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Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

Average score from 10 reviews and 12 ratings 80

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

Product details

  • Brand: Glenfiddich
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 14 year old

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Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

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 ...


Nose: Good grief, this is like sticking your head into a whisky-soaked barrel. The signature fruitiness of Glenfiddich is fairly buried under damp and fresh wood aromas, but it does emerge in time alongside even more fragrant wood. Overall, quite mellow and rounded.

Flavour: mellow and smooth with some sweetness at first before becoming dry and slightly spicy at the back of the mouth. For all that oak it still seems a tad thin, but nonetheless lively and satisfying. The wood aromas certainly translate on the palate and are the predominant flavour throughout, dancing around your mouth with each sip.

Finish: gentle oak spice leads the way.

Balance: I daresay the distillers achieved their goal here. This malt has a strong signature which sets it apart from almost everything else I've tasted. I'm sure many connoisseurs will pass this off as "just another Glen" but in my view this is a unique offering.

Nice review, It's good to see a different take on this whisky, I think beside JW Black and Aberlour 10, this is probably the Scotch whisky I have consumed the most, It's my brother's daily dram (not his favorite 'Fiddich but one of them) and he goes through a questionable amount of this stuff and I do as well to a certain extent.

I always thought it was a neat trick to finish partly in Virgin European oak, seeing as the industry as a whole has largely moved to doing this only with Virgin or first fill Amerian oak.

The impact is quite noticeable, tons of spices, ginger, that dark almost forest floor feeling that only Euro oak provides. .

That said, it's not without it's downs it manages to be both thin and intense at the same time, that is the body and texture is thin due to the abv but simultaneously hitting Glenfiddich spirit with that much new wood causes it to be a bit too intense and buries any possible nuances.


I always throw a sideways glance at the Glenfiddich in the store but never tried one. Until today, when I picked up a 5cl sample-triple out of curiosity: 12yrs "signature malt", 14yrs "rich oak" and 15yrs "solera vat". Thought it could be interesting to jot down a few notes if someone else is curious (and I'll probably save you some money too).

12 Yrs: Nose is sweet, lemon with some liquorice, a clear sherry influence (I'd have said PX but I think they say Oloroso) and 'flowery soap'. The palate isn't very good - varnish and quite in your face sherry that's lying on top of a base spirit that just isn't nice. The finish is medium and the varnish lingers. I won't give it a mark, suffice to say that there are a lot better alternatives out there for about the same price. In the UK this one is about £26, which is on par with HP12 when on sale. Go for the HP, it's an absolute no-brainer!

14yrs: Now this one is better. Still a notable sweetness on the nose, but none of the overbearing sherry influence. The palate has a much nicer viscosity with a clear and present vanilla but much better integrated. Medium long finish with honey and vanilla. Not a favourite by far, but its ok. The vanilla is reminiscent of the few bourbons I've tried. In the UK this one comes in at £46 which puts it in the price range for real good drams and more expensive than Springbank 10, Kilkerran, Ardbeg An Oa and A'bunadh. Do NOT spend your money on this one.

15yrs: A less 'in your face' sherry and much better integrated nose than the 12. Subdued. The sherry is clearly present on the palate, but the chemical and soapy undertones are gone, and it comes together a lot better. The Sherry is now part of the dram in a better way and isn't floating on top. The finish is more reminiscent of the 14 in terms of lingering honey. In the UK, this comes in at £40 - also not worth it.

So in conclusion: Dear Glenfiddich, it was nice to briefly meet you - I'm afraid we shall never meet again. And for those, like me, who were curious - I'll say with absolute conviction that 'for your money' there is a world of more interesting and more pleasant experiences out there.

I'd probably say that the 14/15 are around a 79-81 mark, depending on your mood for sherried dram on the occasion (my, "sure, I can drink it but I'd never buy it"). The 12 is just not nice at all (so why bother with a score in the lower 70's), I'd not drink it if I could avoid it.

Well summed up - there are many more much better bottles available for the same prices.

Just revisited the final 2.5cl of the 15 to see if it had changed with some time / air. Nope. Sherry is still prevalent, though quite integrated on the nose. The palate is not bad... but I wouldn't spend my money on it compared to other expressions in the same / lower price class.


Glenfiddich 14 YO Rich Oak was aged 14 years in bourbon barrels and then finished in new Spanish and American Oak casks. My thanks to @Robert99 for the reviewed sample

Nose: barley flavours are joined by a lot of spice flavours from new oak wood, including cloves and cassia. Vanilla is obvious. Even though Glenfiddich mentions no wine casks, there is a hint of fruit flavour as though from wine cask. There is a moderate intensity of flavour. The texture is a little thin, which is no surpise at 40% ABV. The sweet/dry balance is very good. Water added raises the pitch, brings out sweetness, and enhances the little bit of fruitiness. Score: 22.5/25 points

Taste: fruit, mostly of the apple and over-ripe pear sort, join in on the palate, along with the wood and malt flavours. Intensity on the delivery is strong. The balance is not quite as good on the palate as it is in the nose. The wood flavours are a little too aggressive here, especially the presence of a lot of bass-pitched tannins. Water added has the same effects as on the nose, plus it lessens the overpowering wood tannins. Score: 21.5/25 points

