The Vintage Reserve is 13 years old and has vanilla characteristics as a result of American casks and has caramel toffee notes and gentle spiciness.
* It's 13 years old. Hardly anything to get excited about given that the standard version is 12yo.
* The standard 12yo would mostly be from bourbon casks also, so what's new?
* Caramel toffee notes? If they have used bourbon casks exclusively, then perhaps the resulting natural colour was a bit light. Any chance they added caramel to darken the colour?
* Gentle spiciness? Hmmm....that tasting note seems to pop up on their regular 12yo as well.
Now I have absolutely no idea what this Vintage Reserve is going to retail for, but I'm willing to bet that it will sell for considerably more than the regular 12yo. Any chance this is just a massive excuse to charge a much higher price for a Glenfiddich that really doesn't have much going for it?
Cynic signing off.
Admiral wrote:Now I have absolutely no idea what this Vintage Reserve is going to retail for, but I'm willing to bet that it will sell for considerably more than the regular 12yo. Any chance this is just a massive excuse to charge a much higher price for a Glenfiddich that really doesn't have much going for it?
Cynic signing off.
Well why not, they already did the exact same thing when launching the Caoran Reserve. It costs more then the Solera, while the taste is about the worst fiddich around. And where is that peat anyway??.
So yeah i think about the same way like you on this.
Yes we owe the distillery a debt of gratitude for making single malt the drink it is today but they have fallen off the the pace.
I just dont understand why they feel they need to add caramel to give it a certain colour!
I prefer my whisky to be 'natural' after all if you left the bottle in the sunlight for a few days the caramel colour will dissapear entirely so I always feel that its 'cheating' by adding colouring agents.
One is so that slight color variations from bottling to bottling over time will not be so readily apparent. Glenfarclas readily admits this and strive for consistency in taste and mouthfeel with small color variations being of secondary consideration and part of making whisky.
The second explanation of using colored glass is to protect the contents from the adverse effects of sunlight.
It simply suffers from being so widely available. As we say here, it is a "garden variety" whisky. Nothing exotic, nothing special, just common.
One reason I respect Glenfiddich is because it's one of the most competively priced 12 year olds on the market. It's usually $10 to $15 cheaper than any other 12 year old. (One or two exceptions of course, e.g. The Glenlivet)
Perhaps these savings allow them to put the whisky on the shelf for a lower price. Put it this way....they certainly aren't going to underprice it and operate at a loss?
And being a family affair company, they don't have corporate pressures or pricing policies to subscribe to.
(Diageo is a good example of this.....why is 10yo Talisker so bloody expensive, when many 12-15 year old whiskies are significantly cheaper?)
As for the taste? Well, the nose offers a bit of lemon citrus, some fragrant floral notes, and it's not too spirity. The palate is full, quite malty, a bit biscuity, but I admit there's nothing spectacular going on. If someone asked me, "What does single malt taste like?", I could give them a Glenfiddich 12 and they would get a fair idea.
I find that while it doesn't have much to offer at the entry level, the 30 year olds are exceptional. Even though it seems to have little to offer it still garners a strong defense from some people is that defense based on loyalty to the malt that paved the way for single malts but has now been left behind by the enthusiasts? Or is this all just a matter of personal taste?
Which means that as soon as the beginners have got a few different drams under their belt, they branch out to other more exciting whiskies, and tend to cast a disparaging eye back to Glenfiddich. I think a typical philosophy goes something like this:
"Oh yes, that's Glenfiddich, the whisky I first started on. But I've matured since then, and I now enjoy other, more challenging malts".
I also think it's trendy for malt snobs to pooh-pooh Glenfiddich. (I can say that, because I'm a self-confessed malt snob). Why defend a common Glenfiddich when you can extol the virtues of your rare and exotic 1963 single cask of Bruichladdich? (Or whatever).
It's like riding a bike. Once you've got your balance and you're confident, why would you go back to using training wheels? People adopt the same mentality with their scotch.
Make no mistake - the entry level Glenfiddich is the biggest selling single malt in the world, and the producers know exactly what their consumers want. It's no accident that it's not the most challenging malt on the planet, but at the same time, spend a bit of time seriously exploring this whisky, and you'll find that it offers a fair bit more than people give it credit for. I've had plenty of dull & unpleasant speysiders (Deanston 12yo comes to mind) that make Glenfiddich look like nectar.
Perhaps I should have said, "plenty of dull & unpleasant malts" rather than make the geographical reference to Speyside.
But I still stand by my thoughts that Deanston is a weak malt!
(Who resides 16808 kilometres, or 10444 miles, from Speyside! )
PS I'm in the north of British Columbia skiing until Thursday and it's -32C.
I'm glad I brought along a bottle of Glenfarclas 105.
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