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Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve

Average score from 31 reviews and 145 ratings 83

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve

Product details

  • Brand: Glenfiddich
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 15 year old

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@markjedi1
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve

This bottle was my birthday gift to my buddy Niek. As I had not tried it yet myself and being quite impolite as usual, I had brought a sample bottle to take home a dram. Niek did not mind. We go way back.

Fairly sweet nose with a surprising touch of pine cones. Almonds and a hint of garden herbs go hand in glove with the obligatory fruit. Apples, oranges and a handful of gooseberries. I cannot help it, but when sniffing this, I get the color green in my mind’s eye.

Pretty oily, almost creamy, on the palate. Immediately very spicy. Cardamom, cloves, saffron. The fruit is limited to oranges and some grapefruit. Hint of marzipan.

Lovely, round finish that is fairly long and warm. Fine.

Nothing earth shattering, but a nice dessert malt nonetheless.

@talexander

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.

@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!

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.

@jack09

This whisky is aged in ex-sherry, ex-bourbon, and virgin American oak casks, and then married together in a Portuguese tun. At first opening, it smelled and tasted like a bourbon, as if it had a conflict of personalities, with all three types of casks vying for control of the nose. But consequent pours brought out its true identity. The 3 casks became 1, melded together, each identifiable, and yet harmoniously married, complex, and enjoyable.

Nose: aromatic, sweet fresh fruit, spice, raisins, honey, vanilla, sherry cask influence is noticeable but well balanced, dark fruits, plum, dark berries, cola, mineral note - this is a complex nose with many layers, very enjoyable, a preview of things to come.

Taste: sweet, sherry note, apples, tea, peppery, fizzy on the tongue, hints of a bourbon, as it sits in the glass, a nutty flavor evolves, toffee, hint of liqourice, dark dry fruits, very warming and echos the nose well

Finish: long and sweet with light bitterness and spice, drying out

Last third of the bottle: I love the nose on this. The bouquet is sweeter than when I first opened it. On the palate, there's a more pronounced nutty note alongside dried fruits and spice. The mouth feel is just a touch watery, but not annoyingly so. As others have said before, this would benefit being bottled at 46% ABV. The finish is longer now, sweet and satisfying. This is a very well balanced whiskey and enjoyable everyday dram. A good marriage of 3 types of casks, worth buying.

@jack09, thanks for a very nicely-done review.

I like the flavours of Glenfiddich 15 yo, but find it just generally too watery at 40% abv.

There is already a 51% abv 15 yo Glenfiddich Distillery Edition, which is a great one, from what I've had in the past. Unfortunately that one has been really hard to find recently in my area. When I am in the mood for Glenfiddich I prefer to go to either the 15 yo DE or to the 18 yo. The 18 yo is very spicey.

@victor thanks for the comment.

I just read your review on the 15 yo DE, interesting discussion about the whisky and preservation. I'm surprised your bottle lasted 2 years, as I find that if I don't finish an open bottle within 2 months, it oxidizes and changes flavors. I don't use any type of preservation. Obviously higher abv bottles last longer.

I've seen the DE in shops where I live. I will have to check the price of it. Glenfiddich is pretty ubiquitous.

@sorren

This is a lovely step up in the fiddich stable, this malt is a mixture of bourbon, sherry and Virgin oak casks mixed into a large vat ( solero vat) this large vessel is never actually emptied. Bottled at 40% which is a great shame because this is stunning at cask strength..

image

Nose.. A lovely nose delivering typical sherry notes of candied oranges, dates and figs, a lovely fresh citrus aroma of orange, spices like cinnamon and ginger, honey and vanilla, all in one single bottle..

Palate.. All the taste of Christmas come out in this wonderful dram, it’s full of sweet delights, honey and vanilla, Demerara sugar and finished of with lovely eastern promise, ginger, cinnamon and a little oak..

Finish… This is possibly the weakest point of what is a very enjoyable dram,

Thoughts… This is a good staple dram, a little more kick would benifit this bottle massively. If you have the urge to step up in your malt journey then you don’t need to look much further than this..

ocdwhisky.wordpress.com

B

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.

@hunggar, personally I would not buy a bottle of standard Glenfiddich 15. I would, however, jump at the chance to get another bottle of the Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition, even without a finish. The batch I had of 15 DE without a finish was purchased 3 years ago. I haven't seen it here since. It was a weird whisky. Absolutely delicious until it just suddenly disappeared in your mouth. It was an unnerving effect I have never seen in ANY other whisky. Still, it was so delicious that I would love to have another bottle of it.

