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Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Average score from 43 reviews and 274 ratings 75

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glenfiddich
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Oh, I've tasted this so many times, and even beyond: it's the scotch I remember my parents used to sip around the house when I was a kid (the adult world, forbidden for children: smoking, drinking, quarreling, going to work, filling the tank, watching adult content, divorcing, going gray, unfulfilled dreams, you know: the stuff.)

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, 'fiddich 12yo. So this one pours clear pale straw-yellow, to begin with, and smells like wheat fields, mowed lawn, sweet vegs (the likes of carrot and pumpkin.)

Boozy (despite the low ABV) and oily at first, crisp and umami midpalate. Medium-lasting finish, neither bitter nor pungent. Sort of middle-of-the-road.


One of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world, this family owned distillery continues to successfully produce and market quality scotch.

Nose Thin caramel accompanies strong vanilla notes. Newly fallen apples, mown grass and a little white chocolate round off what is a very pleasant experience.

Palate The caramel thickens up, helped by a somewhat oily mouthfeel. Bitter, not quite ripened apples add bite to an otherwise gentle and uncomplex palate.

Finish Fresh Vanilla and apples are all that are left, the finish lingers a little but could not be called anymore than short.

In conclusion this scotch performs adequately for its £35 price tag. It’s very agreeable but lacks the complexity to keep me coming back. A great choice for newbies or anyone looking for a daily dram.


Nice review @conorrob and always useful to keep tabs on these kind of malts.

I may have scored it a bit higher but have to say I'm not really a fan of this malt. I find it to have an oily pear note that just doesn't sit right with me. I've said before that if I want a light malt, especially in the £35 bracket, I'd go for Arran 10 all day.

@conorrob - You have more will power than me smiley I had one bottle of the older style HP 12 left and was planning to hang onto it but got the urge recently and popped it. I've not done a head to head but had one of the new style bottles recently and, whilst not bad, it had lost some of the richness (and colour) of the older bottle.

And what's the deal with that new screw cork thingy?


A friend bought me a bottle of this for my b'day since he knew I liked scotch. Interestingly enough I have never even had this. It's so many people's gateway into scotch. But for me, it was HP12 and Glenlivet 12 (before all this NAS that ‘livet is pushing down our throats), then Ardbeg 10 introduced me to peat. But I never tried this 'fiddich 12. I guess because it is everywhere so I assumed it was too mainstream and that must mean it isn't that good. But lets not judge a book by it's cover!

'fiddich 12. Oloroso sherry and bourbon cask matured. Bottle is 80% full and opened for 2 weeks. Drinking neat in a glencairn.

Nose: It's an orchard that got dipped in vanilla. Tart granny smith apples, red apples, green pears, and vanilla. Pretty easy to nail down the nose and it is a very delightful nose. I love a good Speyside nose, often the highlight of whisky from this region to me.

Palate: Vanilla is more pronounced on the palate giving nod to the bourbon casks. A bit of a sourness that I don't care for if you swallow too quickly. It's better to hold this in your mouth for a while. Apple cobbler a la mode is a perfect description of the flavours when held in the mouth for a while. If you drink this too quickly you will miss all of that. This really must linger for a while on the palate.

Finish: Finish is longer than I expected. Vanilla completely dominates the finish.

Overall: I'm sorry I never gave this a chance. Let's not beat about the bush; it's simple, thin, but it's really not too bad. Would sure beat any Johnny Walker at the bar.

@Nozinan I haven't had the green yet so maybe i spoke too soon. so to you this is like the bud light of single malt? i've been places where bud light was the only option and said 'no thanks i'll stay sober.'

@paddockjudge I haven't even been drinking that long. maybe one day i'll get to experiment with long opened bottles...if i stay in one place for a while anyway.

@casualtorture Try the 15 year old Distillery Edition at 51% abv, ncf and natural colour. I think you will find it to be right up there with the best Speysiders.


Of all the scotches and whiskies I've tried this is probably the most non-descript. I barely even remembered drinking it 10 minutes later.

Nose: Very light with an ambiguous fruitiness. Some aromas of pear. Taste: Flavorful, and good but nothing noticeable.


inviting and warm. this scotch is smooth and gentle yet a little too mild and simple for me. The nose is pleasant, it is sweet and medium-heavy, with a honey aroma and hints of spice. there are sherry and sultana tones along with subtle grape and vanilla flavours. it is a little un matured and there is a definite raw alcohol burn - which quickly disappears with the addition of a few drops of water. the palate is similar with no hidden surprises, it is simple and a bit predictable. there are strong honey and pear notes with slight date and dried fruit scents. the development is well balanced with slight oak and smoke notes and a slight raw alcohol burn. overall this scotch is well balanced and well crafted, it is smooth and gentle yet predictable and un exciting. the word that comes to mind is, safe. it is pleasant tasting and makes a good every day drink (watch you don't get bored) or a good go to drink. there are better malts out there for the same or similar price but for beginners or someone looking for a safe and easy drink then this does the job.


