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As I am entering the realm of SMSW's gingerly, this first purchase is of a 1/2 bottle (375 ml) of the widely available (in Ontario at least) Glenfiddich 12 y.o. Two reasons for this. First, a very accessible price point (Can$23) for a scotch that I had not previously sampled. Second, I thought it wise to purchase a small quantity of a Scotch from a region that I might not be a fan of.
Since the purchase however, I have noted the tendancy of most Scotch drinkers to have a variety of regional representations to match a desired flavour profile for a particular setting and/or time of year. In that vein, I would welcome suggestions for a good value Speyside that you find superior to Glenfiddich.
While the majority of my previous samplings have been of Islay malts (strange I know for a newbie), this is the first formal sit-down tasting of a Scotch single malt that I have attempted.
Nose: Primarily floral, which lingers without being overpowering. An underlying note of sweet cream (I'm still working on putting the proper descriptors to the scents that I am identifying) is present prior to dilution. A slight, not unpleasant, nose tickle is produced by a very light rubbing alcohol aroma. Slight (less than a teaspoon) dilution from filtered water brings out an aroma of cut, dried firewood prior to burning. As the dram is warmed in the hand a slight smokiness, mixed with an undercurrent of vanilla, emerges. An interesting note...while I did not specifically identify it during nosing, nor during tasting (the senses are still in development), the empty glass presented a slight hint of saltiness.
Palate: A slight note of honey at the start followed, after a period of time, by an undercurrent of 60% dark chocolate that presents in the centre of the tongue.
Body: Mild to medium not weak, but not overpowering, filling the lower half of the mouth. A slightly oily texture is also noted.
Finish: Medium length, though lacking in distinct flavours. Dry at the end, a couple of minutes after the sip.