Who knows whether this 15 DE in Taiwan is from that same batch from 3 years ago that I had? Probably so, but who can be sure of it? If you MUST have a finish then I think that it would surely disappoint you.

I have to think that any new batch of 15 DE would have to be somewhat different, because how can you recreate a disappearing finish? That makes me very hopeful if and when Glenfiddich introduces a new batch of 15 yo Distillery Edition.

@BourbonNorth1, thanks for your review.

Yes, Glenfiddich is the largest volume malt producer.

Thin mouthfeel, indeed, for the standard 15 yo. Watery, actually. Give me the Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition, though, at 51.2% abv. There is an even shorter finish length on the last batch of DE than the standard 15, but otherwise it is stellar.

I will probably never buy a bottle of the standard Glenfiddich 15 yo, but I can't wait to see the Glenfiddich 15 DE reappear, so that I can get a second bottle of it.

@Nock

These are notes from a tasting a while ago. I still stand behind them . . . although I feel like I might need to give this one another go again.

Nose: More oak with those peaches hanging out in the background. Very little if any of that lemon grass from the 12yo. More rounded but without that sharp attack. Maybe even a hint of peat? Something earthy? Definitely some perfume notes which resolve back to oak.

Taste: Perfume hits then oak. Two notes really

Finish: A little blast of peat sparks off this medium finish. It rolls into oak and then resolves back to a low burning peat ember.

Balance, Complexity: I like the balance of oak, perfume, and lemon grass. The hint of peat is nice but I wish it made a bigger appearance.

Aesthetic experience: Typical amber gold traditional color slightly on the lighter side. The body is like a nice medium light whisky. I hate the bottle shape and the 40% ABV . . . but this is nicer then the 12yo.

Conclusion: I hear there is a never 15yo out there at about 51% ABV. I would be interested in giving that one a go. But I probably won’t buy this bottle again.

@Georgy

NOSE: fresh and delicate white fruits with some berries. Apples, honeyed pears, vanilla and raisins all combined in a wonderfully balanced nose. Taste: starts off slightly dry, medium sweet. Really delicate with sour apple and chocolate notes. Finish: fairly long and warming.

@SquidgyAsh

I've been watching the HBO series called Carnivale lately, well to be honest I should say that I'm rewatching the series as HBO is so very awesome and is always making something that I super enjoy such as Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Oz, etc and the thing that I find goes great with a good tv series is a good whisky.

I've been sitting on heaps of whisky samples for the longest time as I received many of them in mid to late June, but shortly thereafter I fell sick, sick to the point that I couldn't smell or taste whisky at all. As you all know, this is dangerously sick indeed.

Now that I finally have my palate back I'm happily making my way through the samples, exploring the whisky world and on today's menu is Glenfiddich 15 year old, Solera bottling.

Now for those who are unsure of what a solera bottling is, it's essentially where you have a vat of whisky from all sorts of barrels, and what you do is as you pull whisky out of the vat, you replenish it with more whisky so in theory you have a continually evolving whisky, that gradually gets older and older so that if you started this vat say 15 years ago and have been taking whisky out and putting whisky in, you still have the whisky from 15 years ago in.

Or maybe an easier way to explain it would be to say you have a bottle of whisky, it's an empty bottle of whisky so what you do is all the bits and bobs from your other bottles, the bottles that only have a dram or two left, you combine them together and as you drink from this combined bottle, you'd replace what you drank with more whisky so even years later you're still getting a little bit of the original bottling.

It's a very cool idea, really nifty in fact and many whisky geeks that I know do this.

The Glenfiddich 15 year old is just this sort of whisky, done with sherry, bourbon and new oak casks. This creates an interesting little whisky that contains notes from all of them.

So I crack the sample, pour it into my trusty little glencairn and give it a nose.

It's a sweet nose with honey and sherry immediately evident, and then you look beneath that and more appears. the trademark Glenfiddich apples appear, cinnamon, nutmeg, sultanas, figs, raisins, and a touch of toffee and vanilla. You can definitely pick up each casks influence.

Time for a taste though!

A big vanilla kick starts off on the palate, with hints of bitter oak, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, caramel and a hint of cocoa that slowly grows on the palate.

Not a bad little whisky, however it feels very thin on the mouth, a result of the 40% abv.

The finish is small, almost non existent, however there is a ghost of a wisp that has apples lingering, caramel, hints of citrus and cocoa. Like I said it's a ghost of a finish so that even a couple of minutes after you've finished your sip you have apples lingering oh so faintly in your mouth. Not bad at all!