Only by nosing some whiskies my childhood memories are evoked, and this is one of them!

That day when I was young and ill-informed (under-age drinker) I mixed half a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Years Old with a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi... a lethal cocktail.

Ever since then I hated whisky, until recently when I learned to appreciate the full extent of its taste.

Personally, I don't like giving overly complex descriptions the whisky, therefore:

I can taste some sort of sweetness, perhaps apples and pears.

I can smell toffee, maybe banoffee (it tastes kind of creamy).

It is soft on the palate.

Overall, I would introduce my friends to this whisky, or maybe buy 2 or 3 to drink on normal get-together kind of occasions.

Any reason you posted this multiple times?

OK, I see you posted an answer before I asked it.


Once again, I travel down the road of revisiting some of the whiskies that first spoke to me so many years ago. As we develop as whisky connoisseurs, it's easy to forget some of the pleasures of those entry-level whiskies that got us into this mess in the first place. It's hard to believe I've never reviewed this one before (or, at least, I don't think I have!) - the best selling single malt in the world.

Not only is it the best selling, but it was the first to really make a dent in the sales of what was, in the 1960s, almost solely blends. They aggressively marketed their single malt, something no other distillery had really done before, and were the first to open a visitor centre. That they have never been acquired by a giant like Diageo is pretty amazing. They were William Grant & Sons first distillery, and they remain there to this day.

The 12 Year Old is so ubiquitous as to be invisible. When we saddle up to the whisky bar, our eyes quickly pass over it. But it's importance as a fixture on the whisky landscape cannot be overstated. It is matured in a combination of bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks.

The colour is bright gold. On the nose, crisp, clean malt, with pears, freshly cut pine, and a hint of dark chocolate. Freshly cut grass, with some raspberries in the background. Light, fruity and malty. With water, a bit more malt comes through, but this is so light (and at 40%) that you really don't need any.

On the palate the vanilla comes out, with some caramel as well. Many of the same notes as the nose - this is not a complex malt. Some light honey with green apples. A bit more spice with some water. Very easy to drink.

The finish is a little dry, with herbs (mint, sage) and spices (sweet paprika, nutmeg) coming to the fore. It is richer than, say, the Glenlivet 12 Year Old but pretty much remains in the same category: easy to drink, nothing wrong with it, nice and safe and a good way of introducing someone to single malts.


It's been a while since I've had this. But for ole' times sake, I ordered it. Like always, I drink my whisky neat. No wonder why some folks when asked if they had a single malt they say: " yes Glenfiddich 12" and get discouraged to try any other SM. Semi-sweet apples, hay,grassy,light floral notes, kinda like a lentil flavor comes through with some slight tartness that I find repulsive. There is some oak,thin body,lots of alcohol for its age. Not pleasant at all.

Yeah initial flavors are ok, but then... the harshness. a Nice one for when ur still busy doing other things. Was it really 43%? They dont come like that in Holland

oops! typo. you are right it is 40%


For my first review I just start with a good beginner whisky :

Nose : After letting it rest for 5 minutes and a bit of water you get a nose of vanilla , fruit, slightly caramel ( not much ) and overripe melon.

Taste : Vanilla , slightly bitter, grainy sugars, smooth creamy rolling flavors overall

Finish : A short finish, dry but fruity and again the sweetness of the vanilla, some oaky flavour too.

Great first review keep it up!


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).


This is the starting point of most whisky adventures, still the scotch yielding the most sales in the world, and with the quality of the whisky since 3 years back when they corrected the course, it is understandable.

Glad to declare that it seems to persevere! Coming back to this after being pleasantly surprised in 2012, i must say that the future is still bright. I used this whisky with my non-whisky friends in switzerland, and they loved it, seems this whisky has honed it's ability as a beginners malt. Although it has quite some more to offer the more experienced among us.

Nose: Classic Glenfiddich 12, apples, green apples, orchard fruits, gooseberries (but more natural and juicy), citrus and some sage. Vanilla sweetness balancing out the juicy sour-acidic note from before. A meadow honey takes over alongside some good quality barley that makes this nose set.

