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I’ve been away from all things whisky-related for some time. Long story, or stories as the case may be.
I visited the local store a few days ago to buy something new and different to celebrate my return. Sheesh, the prices these days! I had a case of sticker shock. Even though I’m now making good money in a new job, I don’t know if I can afford this hobby as I used to.
Enough of that. This is my first review in more than a year. I hope I remember how to do this.
Glenfiddich 14 yo Bourbon Barrel Reserve is a new-ish and permanent addition to the ’fiddich lineup, made for the U.S. market. It was matured in ex-bourbon casks for 14 years before a four-month finishing in heavily charred new oak casks. Review based on my third dram from a bottle opened a few nights ago. I sampled my first dram with nearly a teaspoon of water, which was a mistake. This stuff doesn’t hold up to more than a couple of wee drops.
Nose: Very bourbon-ish with plenty of vanilla and oak, which is not surprising. Warm, fresh-baked fruit pies (apple, cherry, and blueberry). There’s also a brine-y, seashore sting that seems out of place, although it’s not unpleasant. After it settles for several minutes, I get some buttermilk in the distant background. Note that I’ve neither smelled nor tasted buttermilk in my life. I’m just going by what I imagine buttermilk smells like.
Palate: Warm vanilla and quality oak on arrival; it explodes with flavor after about ten seconds. Flavors are light and delicate but abundant. Some of the toffee-caramel I associate with Glenfiddich. It’s very much Scotch, but the bourbon casks are loud and clear. Bananas and bland melon here and there. There’s a trace of bitter oranges—more like orange juice that’s gone bad, to be specific—but not enough to intrude or distract.
Finish: Pleasant and silky-smooth, if a little short. The expected vanilla, oak, and fruit basket. Overall, the progression from nose to finish is very logical. No rude surprises here. It smells as it should taste, and it tastes as it should finish.
If I don’t regard this whisky as especially wow-inducing, it’s a welcome addition to the Glenfiddich lineup nonetheless. It’s a quality $50 single malt, and there are too few of those these days.