It's not a bad little whisky as I've said before and runs around $100 AUS at Dan Murphy's. For the serious whisky geek I might pass it up, those guys who like mean are single cask, cask strength fiends, but for someone who's looking for an easy drinking whisky with a wee bit of complexity, it's not a bad whisky to go with.

The 15yo Solera was my first love, back in about 2005. I will always remember that bottle fondly. Have not had it in years so I don't know what I'd make of it now, but I'm pretty sure it'd still be a tasty dram.

To clarify on the vatting process - since a whisky sold with an age statement must be representative of the youngest whisky in it, such is the case with the 15yo Solera too. My understanding is that nothing younger than 15 years of age goes into the solera vat; the vat serves to marry the old and newly added (15 yo) whiskies that go into it for a period of time before whisky is drawn for bottling.

The solera vat at Glenfiddich is never emptied below half way.

'Not a bad whisky, thin in the mouth' is exactly how I would describe standard Glenfiddich 15. Many love it...too thin for me to buy a bottle. I like the Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition, the one that came out about 2 to 3 years ago, much much better. 51% does the trick,...excellent in the mouth, except there was, like, ZERO FINISH. Maybe a new batch of that one will have a finish. With a finish, that one would be an astoundingly good whisky.

@SpicyMcHaggis

Sometimes we tend to overlook the big distillers in the pursuit of something different, but it's malts like this that remind you that when the big boys get it right, they really get it right.

This really is a lovely dram. It leads with a honeyed, biscuity nose that has just a hint of smoke. The palate is light (this is not a big whisky), with flavours of shortbread, a hint of citrus, more of that smoke and some sherry-like complexity.The finish is sweet (creme brulee)with some maltiness and a crunchy dryness reminiscent of raw grains.

This one walks a line between the freshness of the 12YO and the richness of the 18YO, so if you have to stick to one bottle, this one does it well.

@Eli

I run a whisk(e)y blog called www.americanwhiskeyreviews.com where I mainly review bourbon/rye but have also ventured in world whiskies and single malt scotch. I on occasion will post up reviews from my blog on here as well. This was my blog's first scotch review.

Appearance: Medium amber with some thick slow-moving legs

Nose: Absolutely stunning. Sun dried raisins, honey and fresh figs. Definitely picking up on more fruit like crisp apples, bananas and grapes. Strong vanilla and caramel are present, no doubt a product of the new oak barrels. Hints of maple syrup, roasted coffee beans, toasted oak, touches of cinnamon and nutmeg. The aromas of all three barrels are present and all are in perfect harmony in this amazing bouquet.

Palate: At first entry it’s very sweet with notes of vanilla, Demerara sugar and caramel. The fruits become present after the initial sweetness. Nectarines, grapes and lots of grapefruit (more so the pith). The spices are also at play as it starts to develop more towards the middle and back of the palate. A nice rush of honey and cocoa also emerge as it continues to show its layers of flavors. The finish is rather long in length leaving notes of slight toffee, maple syrup and vanilla before fading to a slightly bitter grapefruit rind and dry oak. The mouthfeel is slightly dry and medium in body.

Overall: For me this a huge step up from the 12 year old and an absolute beauty. The solera system has married the whiskies magnificently and produced a layered, complex and well-balanced spirit. You are able to pick up on the individual barrel’s influence on the whisky in a way that is presented in a nice cohesive package. It’s fruity, sweet and spicy all wrapped up in a nice oak presence. I can only imagine how outstanding this whisky would be if it weren’t bottled at 80 proof.

@vanPelt

Nose: Goes through a few stages-- The first impression is ink. This opens up to a cinnamon-plum stew; soon joined by vanilla, and then allspice becoming nutmeg. As it softens, the plums eventually become oak-spiced dark berries, black or blue.

Palate: Nice sweet honey and oak entrance. Becomes tart golden raisins in an apple cake... then topped with zesty orange rinds.

Finish: Oaky orange zest fades to cashew vanilla, becoming toffee while fading quickly. A minute after the finish, the nose's blueberry/blackberry juices are detectable.

Interestingly changing nose, a rare very-easy entrance, and a tasty palate: this is a very good scotch all around. Unless it gets too much oxygen, it is not overly oaky with bitter spice.
Although straightforward and fairly light, it has more muscle than the other 4 Glenfiddiches I have tried. While even more depth would do it good, it is very enjoyable and easily drinkable as-is. I would contrast this with the Glenlivet Nadurra, another fruity oak spice expression. The Nadurra has more oak complexity, whereas the Solera is lighter in comparison-- and it also manages to be slightly smoother, with a sherry influence that is revealed by the berry tones.