Palate: Green apples (Granny smith's as well as Ginger Gold and Mutsu, very complex). Very complex gooseberries again, makes the malt feel it's quality even more, as well as gaining individuality, since the apple&gooseberry combination is very "Glenfiddich". This is, exactly as on the nose, perfectly matched and balanced by a wonderful vanilla, which hints to the quality of the american bourbon casks that have been used to smooth the rough edges. A tartiny apple-toffee note that gets a slightly weird chocolate-cake icing and some ginger.

Finish: Another positive difference the finish, instead of having a quick fade as in "pre-2010" bottlings, this holds on the ginger to finally introduce some honey and ultimately the vanilla note comes back with some orchard fruits as well, hey!

This a well improved whisky, the scotch i tasted in 2009 wouldn't have been in the 70's but this is well in the 80's.

Still a great place to start but a has now also become a great sparring whisky when compared to a "Big Gun" whisky, for us whisky enthusiasts.


These are notes from a tasting a while ago. I still stand behind them

Nose: Lemon grass and peaches immediately jump out. I am surprised at how fruity this is: peaches, melon, kiwi, and bananas! I expected the grassy dry thing . . . but not fruit-topia.

Taste: Fruity, dull, watery, and . . . off-ness.

Finish: Short little blip with a slight burn. Maybe a whisper of peaches as an “after breath”? Way too short for a single malt in my opinion.

Balance, Complexity: Very little balance with peaches taking over. There was some hope for a nice fruit cornucopia from the nose . . . but it didn’t carry over in the mouth.

Aesthetic experience: Nice golden amber. I don’t like the bottle shape (although it is distinctive) and I hate the 40% ABV. If Glenfiddich doesn’t catch up . . . The body was almost water-like (not something you want in scotch). Sure Glenfiddich is the single malt responsible for promoting the concept of single malts . . . but this 12yo leaves a lot to be desired.

Conclusion: I really appreciate all that Glenfiddich has done to promote drinking single malts. It was the lone standard back in the day. But sadly it doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the times in its regular line expressions. Glenfiddich built their reputation on the 8 year old. I would LOVE to see a nod to that. Bring out an 8 year old Cask Strength ‘Fiddich. Now that is something I would respect and buy.


I only bought this one because it is known to be the most popular single malt in thw world. That should have been my clue to stay away. Instead, this was an uneventful single malt with almost no taste and certainly no smoke. I could not wait to get rid of this bottle from my collection and will not buy it again. It is not foul tasting, but just bland as can be.

I am not a fan of the 15 year old either. If you put mediocre stuff in a solera vat you get a mixture of mediocre stuff out...

Smells nice...that's it


Color: Light gold

Nose: Vanilla and oak are dominating the glass. Water unleashes the fruitiness. I'm thinking of cooking pears and green apples.

Taste: Not many surprises here. Once again an overdose of vanilla. With a bit of effort you'll discover some coconut and apples. Quite a nice balance but anything but breathtaking.

Finish: Short and dry. Exactly what you're expecting from an appetizer.

Conclusion: A more than decent product. Classy bottle design, nicely balanced flavors and beautiful in its simplicity. And yet that's what makes this dram a bit boring. Or is it just my natural preference for the underdog (read: smaller scale distilleries) manifesting itself...

My original tasting notes (in Dutch) can be found on my tumblr blog A Tasty Dram: tastydram.tumblr.com/post/48630975106/…


Glenfiddich is one of the most appealing single malt scotches I have tasted. The 12 year is crisp and clean allowing for the tasting notes to be easily enjoyed. With an Oak finish, but the oak doesn't over power the pear. Very impressive scotch that has made its way into my staple list of single malt scotches.


Hello again friends. I hope everyone is enjoying 2013 so far. Another review for you. Glenfiddich 12 year. This one was hard for me to get a handle of. It did not match any of the reviews I read on it in regards to to nose and palate. A lot of them said pear or apple and I did not get that. I did like its smooth thickness and rich golden blonde colour. The finish is metallic like iron or tin. While not my favorite, its not a bad dram.
Thank you for reading and feel free to comment. Always looking to learn from other Scotch-men... Cheers!


Glenfredrik ehm.. I mean Glenfiddich 12yo is like an old friend you can call whenever you want to and he will naturally hear you out. The color of the dram is vibrant and golden.

The nose is filled with canned green fruits, brown sugar and vanilla. Also quite malty with a hint of almond.

The palate offers a welcoming smoothness with canned pears, brown sugar and vanilla.

The finish is medium to long with some exhilarating dryness to counteract all the smooth notes. The whisky leaves you with notes of pear and vanilla in your mouth.

You will ask yourself why haven't you called your old friend Glenfredrik lately.

