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[Reposted from my blog - check my profile] These notes are for the Glenfiddich entry-level 12-year-old distillery bottling, with its distinctive triangular green glass bottle.
Nose: Dry, crisp, and earthy without any smoke. A hint of fresh-squeezed lime and green grass.
Palate: Thin, watery body. An initial warming wave of caramel popcorn and hot oatmeal with brown sugar. Not picking up any fruit at all. Just a mellow, baked sweetness with elements of stale cereal. A very trimmed-down, one-sided malt. No oak, no peat, no sherry. Just easy drinking and easy to pair.
Finish: Short, but with a lingering caramely sweetness.
Adding a few drops of water kills whatever nose there was, replacing it with maybe a faint floral air - maybe rose? However, it brightens up the palate, giving some citrusy notes and making it taste a little less stale. I definitely recommend the water with this one, at least a few drops. For a bottle in the $25 range, it's unfortunately only a step above the cheapest blends, with perhaps a bit more drink-ability than standards like Johnny Walker or Chivas Regal. It is best suited as a stepping-stone to better malts, as The Glenlivet 12 is slightly cheaper, and has more complexity, and thus deserves the "inexpensive Speysider" spot in your daily rotation.