I realized I never posted a review of this whisky despite the fact that next to JW Black it's probably the whisky I've had the most of as it was my brother's house whisky for many years.
This is aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon cask and then finished for a couple of months in virgin American & European oak. It has since been discontinued in favour of of 14 yr old finished exclusively in Virgin American oak.
Nose: Raw and cooked apples, loads of almost aggressive vanilla and burnt caramel. Green sappy oak, heavy cider/beer influence, very perfumed, a bit of cloves, plenty of oak & ginger. Secondary notes of pine, old incense & ointment.
Palate: Peppery, spicy, oak, green pepper, green grapes, a kind of fresh juniper like tang, chocolate covered raisins.
Finish: Malt syrup, a fresh cologne like feeling, spicy attack from the oak, earthy honey. The spices linger for a long time.
Blab: It's changed over the years, becoming more sappy and green, the spices almost cologne like. This isn't my favourite Glenfiddich expression but I found it better than it's vanilla bomb replacement.
@Hewie @RianC I agree that most of what Glenfiddich puts out as their core releases do very little for me, William Grant's has a vested interest in keeping their position on the mass market as being accessible and the 1st or 2nd most sold single malt.
That said, you catch glimpses of what the distillery is capable of when you try things like the 15yr distiller's edition, the XX experimental release, cask samples/the rare indie release, etc. The house style that is very orchard fruits forward, floral along with underlying ale like yeasty notes. They have a bunch of different still types, some still direct fired (I think this informs the taste quite a bit) but somehow they haven't managed to show this in any type of mass market release.
A shame really ...
@cricklewood - good points. I've no 'beef' with the distillery, it's more the orchard fruit notes, specifically a pear note, that I just don't get on with. One man's meat ...