Glenfiddich is allways warmly welcome in any swedish whisky-drinkers glass! Plus the quality seems to be coming back big time, as far as the whole of the glenfiddich range is concerned. Underrated and important whisky, the first portal to the world of single malts for many beginners. Skål!!

86 points to fiddich 12?!?! Glad to see you're not a whisky hipster. Although I wouldn't describe the finish as anything but SHORT, I think that this dram all too often gets underrated.



I feel sorry to make a good movie reference to a whisky that sucks but it kinda suits here:

There Will Be Blood was a good movie but it describes the feelings I had after a taste of the Glenfiddich 12 year old. Unlike Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, I'm not that keen on oil.

Even though the movie was good, it was a bit benumbing to watch towards the end. That's exactly what happened with Glenfiddich 12. Oil was literally dripping down my throat. It would have been OK if the other parts of this whisky had been good. They weren't...

Nose: Floral and malty. Some honey notes as well but the nose gives you a stingy report on what's coming.

Taste: Light and a bit watery for me. Floral notes are still there combined with spices but it has no character. All the flavors are very flat.

Finish: Oak and oil are the only things I can spot. Just very oily for my taste. I guess I should try to get some more tastes from it but I just gave up.

Overall: This is consistent – too bad it's a consistency of no character. Rough and light at the same time in a bad way.

Sorry, for me Glenfiddich 12 just was one the worst single malts I've tasted. The weak finish with taste without character just didn't do it for me, maybe there's something wrong with my taste buds :), oh, and the oil, I think that oil just kept on going in the finish.

Yeah, I know...it's not coherent to refence something good with something that you don't like, but I just couldn't come up with another movie based on oil. And I got to admit, I love my title for this review...

I never really sat down with it, but I like it while continueing other activities, dont give it too much attention! Its the only single malt in the pool cafe I always go and the guy always serves me quadruple drams in a tumbler for €5,- :p


As part on my ongoing journey through the wonderfully diverse world of Whisky then are some names that cannot be ignored. I have seen Glenfiddich in every off licence, supermarket, general store and bar that stocks single malts.. It is the ubiquitous dram. I had thus far avoided it as I thought there were more exciting things to try. That said, I want to try as much as I can and figured this may be a good bench mark and might help me be better able to compare others in the future.

The nose is sweet pears and green apples. There is a flowery honey which makes it seem very sweet on the nostrils. There doesn't seem to be a strong smell of alcohol.

On the palate it is light and sweet. It is smooth and spicy turning to a fruity and mildly oaky finish which is short.

It is everything I though it would be and brings no surprises.

A Solid, predictable, pleasant journeyman which doesn't offend or set the world on fire. As an entry level malt I don't think it is as good as either tha Aberlour 10 nor the Glenlivet 12. I am a big Islay fan so won't do this stalwart the disservice of comparing it to a Laphroaig or heaven for it an Ardbeg 10.


Pleasantly balanced if not a bit punchy or bitter, with some fruit in it. Not my favorite, and yet have consumed more than a few bottles. It's always a good choice but a bit boring.


It's been a few years since I've had some Glenfiddich 12, so it'll be interesting to see how this compares to 2007-2008 or so. A friend of mine received this as a gift, opened it, decided he didn't like whisky and gave it to me knowing I would enjoy it more. Thanks man ! Score for me.

Nose: Gently fruity. Pears in syrups, sweet honey, some wood character in the form of tame vanilla and a note akin to a straw fire (there is a very subtle smokyness). Not very complex, but no flaws either. Typical basic Speyside. I remember this smelling younger and more solventy. No water added.

Palate: Light bodied and ephemere. More of the nose (pears, honey, vanilla). What you smell is what you get, although there is a cloying, oily something in the back of my mind that I can't pinpoint. It's not harshness, more like a mineral oilyness. Not that distracting and it comes and goes. Sweet overall and not complex either. No water added.

Finish: Short and sweet. Fleeting fruityness and icing sugar lingers somewhat longer on some sips. No water added.

This is the mac and cheese of single malt scotches. Available everywhere, dependable (this is better than what I had a few years ago) and a sure value. Are there better/more interesting offerings at this price point ? Yes, without a doubt, but this is a decent 40%, caramel, chill filtered mass marketed offering.


Nose: A very sweet and gentle nose. Almost no alcohol burn from this dram. Right away you get freshly cut pears, followed by hints of green apple. These two aromas are what predominate this dram throughout. Floral notes are also prominent once it begins to settle down in the glass. There are hints of citrus notes, blood orange to be exact.

