Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Rum first fill
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Average price: € 160.00
Official website: www.glenfiddich.com
Glenfiddich is a brand known not only to whisky aficionados but to all casual whisky drinkers, as it’s one of the world’s best-selling labels, with absolute firsts in some countries.
The classic angular green bottle that in Italy we are used to seeing at the supermarket, in the incarnation of their 12 year old, is one of the so-called ‘basic whiskies’, those with a relatively low cost and often recommended to newcomers, which curiously enough enjoys an aura of elegance and prestige especially in the East.
But the distillery owned by the Grant family is not content to live off its profits, being no stranger to exploring new avenues with its distillate (see the Experimental series we have already discussed), and also presents high-end bottlings, embodied in the Grand Series.
And we begin with the youngest bottling of the three in the series, a whisky launched in 2006 from classic Bourbon ageing that, after 21 years, spends its final four months in barrels that have contained rum, made at Glenfiddich’s request.
In the words of Malt Master Brian Kinsman, ‘the maturing of this expression for 21 years in our warehouse leads to a marked and intense flavour, and the liquid is infused with further complexity during its final months. Ageing with Caribbean rum awakens a vibrant, spicy warmth within the whisky and brings out soft yet lively fruity notes on the palate. The addition of an innovative final production style is testament to Glenfiddich’s continued pursuit of perfection. Our rum ageing gives the whisky additional layers of intensity and an extraordinary touch that really sets 21 Year Old apart from other whiskies.’
If he says so!
The nose immediately reveals tropical fruit, with mango, maracuja, pineapple, which complements peach and apple in a softly fruity profile. Caramel, vanilla, dried apricots and a hint of pistachio melt into a waxy and caressing, very voluptuous mixture of aromas. Slight hint of leather in the background.
Less conciliatory on the palate, with a lively entrance of ginger that opens onto sweet and bitter fruit contrasts in which pineapple, apple and peach join grapefruit and blood orange, with marzipan, brown sugar, cinnamon and rhubarb. Cooked corn. Persistence of wood on the length, with a slight saline touch.
Fairly long, dry finish of ginger, grapefruit, toasted almonds, liquorice root.
For the minimum alcohol content, it has plenty of personality to spare! The nose is stupendous, it’s a pity that on the palate it seemed more disordered and indecisive, with a few too many smears. Whether or not it is worth the price tag is obviously subjective, but it is certainly not a whisky that leaves you indifferent.