This is the best selling single malt in the world (as of 2011, at least) – and, almost universally, it seems, people say that the way to approach scotch is the glenfiddich 12 y.o. – and there’s good reason – it’s relatively soft, complex, and, well, very good. However, in my experience so many people (myself included) didn’t really start to love scotch until they had a good smoky one – so I think many people may actually have started with this one when actually they might better have started with a big smoky Laphroaig or Ardbeg.
This whisky is matured in Oloroso Sherry Casks, alongside bourbon casks. It is distilled in Dufftown, the whisky capital of the famed Speyside region of Scotland, at Glenfiddich, which means “valley of the deer”. The distillery itself owns its own cooperage and coppersmith – a very small number of distilleries can boast that.
Nose: As so often seen in ads and descriptions (they’ve been advertising in Ontario a lot of late), pear does come out, alongside green apple (much like those sweet green apple candies), some vanilla, honey, brown sugar, raisins, peach, and a good dose of malt. I find as it sits that more developed apple flavours – like the pleasant, sweet aroma of older apples on the ground, and some cinnamon. 26/30 (87%)
Taste: There’s green apple with a slightly spicy edge, a good whack of vanilla, and some spice on the end. The spicy edge on the end – cinnamon and clove – with a bit of bite – really rounds this one off very well – and I love that touch. There is a decent amount of raisins in the mix, as well as malt quite akin to many oaked beers. There are very slight smoky and earthy undertones, I find, in the mix – but it’s certainly not one you’d call smoky. And, it is reasonably sweet, which is a nice touch on this one, I think. 26/30 (87%)
Finish: There’s some warm light peat on the finish, some malt and a good kick of the green apple fruitiness, along with apple seeds. The body is quite decent on the finish, and I find a touch of nuttiness – mainly just a touch of almond. 16/20 (80%)
Conclusion: Great stuff! Though I tried it early on, it didn’t make me decide to drink scotch (Johnnie Walker Black Label is to blame for that). However, it is easy going, accessible, and very enjoyable. A good malt. 17/20 (85%)