Palate: Refreshing on the palate. Tastes somewhat like apple juice when the tongue first encounters it. Followed by a slight taste of black pepper. Once it's held for a few moments, it goes into a very vibrant oak and pine flavor. Hints of pineapple also hit the palate here and there.

Finish: Oily finish. Slight ( on the swallow)smoke, but mostly a pine nut and oak finish predominates. Lasts in the mouth as an oily, creamy vanilla,flower petal, and lemon tea finish.

It's a very straight forward whisky. It's not complex. The nose is wonderful and always inviting. The body is light and sweet. The finish is decent. This is a perfect whisky for someone new to single malts.


My wife and I went down South for a weekend away. You all know what I mean, a nice romantic weekend away, no stress, lots of relaxation, cuddles.

And whisky!

However sadly that lovely weekend was not to be, sorta.

We drove South immediately after I got off work Saturday evening. It's a three to four hour drive to get down to Margaret River and it was pitch black when we finally arrived at the little lodge we were staying at.

We sadly arrived hungry with no access to food other then chips.

We sadly arrived to find out there was no TV reception and just a DVD player to watch things on, we had no DVDs.

We arrived to find out there was no cell reception and no phones in the rooms.

Not quite the start to the weekend we were hoping for.

I was also personally hoping to try some good whisky every meal of the day, including breakfast and second breakfast along with morning tea.

Alas this was not to be.

When we made our start the next morning things improved with a yummy breakfast and some good customer service and soon we were on the road, ready to hit up some breweries, some wine and gourmet food stores and general shopping for my wife.

I decide to call a taxi company to arrange for pickup the next day so that my wife and I can go to an Australian Whisky tasting at The Grove the following day.

No answer.

However the grey clouds that were overhead as we started, slowly got darker and darker.

The more we drove, the darker it got.

I decide to call a taxi, in order to arrange transportation to the Australian Whisky Tasting that we're doing at The Grove the next day.

No answer.

Then it started raining.

A lot.

And then the wind started.

And this point it's past midday and my wife and I decide that we need to stop for some food.

Again I call the taxi company to arrange for pickup the next day.

No answer.

As we eat lunch the storm rages harder and harder, water flooding into the restaurant, massive potted plants blowing over, umbrellas flying away.

We need to get back to our room, as soon as possible in case the storm gets worse so during a break we wade out to our car.

Yes we WADE to our car.

I again call the taxi company to arrange pickup to the whisky tasting the following day.

Finally a pick up.

However the lady on the phone informs me that her husband isn't there, can I call back in an hour?


Can she just arrange a pickup for the following day?

Shouldn't be a problem, but can I call back in an hour please?

Bloody hell!

We run to the grocery store to purchase some emergency supplies, as the lights flicker off and on.

Finally we drive back to the lodge, slowly.

Very slowly.

Trees have come down all over the road, not just branches but massive trees.

And the rain pours down.

And the winds howl.

We finally get to our lodge and sit down to wait out the storm.

My wife's massage is canceled. No one can get to our lodge.

Sweet jesus this is bad!

Several hours pass and the storm quiets down.

I arrange a tentative pickup by the taxi company, but I should give them a call the following morning to confirm everything.


Better then nothing.

The winds die, the rain stops.

And we're hungry. For something more substantial then chips and crackers.

So we decide to risk it and head into town to get some food from a restaurant we've been to before. Pretty good food, reasonable prices, and even better they have whisky!

So we get in the car and head out and very very soon, like before we're up the driveway soon, I have to get out of the car and start clearing branches before we can leave.

Almost half a kilometer I'm walking up the hill leading down to the lodge as I throw branches off the road and my wife follows in the car behind.

Finally it's dark and I've cleared enough branches for us to safely make our way out of the property and on our way to town.

We creep through the roads as we head into town and finally we make it.



We order our food and I head up to the bar to get our drinks.

A coke, a Macallan 18 yr old Fine Oak and a Glenfiddich 12 yr old.

Once I can finally sit down I start in on the Macallan 18 yr old.

No this is not a Macallan 18 yr old review.

Bet you thought it was!

Sadly the Macallan is weak, wishy washy, and I can only say I hope this was due to oxidation. I will not be reviewing that whisky until I can try it again.

But the Glenfiddich now,

Well that's a different story.

This pale whisky sits in it's tumbler and the aromas of apples, pears, vanilla and oak come off it in waves.

As I give it a deeper nose honey and citrus notes become evident.

I offer the glass to my wife for her to try and she gives it a nose and informs me that it smells like our Snow Phoenix.

Well it's definitely got the Glenfiddich nose, but a less complex nose then the Snow Phoenix.

