Sunday, November 16, 2014

Glenfiddich 15 years - Even non-regular whisky drinkers would love it!

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky - 15 years (ABV: 40%)

The Solera Vat - Unique to Scotch whisky, our Solera Vat marries whiskies matured in sherry, bourbon & new oak casks and is always kept at least half full. This creates a rich & complex whisky which increases in depth & intensity each year.

(Description on the bottle case of the Glenfiddich 15 years)

Glenfiddich is the world's best selling single malt and what better way to start this blog by sharing my thoughts on this excellent whisky. Everything about this whisky is beautiful from the unique case which is easily recognisable as unique to Glenfiddich to the colour of the whisky. Just take a look at the beautiful golden brown colour of the whisky after absorbing the characteristics of the sherry, bourbon and oak casks. This 15 year old is unique in a sense that this Solera blending not only adds depth but a different softer mouth-feel. What you have is therefore, a whisky with richer depth and feel with a little bit of sweetness from the sherry and bourbon casks. More on the taste later but let's start by appreciating its beautiful and rich colour.

Like appreciating any fine whisky, a crystal clear glass will enhance the experience. You can see from the picture below the beautiful colour of the whisky as it reflects the light from its surrounding. It is just begging us to further explore this water of life.

Before sharing my own amateur thoughts on this great whisky, the following are tasting notes from some real expert.

From "The World Atlas of Whisky, 2nd Edition" by Dave Broom (coincidentally a Glenfiddich Award-winning Author):
Nose:  Ripe and very soft with a character akin to plum jam and baked apple.
Palate: Soft and silky. Thicker than 12 year old with stewed black fruit, coconut notes, and dried grass.
Finish: Ripe and full.
Conclusion: Solera adds a richer depth and feel.

From "1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die":
The nose just draws you in, slowly revealing layers of fruit, from apple and pear to more tropical flavours, such as mango. There is a touch of pie crust, too. In the mouth, more depth is discovered with malt, fruit, and oak grip. The finish is woody and fruity.

Now, for my own personal description of the whisky. I always sample the whisky two ways, i.e. with or without ice. Let's face it. For us living in the tropics, we may not fully enjoy a warm whisky simply because of our hot and humid weather and sometimes, ice do bring out the flavour of the whisky.

Let's start with without ice:
Sweetness with spicy finish. Long aftertaste that lingers and feels strong (to me) even though ABV is only 40%.

With ice:
Dilutes the smell but also mellow down the strong taste. Brings out the sweetness and smoothness of the 15 years from its days in the sherry and bourbon casks. One drawback of adding ice is that it also dulls the colour of the whisky and that greatly upsets me since I really appreciates the sight of the whisky in its golden brown colour. Not sure if using chilled whisky stone instead of ice would have the same effect on taste but minus the adverse effect of dulling its colour. Would update this review once I manage to source for some good quality whisky stone.

So, in conclusion, this would be my personal opinion on how to enjoy this fine whisky:
1. Start by appreciating its smell and colour undiluted in a crystal clear glass.
2. Add just one or two pieces of ice and enjoy!
Of course, good drinking companion always help!