Finish: goes wood-tannic into the finish, with increased bitterness and sourness. Water added lessens the wood influence, increases sweetness, and emphasises the barley and fruity elements. Score: 19/25 points

Balance: very good balance in the nose, fair to good balance on the delivery, poor balance on the finish. Score: 20/25 points

Total Sequential Score: 83 points

Strength: good strength of flavours in the nose; very strong flavours thereafter. Score: 23/25 points

Quality: nice barley; nice spice; too much tannin from the wood. Score: 21.5/25 points

Variety: very good complexity in the nose and on the delivery; fair-poor complexity on the finish. Score: 21/25 points

Harmony: this is a very pretty Glenfiddich which is spoiled by too much wood tannin on the finish. Score: 18/25 points

Total Non-Sequential Score: 83.5 points

Comment: Glenfiddich 14 Rich Oak is very different with and without water added. Both versions are ok. Neither is stellar

@Victor I am with you on that one. I liked it a bit better when it was freshly opened. The major problem I have with it is that the finish is bigger than the malt. There is a lot of good flavors but that is what I call an Overfinish and I am in a phase where I don't like big flavors if they don't allow me to taste the malt. That is the case here.


I got this bottle as a gift, I'm not usually a fan of Glenfiddich's 12yo or gimmicky expressions in general, so I was expecting disappointment, but on trying this I was very surprised. I like my Scotch but am very partial to a good bourbon and found I was picking up a lot of the familiar smoky, vanillin caramel notes you're used to finding there. It's also a tad more mellow than their 12yo which is a little aggressive on the nose for my liking. This is a really interesting drink that's fun to explore.


Rich woody notes predominate along with many others. A nice foray into a different type of cask for this distillery, and good to see it comes with an age statement. Nose: Spices (cinnamon and cloves) amongst cedar wood. Taste: Smoke, spice and cocoa with more wood. Finish: Fading notes of cocoa, oak and smoke.

Would love to see this on the shelves here in the USA...Big fan of the 15 yr, 18 yr, and even the 12 yr is nice.

Nice review - makes me wanting to try it even more!


Nose: First, wood and wheaty bread. Then the wood becomes vanilla and cloves, while the bread sustains. Not too sweet; the only fruit is white and pulpy, and is slightly bitter like nutmeg.

Palate: Sour oak with sweet vanilla on entrance, then dry vanilla and bread. A fleeting transition of white chocolate before the finish.

Finish: White fruit with macadamia nuts, while clove-like pepperiness dances on the tongue. Thereafter it fades to a gentle bitterness of nutmeg.

This has elements of my last 3 reviews. To a much smaller extent than the Auchentoshan Classic, there is a bitterness and white-fruit effect. Then there is the bread character of the Bunnahabhain 18; but this 14 has less salty nut character. And then there is the oak spiciness of Glenlivet's Nadurra; but this 14 does not exhibit the same layers of yellow fruit or toffee or cream found there. Overall, the Glenfiddich is enjoyable but doesn't excite me as much as the Nadurra did. Despite its title of "Rich Oak", the usual oak spices and phenols are more muted; so my impression is more of "Clean Oak". It's a good light character, especially for summer, and deserving of a good score.

If you want it a tad less sour, let it breath-- Or consider Glenfiddich's other expressions, the 19 Age of Discovery or 21 Rum Finish. Although less balanced, the 14 may have more "character" than these (beyond pure levity).


I bought a 1.14 lt. bottle in a duty free in the Caribbean, and cannot find it near my place. I was amazed when i took my first sip: surprising, lively and spicy. The rich softness of the vanilla is followed by the fruity and wooded flavour. The final grade is warm and long, marked by the oak, with a hint of caramelized sweetness.

got a bottle a few weeks back for $37 Us dollars. At first I was a little disappointed but I let it breath for a bit and it really grew on me. I had some last night and boy was it Good! Great value, great whiskey

A few teaspoons of water may be a tad too much. I add a few drops, and the taste really opens up with that little bit of water. Give it a try.


As the name of this Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak already suggests, it is a somewhat special bottling. It is the classic Glenfiddich that got a finish of 6 weeks in American oak and another 12 weeks in new European oak. Glenfiddich, always an innovator, was the first distillery to use so called virgin oak, back in the day.

The nose is aromatic and herbal: sweet fruit jam with cloves. Fresh wood shavings. Turns darker after a few minutes. Raisins and overripe banana.

It is somewhat grainy on the palate, which is a surprise, and crispy. Again some cloves, but more than on the nose, supporting the sweet fruit. Quite the body, this Rich Oak. Slightly waxy.

The finish is medium long and the oak finally pipes up. Slightly drying and spicy.

This is a very pleasant surprise and quite a step up from the classic 12 Year Old.


Received this from a Nephew for Christmas. I usually find Glenfiddich ok, but fairly bland. This is different.

It has a wonderfully rich, butter toffee flavour that lasts a good while. Matured in bourbon casks for 14 years in ex-bourbon casks in the traditional way, before two separate finishes of 12 weeks in new European oak and six weeks in new American oak before bottling. Thoroughly enjoyable and nice change from my usual Islays...

I bought this one in a duty free in the Caribbean, and I love the after taste... that subtle sweetness amazed me! Honestly i find 85 is too low for this special batch...

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