I offer the glass to my wife to taste and as she does so she looks at me and lets me that this isn't a flavor that she cares for, or maybe to be accurate it's the delivery.

I decide to take a sip and see what I can see.

Yep. That's Glenfiddich all right!

Apples and pears are the strongest flavors that hit you, but right afterwards the oak comes out to play in a way too forceful way. You have more sweetness from vanilla, bits of honey along with some spices like cinnamon, but always in the background is the oak.

The finish is fairly decent, with the oak dominating the flavor profile, but towards the end the apples and pears decide to rejoin the class much to my surprise and happiness.

It's not the world's most exciting whisky, it's a decent whisky.

Just a little bit better then the Glenlivet 12 yr old, but not a whole lot of radical difference at this level. This is what it is.

An entry level single malt whisky.

Thankfully it has a decent price point at around $55 AUS and can be found in pretty much any liquor store.

This is totally not the whisky experience that I was planning and hoping for when we decided to do our little weekend get away. It's time to run back to the lodge as the storm decides to start kicking up again, thankfully with just the rain this time.

Happily though my wife and I have the Australian Whisky tasting coming up on the following day!


Dear god I hope it's better then today's been!


The stories behind the reviews are always enjoyable - they provide context, even if at the time we aren't always laughing about what is happening. I've always found the Glenfiddich nose to be far more enjoyable than the palate, which turns oaky and dry too quickly, something which even the sweetness of the finish can't cover up.

Hahaha thanks guys!

@Yaklord to be honest Glenfiddich is right up there with some of my least favorite entry level malts that I've tasted. Like you said it turns oaky and dry way too quickly and dominates the flavor profile. I much prefer Aberlour 10 yr for an entry level Speyside or Balvenie 12 yr old.

@Victor it's not my fault I swear it! These things just happen to me! :D


This week, I will be going back to basics. After all the great whiskies I have tried in recent weeks, it is time to taste some standard stuff. So I will be tasting no less than 7 Glenfiddich in a row. Let me start with the malt of all malts, the Glenfiddich 12 Year Old.

The nose is very light, even delicate, on flowers and pears. Poire Williams. Sour, green apples and marzipan. Honey and apple juice. Very approachable and clearly an entry level malt. But very good.

It is creamy and fruity on the palate, with again the apples and pears, some nuts and mild spices.

The finish is medium in length, very sweet and fresh.

This is a very basic malt, but let us not forget what an important place this single malt has in history. After all, it was Glenfiddich that transformed the industry and put single malts on the map. It is nice to return to earth once in a while.


Like many, Glenfiddich was my first single malt scotch. I enjoyed it, mostly because my palate had been very well seasoned (obliterated?) by several bottles of Sleeman's Cream Ale. I subsequently purchased a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 to begin the first leg of my whisky journey. Except that I hated it. When sampled on its own I found it to be harsh and unpalatable. Had I rated it then it would have scored in the 30's, so unsophisticated and unaccustomed was my palate. Considering that I rarely drank anything higher than 18% ABV, Glenfiddich was like paint thinner by comparison. I gave away the lonely and neglected remnants of that bottle.

I recently acquired another bottle and thought I would give it second chance, now that I am a grizzled scotch veteran (not quite...).

Nose: initially pear, green apple, and green grape. Fresh and zippy. There is a definitely maltiness and sugariness on the nose, as well as a hint of vanilla. After oxidization, these aromas mellow to stewed fruit, pear, sugar, and vanilla.

Palate: light in the mouth. Sugars, pear, and green apple in disaggregated form. There is also some diluted vanilla under it all.

Finish: long and drying, with sweet pear and apple, and then some pleasant bitterness.

Overall, this was much better than I remembered. I'm still puzzled over the labeling of this malt as an 'entry' malt. It is certainly appealing, and much less challenging to the palate than, say, Laphroaig, but I think it remains pleasingly sophisticated enough for the grizzled vet. Newcomers should be steered towards Talisker...


The first single malt bottle that I bought (like many other people). This bottle started my whisky drinking experience. I heard that it is the best selling malt in the world and therefore it seemed for me the best place to start. The nice looking packaging really shows that this is a big brand.

I find that Glenfiddich 12 year old has balanced fresh flavours with notes of pear, green apples and subtle oak. Pear was the flavour that really stood out for me. The flavors are pleasant and non-confrontational. A whisky that most people can appreciate. Although there are tastier (and pricier) whiskies out there.

Glenfiddich 12 year old is a very accessible whisky that is a good starting point when exploring single malts. Because of this single malt bottle, I really got into whisky and that speaks for Glenfiddich!


