Whisky Connosr

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Gentle Green Grape

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@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

3rd Jan 2014


Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

As I just reviewed the 'Livet 12, I figured I should cover the 'Fiddich 12 as well. So I'll start the New Year back to basics.

Nose: At first like watching your computer boot: loading... loading... but then it comes. Very light. I can see how others say green apple or green pear; but I will settle on plump Green Grape Pulp-- and maybe marshmallow (vanilla). A little grassy but not too much.

Palate: Yes, green grapes, entering quite smoothly actually. This sensation sustains... joined by the nose's vanilla. Green grapes still sustain... a little more sour with their skins (and green apple skins). Quite constant, as you can see. The palate seems to get a bit more sour with oxygenation, so I recommend to enjoy from a fresher bottle.

Finish: I won't repeat... but basically a continuation of palate and nose sensations. Pleasant, with just a touch of green apple peel showing pale sourness. Otherwise smooth (not bitter).

Overall: Light green fruits, quite smooth and pretty flawless; but also less interesting. If this is your starting point and it is all you know: Congratulations. You have probably decided (if your dram was fresh) that there exist whiskies that can be enjoyed neat without burning your throat-- and which can in fact be rather smooth. And since you still really have no idea just how good it can get, you have an exciting journey ahead. Since there are so many paths ahead and the "next step 12 year olds" are covered elsewhere (HP, Pulteney, Auchentoshan, Caol Ila, etc.), I'll just offer a set of rather similar malts:

For those starting out here who only want to stick with light fruity flavors, you may also turn to: the Auchentoshan Select (more apple and lime), the Macallan Gold (more apple/lemon), the Glenfiddich 15 Solera (more berries and zest), or Glenmorangie 18 (more orangey-- and the more expensive choice). And there is always, of course, the equally available GlenLIVET 12, which is similar but a bit more tannic and varied than the Glenfiddich. I give the 'Fiddich a point higher score than the 'Livet, just for showcasing smoothness (again: when fresh). Actually, my aforementioned Auchentoshan and Macallan suggestions are also perhaps less smooth but more interesting. (And although I could prefer those, the Glenfiddich is a better value for the price.)

For those who specifically like this green grape theme but want to experiment with a bit more flourish and overall higher quality, I would point firstly to Oban 14, which is more like a spicy white wine in relation to the 'Fiddich. Beyond this, Glenfiddich's the 19yo Age of Discovery would also provide a similar base experience but with more sophistication deriving from greater wood influence (but not quite as much as Glenlivet's Nadurra, another decent choice).

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