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Glenfiddich is one of the most, if not THE most, popular single malts around in terms of pure sales. Whether it deserves this level of popularity or not isn't something I'm going to argue over here, and I definitely try not to let such things sway my opinion either way- a lot of things that sell well are vastly outclassed by some lesser-known offerings, but at the same time it seems a lot of times very popular malts get panned to an extent as being 'too commercial' and the like. I can say that this particular offering, for me, falls somewhere in the middle of those two extremes- it's certainly tasty, and dangerously easy to drink, but at the same time it's certainly not what I'd call thrilling by any stretch of the imagination. Essentially it's the whisky equivalent of comfort food- it's tasty and enjoyable, but it's not impressive or particularly interesting. This would be a great drink to break out and share with some friends and relax with, particularly if they don't all drink whisky often.
What is quite interesting about Glenfiddich 15, however, is how it's aged. Glenfiddich uses a solera system, like the ones typically used to age sherry, in the production of this whisky- effectively, whisky is stored in such a way as that when some whisky is removed to be bottled, it's replaced by new whisky. You never completely get rid of all the older whisky, and you keep adding new stuff as well, allowing for a mix of characteristics from various ages. It's something that I'd be interested to see explored more, preferably at a higher strength.
With all that said, time to actually review this bottle.
The nose is gentle, smooth, and quite sweet, with raisins, vanilla, and loads of honey. Gentle spices and apple notes appear as well, but in general the nose is pretty simple.
On the palate, the first thing that hits is how thin this whisky feels. Not surprising, given that it's only 40%, I suppose, but somewhat disappointing nonetheless. The flavor is exceedingly smooth, with more honey, cinnamon, fudgy vanilla, sherry fruits, and light almond. The finish is fairly short, with yet more honey, oak, dried fruits, ginger, and nutmeg.
Overall, Glenfiddich 15 is pretty enjoyable. Smooth, sweet, and with very little noticeable alcohol (again, though, 40% so that's not a huge surprise). The big problems I have are the short finish and the thin mouthfeel- both problems, I think, that could be solved by upping the strength somewhat. If this was bottled at, say, 50%, or even 45%, I think it would make a big difference.