Nose: Apple, lemon, demerera sugar, with water = leather Taste: Apple, caramel, pomegranate, burnt lemon curd Finish: Medium length - figs - apple!


Appearance: Dram, neat. Pours a clear, orange amber with impressive leg structure.

Nose: Apples, pear, white grape. More white wine like in that sense. Cherry and vanilla comes through as it opens up along with some unsightly vinegar.

Taste: Better than the nose with practically no spicy alcohol and no tannic oak thank god. More fresh peach, sweet red cherries, subdued alcohol. Finishes with cinnamon stick and mild bitterness.

Palate: spicy, very light and near watery. Not my style.

An improvement over Glenlevit 12 and also less expensive. Would not be my go too Speyside, but is competent, ubiquitous, and inexpensive.


Nose: Classic Speyside Apple and pears, Text book nose really. Malty, with a bit of citrusy edge.

Palate: Light, the fruits from the nose are here to stay, floral even, some sugar and spice in the background. Not very complex,and quite light bodied.

Finish:Medium with orchard fruit, wood and malt.

Bottom line:

What can i say? the best selling malt, ubiquitous, and good value. It’s not going to transform your life, but it’s very popular, and as such not bad. Not ground breaking by no means.

The 21yo rum cask finish is superb... but pricey

Love the fruity palate and oak finish.


Glenfiddich 12 years old is the entry malt, easily found in supermarkets around the globe and one of the most popular single malts.

I had this several times before I seriously got interested in whisky. So apparently it wasn’t good enough to really spark a fire?

Glenfiddich 12 yo (40%, OB 2010)

Nose: fresh, with pears everywhere and a malty, cereal centre. Cooked apples. Freshly sawn wood. Some lime, hints of white grapes. Buttercups. Soft vanilla. Mouth: rather light and bittersweet. There’s a sugary side (honey, vanilla, apple juice) as well as a bitterish side (apple seeds, nutmeg, oak juice). A light sugar coated nuttiness and a faint spicy wave. All of this fairly muted and too mono-dimensional to be really interesting. Not much evolution either. Finish: not too long, on apple cider and a few spices.

You can say Glenfiddich 12 is uninspiring and a little flat but on the other hand it’s a widely available product without flaws. I would even say it’s slightly underrated if you think about the price. Of course you could also hunt down one of the quality blends, like Bailie Nicol Jarvie, or a higher strength, entry-level bourbon like Buffalo Trace for the same price and get something more interesting.

Great review and I agree the 12 year old is underrated.


my first speysider - a gift from my girlfriend on our 2 year anniversary. i was surprised by its complexity, that it was bottled at 43%, and that i immediately enjoyed it so much! something about it is reminiscent of whiskys by glenmorangie. nose: pears, peaches, vanilla body: full, meaty taste: apples and cinnamon

Excellent review


[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.

Actually, I've given up assigning 100-pt ratings awhile ago precisely because of this kind of second-guessing. Point ratings are necessarily subjective, and the fact that you don't agree with mine doesn't really warrant this kind of comment. Unless, of course, you wanted to debate the merits of The Balvenie 15 year, which would probably be a better discussion if you started with an expression of your own opinion of that malt, and did it on that review's page.

I completely agree with you that it's the stepping stone to better single malts. I usually buy a bottle or two every year to share with friends and whatnot, but it's definitely not my everyday drinker.


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.

It was first bottle purchased too. The nose reminded me of freshly sawed wood (oak) and pear too.


The Glenfiddich 12yr is one of the most prolific single malt whiskies. You can find this whisky at just about any bar, second only to the Glenlivet 12yr. While expanding my whisky palate last year, I checked out this whisky, only to find it incredibly boring and bland. I found a three-pack of Glenfiddich (12yr, 15yr & 18yr) at the local shop, so I figured I ought to try it again.

This is a 40% ABV bottling, with a light 'sunlight' color to the whisky.

Nose: This is a lot like the 18yr on the nose, with floral notes, honey, and vanilla. Some ripe apple slices, and just a hint of spirit. All in all not a bad nose, but nothing to drone on about.

Body: Light body.

Palate: The floral notes are turning herbal. Some spice comes out. The apples are becoming crab apples. A little sour.

Finish: Some sweetness comes out, turning sour. Herbal. There is an actual aftertaste, that is not part of the finish. It has some dryness to it, that is not great.

I am not a fan here. Not that it is boring or bland, but just not good. If you like tart and sour, mixed with unripe fruit and grass, then maybe you'll like it. Not me. I'm off to pour myself something delicious. Goodness knows I deserve it after drinking this and the 18yr. The only redeeming quality of this whisky was the nose, and it wasn't great; barely good.

