Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Average price: € 67.00
Official website: www.glenfiddich.com
Given the popularity of its whiskies and a production of around 14 million litres a year, it’s not surprising that Glenfiddich (in Gaelic “the valley of the stag”, hence the emblem on each bottle) is one of the distilleries with the largest number of stills in the world: 10 wash stills and 18 spirit stills, all of which are fired by direct flame gas burners.
Today, only Glenfarclas still uses this traditional method, and it shares another peculiar aspect with Glenfiddich: as rarely happens in Scotland, ownership is in the hands of the direct descendants of the founder.
Today we taste the Glenfiddich 18yo, which is labelled Small Batch Reserve. Aged in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso casks, it’s offered at the standard 40% ABV in an unusually low price range for such an age.
It has a beautiful honey colour.
When the glass is held up to the nose, the first clear impression is of pear fruit juice, followed by a jasmine fragrance, a scent of honey and a spicy hint of nutmeg. After a few moments, in perfect harmony with the sweetness of the context, a memory of frangipane cream appears, accompanied by a teaspoon of coffee powder. A slight metallic note can be detected in the background.
On the palate, a hint of dates emerges and sits unobtrusively alongside the pear juice, honey and frangipane cream. A touch of ginger enlivens at least part of a pleasant but somewhat evanescent ensemble that does not develop substantially over time.
The finish of dates and frangipane cream is rather brief and immediately invites you to take another sip.
Lightness is one of the hallmarks of Glenfiddich whiskies and one of the most likely reasons for their wide public acceptance. In this case, however, the desire to please the less discerning drinker results in a dram that is immediately enjoyable, but in the long run communicates a vague sense of dissatisfaction and, alas, leaves no lasting impression on the memory.