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Millennium Vintage (Scotland) |
This whisky was distilled and casked during the Millennium celebrations of 2000 and bottled in 2012, the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Glenfiddich distillery. Spirit matured in both American oak and European oak casks, was selected by Brian Kinsman, the Glenfiddich Malt Master, and a final two months were then spent ‘finishing’ this limited edition in ex-Bourbon barrels.
Quite fragrant on the nose, with fondant creams and sherry, oranges, almond and caramel. Initially sweet on the palate, with vanilla notes, drying slightly, with citrus fruits and a certain nuttiness. Caramel, cloves and soft oak in the smooth finish.
40.0% ABV, 70cl, £39.99, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
|Glenfiddich, Rich Oak 14-year-old (Scotland) |
As reported last month, Glenfiddich has released an innovative new Rich Oak expression, finished in virgin European oak and virgin American oak casks, for 12 weeks and six weeks respectively. No other Scotch whisky distiller has previously used new European oak casks during maturation.
The result is a Glenfiddich with a very different nose; initially herbal, with cloves, then jammy, fruit notes emerge along with newly-sawn logs. Very lively in the mouth, with vibrant oak and lots of herbs. Cloves remain to the fore, as on the nose. The finish is medium in length, ultimately quite dry, with oak and spices lingering to the very end.
40.0% ABV, 70cl, £30.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Snow Phoenix (Scotland) |
Snow Phoenix was created by marrying together natural strength and non-chill- filtered casks of different ages and finishes, including American oak and Oloroso Sherry, with ages ranging from 13 to 30 years. The result is a most impressive variant of Glenfiddich, with a sweet nose of vanilla, clotted cream and orchard fruits, plus a faint hint of Sherry. It has a mouth-coating, oily texture, and a complex palate which embraces ripe apples, honey, brown sugar, instant coffee and a suggestion of sweet smoke. The finish is very long, with dry Sherry gradually sweetening under the influence of the various ex-Bourbon wood components.
Snow Phoenix looks set to become a collector’s item, but it is too good a dram to sit on the shelf gathering dust. Buy a bottle and drink it! 47.6% ABV, 70cl, £49.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Special Reserve 12-Year-Old (Scotland) |
Possessed of a delicate, floral, slightly fruity nose, this Glenfiddich is well mannered in the mouth, malty, elegant and soft. Rich, fruit flavours dominate the palate, with a developing nuttiness and an elusive whiff of peat smoke in the fragrant finish. The malt that started the whole single malt drinking trend, back in the 1960s. It is fashionable in some quarters to sneer at Glenfiddich as a malt for those who know no better, but this is actually well made whisky, and would catch out many ‘connoisseurs’ in a blind tasting. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £22, widely available.
|Glenfiddich, Special Reserve 1976 (Scotland) |
Every year, a cask at least 30 years old is selected from one of Glenfiddich’s traditional dunnage warehouses in Dufftown and bottled as ‘Special Reserve.’ For the 2007 expression a theme of ‘master and pupil’ informed the selection panel, which included William Grant’s veteran blender David Stewart and his blending colleague Brian Kinsman. Also on the panel were Anthony Demetre, head chef at Arbutus restaurant in London, his sous chef Alan Christie, Givaudan perfumer Aurelien Guichard and junior perfumer Guillaume Flavigny. The final members were Malt Advocate magazine publisher John Hansell and managing editor Lew Bryson.
The chosen ex-Sherry, European oak cask from warehouse no. 8 was filled on 16th January 1976 and a total of 549 bottles are on offer, just 33 of which are available in the UK market. The 31-year-old expression offers a fragrant, floral, spicy Sherried nose. Water releases tropical fruits. Smooth and sweet on the palate, with Sherried, floral notes and rich fruits, notably oranges. The finish is long and warming, with a hint of oak, but with a persistent sweetness. Another triumph from the Glenfiddich team.
57.9% ABV, 70cl, £299.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Vintage Reserve 1972 (Scotland) |
This vintage bottling of Glenfiddich differs from previous ones in that it has been chosen by a number of long-serving craftsmen, together with William Grant & Sons’ malt master David Stewart. Cooper Don Ramsay, head warehouseman Eric Stephen, spirit handler George McDonald, coppersmith Dennis McBain and mashmen Bill Duncan and Brian Robertson were all involved in the selection. According to Dennis McBain, “We nosed and tasted a series of single malts all aged over 30 years from our warehouses and, by unanimous consent, we selected three casks from 1972 to be bottled.” The outrun is just 660 bottles, and the result is a whisky with a fresh, fruity nose, yielding malt and vibrant spices. Lively for its age. Comparatively big bodied on the palate, drying, with more spices, plus oak and biscuits notes. 47.1% ABV, 70cl, £235, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Vintage Reserve 1974 (Scotland) |
Vintage Reserve 1974 is the first vatted Vintage Reserve to be released, and was chosen by Glenfiddich’s largest-ever selection panel, including Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Global Brand Ambassador Ian Millar and Glenfiddich’s UK Brand Ambassador Jamie Milne, as well as 13 global Brand Ambassadors. According to a spokesperson, “Marking an adventurous change to the selection process, rather than sampling whisky from single casks, the panel carefully nosed and tasted three exceptional vatted vintage whiskies dating from 1973, 1974 and 1975. After careful consideration and in-depth debate, the panel selected the 1974 Glenfiddich.”
Brian Kinsman declares that “We’re delighted to unveil the 1974 Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve – not only because it’s our first ever vatted Vintage Reserve, but also because it was selected by a panel of Glenfiddich’s passionate Brand Ambassadors. Being surrounded by a panel of judges who are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about whisky was a fantastic and thoroughly rewarding experience. Just 50 limited edition bottles of the distinctly Glenfiddich whisky, which has rich, spicy oak notes and an amazing vibrancy for whisky of this age, will be available in the UK.”
Smooth on the nose, with urbane spices, fresh pineapple, pear drops, vanilla, heather, malt and a hint of old leather. Full-bodied, with big fruit notes, orange and vanilla, on the palate. Sherbet lemon and developing soft oakiness in the finish, with instant coffee at the close. 46.8% ABV, 70cl, £499.00, specialist whisky merchants.