Looking at your other reviews you have a strange palate.

Really? Do I think good stuff is bad and vice versa, or do I note flavors and aromas that you do not? Which do you think are my most outlandish reviews?


As it is for many, Glenfiddich 12 and The Glenlivet 12 were my introduction to the world of single malts. I recently found 5cl sample bottles of the 12, 15, and 18 and decided to do a vertical tasting.

Nose: Wheat, pear, floral, faint paint thinner.

Palate: Mild. White fruit, rose water, nutmeg.

Finish: Fairly Short. Pear, oak, mild.

This is a light malt compared to my regulars, but it is easy to understand why it has become the best selling scotch in the world. The flavors are pleasant and non-confrontational. The price is also quite reasonable.

Are you sure you didn't mean to score 95 for this Scotch?


Tried this with a drop of water. Good for a 12 year single malt. Thought it was smooth and had a good mouth feel. Sweet on the start with a strong finish on the back of the tongue. Nothing particularly special or notable, but a solid scotch!


As many know, this is a great "intro" which will really get you into drinking. It's a little softer than many, making is easier to put down. The feel leaves you with a sharp, pungent after-taste, but somehow it still goes down smooth. However, my review isn't on the drink itself, but the drink paired with a slice of Pecan Pie from Lily's in Royal Oak. The caramel and pecans complimented the subtle oak-y taste, and the crunchy pie felt different next to the soft swallow of the single-malt. If you're in MI, I definitely suggest a try!


This Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is a run of the week whisky, but nevertheless pretty well made, refreshing and easy to drink. That probably explains the worldwide success. He is rather well balanced for a sweet tooth and reasonably priced at less than 30 quid. It's one of the best selling whiskies ever and is therefor - unwarranted in my opinion - looked down upon by many. I guess this dram somehow became the victim of it's own success, being labeled a mass product. But let's not forget that it's most likely the quality of the dram that got it to that level of sales in the first place.


The rather oily dram offers nice legs and has the tint of sunlight on a winter afternoon.

The nose is flowery and sweet and offers - in my opinion - mostly pear and marzipan. Rather inviting. Smelling the empty glass after a 20-minute pauze is rather nice too.

It fills the mouth genlty with soft but rich fruites, but unfortunately all the flavours come at once, making it hard to discern them individually. Not very complex. Ideal, I think, for the novice (like myself), but not somehting you would present to a true whiskybuff.

The finish is rather long with a return of pears and introduction of apples.

In musical terms, the Glenfiddich 12 Year old is like Vivaldi. Not as intense and thought-provoking as Brahms and Wagner, perhaps, but not to be disdained either. A malty whisky that just tastes really nice. In these times of hyper-infalted prices, this remains a real bargain.

In musical terms, the Glenfiddich 18 yr old is like Beethoven.


This Glenfiddich 12y was the first single malt I really paid attention to, and also the first bottle I bought.

The first thing I noticed was the fruitiness in the aroma. I had never had this experience with any blends I had drank, so the fresh smell of sweet apples and pears will stay with me forever.

As I practiced on my first bottle I started to find some hints of wood in the aroma as well, hidden underneath the perfume-like scent of sweet apples.

The taste starts off with a very small bonfire and quickly releases a blast of sweetness, ending in a nut-like slight sharpness.

Although the aftertaste is rather bittersweet, all in all it's very accesible light bodied dram. I'm glad I started off with this one, which made me curious for more, instead of some peat-bomb...who knows how it had turned out than?

My first single-malt as well. It's not one of favourites any more, but it still holds fond memories for me...

My first SM as well...it's the first whisky i bought...and I bought many bottles before changing and starting to diversify my tastings.


Beautiful nose: fresh and fruity with hints of green apples. Girls with ribbons dancing in flowery meadows. Not a very complex whisky. No peat. Ideal for novice drammers, I suppose.


Nose: Honey butter and those little toast bites you can buy at Ikea (like heavily toasted mini baguettes). Palate: Buttery, toasty, viscous, clove, slightly burnt toast bites. The palate gives an interesting sensation. The whisky forms a meniscus then bursts on the center of the tongue. Water opens the nose to some green apple, but kills the palate. Finish: Short finish with a slight burn. Glenfiddich makes my mouth water and my cheeks feel full (almost swollen). Comments: Of the Glens, Glenfiddich is the one that I would suggest to anyone interested in getting into Single Malts. It is not overly complex or overly simple and has a very accessible flavor profile. Like the Glenlivet, this stands out only compared to other gateway drams.

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