Whisky Connosr

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve

I Haven't Reviewed This One Yet?

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

17th Jan 2016

0

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve
  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I was positive I must have reviewed this at some point, but it looks like I haven't - which is surprising as I've had bottles of this before. For many, the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is solid daily dram. Unlike any other whisky in its range, this one is married in a huge Solera vat (from malt matured in European, American and new American oak) before being further matured in Portuguese oak tuns. I had the pleasure of drinking the malt right out of the Solera vat (which you have climb stairs to get to the top of) when I visited Glenfiddich a few years ago. This bottle was decanted about a month ago.

The colour is a medium gold. On the nose we have sweet malt, raisin, oak (with a touch of wood smoke), rich dark honey and overripe peaches. A touch of cinnamon and cloves - just a touch. Vanilla with a little bit of toffee. A drop of water (only a drop) brings out more barley sugar. The nose seems older than fifteen years.

On the palate, it's a little thin, but features dates, more toffee and much more clove. Honey. Baked apples. Ginger. Malt is kept in the background in favour of the cask influence; however, a drop of water brings it forward. Delicious.

The finish is spicier (and longer) than expected with some pepper, gentle oak and dark caramel. This is basically the distillery character in a nutshell; not as thin as the 12 year old but not as rich (and slightly overdone) as the 18 year old. Of course, many limited and luxury bottlings are, I am sure, better, but you cannot go wrong with this one. A solid (and affordable) daily dram. I don't score this as highly as Jim Murray (who gives this a 94.5) but I can see why this one gets a lot of love from a lot of people.

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23 comments

broadwayblue commented

Nice review. I've had a bottle of this sitting in my cabinet unopened for quite a while. The typical low 80s reviews didn't have me rushing to open it. Clearly you and Mr. Murray disagree, so I may have to put it on my short list of next bottles to open.

10 months ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

Top dram, this. My firm pick for a daily dram that ticks all the right boxes. Was at a Glenfiddich tasting the other days and this was brought out as a 'starter' - ended up being the most liked dram of the evening.

10 months ago 0

@jack09
jack09 commented

Your review is spot on. I agree that the only negative is the thin body. It feels a bit watery in the mouth. Otherwise, good nose, great flavor, decent finish.

10 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I like the flavours of the standard 15 yo fine, but I just can't get past the watery consistency.

10 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I like this one and I generally have a bottle around. No one would find anything to dislike about it other than its low ABV. It's a good dram that would become a killer dram at 46%. Although the flavour profile is completely different, I think the 15 year old Distillery Edition at 51% is a better buy for very little more money.

10 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I agree, it's too thin to satisfy.

10 months ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

Loved the taste of this when I first opened it but the texture and ABV does really prevent it from being a stunner. Still a pretty good whisky and great way to get people into single malt. I believe I prefer the 14 rich oak to this but would need to do a head to head. I have yet to be able to get a bottle of Distillery edition.

10 months ago 0

@newreverie
newreverie commented

Looking in my cabinet reviews I gave this an unofficial score of 88. Glenfiddich 15 was the scotch that got me liking scotch. Having sampled many more varieties since my first taste of the 15, I agree about the low ABV being a hindrance to this one excelling. I think the thinness moved my preference toward Glenmorangie who's bottlings tend to be above 45%.

I keep more bottles of Glenfiddich than any other distillery, I have 3-4 unoppened bottles of both the 15 and 18 that I was able to purchase at $45 and $80 respectively. For the money both are excellent drams. This review has gotten me thinking about my Cask of Dreams edition which seems to have significantly improved in the bottle. It is a 14yr American Oak bottled at 48.8%.

10 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I missed out on the Cask of Dreams when it was around. 48.8% is a nice ABV. I've been considering the Rich Oak, good price, but again, a paltry 40%.

10 months ago 0

maltmate302 commented

This thread inspired me to open my bottle of Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition and do a H2H with the normal Glenfiddich 15. I really like the 15 but the DE is a completely different animal. The taste profiles are unsurprisingly similar but the extra strength really works well and turns a good scotch into a great whisky.If you like the 15 you'll absolutely love the DE.

10 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@maltmate302, that's absolutely true - my recollection is that it is even better than the standard 15.

10 months ago 0

maltmate302 commented

@Talexander,I,like many people on this site,have never really had time for Glenfiddich (or Glenlivet) because of the uninspiring nature of their entry level whiskies.Even though I found Glenfiddich 15 much better than that 12 I was still reluctant to purchase any other expressions, mainly because of the thin mouthfeel.It took a glowing review from Victor for me to buy the DE and I'm so glad that I did. This and the Glenlivet Nadurra are now 2 of my favorite whiskies at a very affordable price. It makes me realize how good the whisky is from these two much maligned distilleries!

10 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Among connoisseurs like ourselves, both Glenfiddich and Glenlivet are totally underrated. The problem is, you have to seek out older expressions, limited releases or independent bottlings. Some great ones are Glenfiddich 30, Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix, Glenlivet XXV and there was a very good peated Glenfiddich (I can't remember the name) that I got in duty free once. I highly recommend a tour of Glenfiddich where you can bottle your own from the cask. I toured Glenlivet and it felt more like a giant factory - but I did get to taste some straight from a cask filled in the 1970s.

10 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Agreed @talexander, both of the big two are underrated by the malt snobs. If you visit Glenfiddich you get the added bonus of all the Balvenie offerings too. I, too highly recommend the G'Fiddich 15 DE which I also got on @Victor's recommendation.

10 months ago 0

maltmate302 commented

I wonder if the peated Glenfiddich you were referring to was the 12 year old Caoran reserve , it's now been discontinued but there are still some bottles out there. I have yet to see an IB Glenfiddich and all the expressions over 21 years are very expensive for example the 25 is going for £595 but there are affordable Glenlivet IB's to be had.I think I'll turn my attention to one of those!

10 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@maltmate302, no it was a limited release - oh, I remember, it was called 125th Anniversary, in a gold box. Not crazy expensive but quite good. Don't recall the ABV.

10 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

One of you Canadian or Welsh boys might have to buy me a bottle of Glenfiddich 15 DE. I haven't seen it in my area in 3 or 4 years. I love the stuff.

10 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Victor, I would be happy to - there are a few here and there in Toronto. Prince is $CDN87 ($US60) I would just need to figure out when / how to get it to you!

10 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, thank you very much! Sold! You know I will be up there again eventually, based upon 6 Toronto visits in the last 4 years.

10 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

OK I'll let you know when I have it.

10 months ago 0

maltmate302 commented

@Victor if I could get it to you I would, the supply is plentiful in the UK, it's even sold in the major supermarkets. I feel frustrated for you that drams like the DE and Glenfarclas 15 are unavailable in the US.

10 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@maltmate302, thank you. You are very kind to offer.

We often have to hustle a bit to obtain some of the whiskies we want which are hard to find.

10 months ago 0

@newreverie
newreverie commented

I just looked up reviews and there appears to only be two reviews on cask of dreams. And only one of substance connosr.com/reviews/glenfiddich/…

I agree with this review completely. I do not find the sweetness to be a hindrance or overbearing - especially given the higher proof. I'd score it in the low 90s

10 months ago 0