@GotOak91

This review was done shortly after the Aberlour 16 DC review. I decided to write this review in comparison to Aberlour 16.

Color: An orange-amber.

Nose: Initially I acquired strong notes of dark fruits especially berries in the way of raspberries. Vanilla also shows up in the beginning. With time, I noticed extended dark fruits in the way of raisins and plums. Spices are starting to appear: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice comes along in an oxidized nose.

Body: I noticed a medium-full texture with a gentle tingle as it rolls on the tongue.

Taste: Fall baking spices and sherry-themed fruits are at the forefront. Vanilla and oak take a little bit of the back seat. Caramel and honey can be found with consecutive sips. This is one of the more sweeter tastes I've experienced, its very noticeable.

Finish: A warming slightly lingering finish, with spicy oak and pepper. Sweet vanilla, dark honey, and sherry intermingle as the finish subsides.

Overall: I do find this close to the Aberlour 16 that I had not too long ago but I find the Glenfiddich is lacking in intensity in comparison. As I find the Aberlour 16 a little more complex on the nose with spicy-fruity notes with hints of nuts and floral scents. It was also a little spicier and a little less sweet on the taste yet beautifully balanced. The Solera system used for the Glenfiddich combines sherry and ex-bourbon aged whisky into a vat of new virgin oak which produces lots of flavors and scents but it doesn't magnify any of them like the Aberlour 16s blending seems to do (at least for me anyway.) yet they both produce excellent balance. Or maybe since the Aberlour 16 was bottled at a slightly higher proof makes it slightly more intense. Either way I give the Aberlour 16 a slightly higher edge then the Glenfiddich 15.

@Rantavahti

I'm Going Home (Vou Para Casa) is a Portuguese movie that I just borrowed into the title because of the Portuguese oak tuns used in the Glenfiddich 15 year old.

I actually can't think of any relevant movie reference here so I'll leave it to that one. And I guess it's better to keep your mouth shut when you don't have much good things to say.

The positive note is that this was a bit better than Glenfiddich 12, probably because of the Portuguese touch?

Nose: Sherry and dry citrus fruits with wood. Decent aromas that are sadly the best part of this whisky.

Taste: Sweet and spicy with dry elements. Sherry and oak are there but the taste doesn't even match up the average nose.

Finish: Raisins and dried fruits. Oak is very much involved here. Not as oily as the 12 year old.

Balance: Medium bodied dry sherry that just didn't do it for me. This is more exotic than Glenfiddich 12 but the taste and especially the aftertaste leaves me weeping for more character.

For a product produced using the solera process, I found that the two bottles I purchased within 6 months (and 200 miles apart in Michigan, USA) were very different. The first bottle was absolutely wonderful, with deep, rich dried fruit flavors, and extremely smooth and enjoyable to drink. Perhaps a higher proof would have added more punch to it, but I would have scored very high as was. Hence, the reasons why a second bottle was needed within months. The second bottle is no where as pleasing. I had to double check to make sure it was the same bottle labeling (it was). Absent is most of the rich dried fruit flavor. And yes, it does taste more diluted. If the first bottle were worthy of a 90ish score by me, this poor fellow rates only a 70-75. Very disappointed.

I've always disliked Glenfiddich. Not my kind of whisky. I agree whole heartedly with 64. For me, this whisky has the cloying alcohol-laden taste of cheap whisky, even though it's not necessarily inexpensive. Glenfiddich reminds me of grain alcohol. However, it's not as bad as Crown Royal. If all scotch tasted like that, I would never have begun drinking scotches with any regularity. I've heard the "daily dram" argument and it doesn't grab me. The last thing I want to taste every day is either of these whiskies.

@tjb

I was more excited to try this than the 12. The 12 delivered exactly what I expected but I had higher hopes for the 15 year old. The bottle I tried is the standard version at 40% not the distillers edition.

This 15 year old is matured in American bourbon casks, followed by Portuguese sherry and virgin oak finally it is married in a Solera vat.

You can smell the sherry along with Orange. It tastes like it smells but delivers more. You get sweet, Christmas spice, Orange and rich sherry. This is a much more mature drink than the 12 and has much more complexity. The 12 was too simple and one dimensional and this does give you much more.

The finish is of a Christmas cake, oak, apple and orange with a spicy tang. It is medium - long and you can still feel the tingle on your tongue for a while after.

A solid Speyside which offers good value for money which I would gladly drink again. This is a perfect partner for a winters night with the open fire roaring away.

@MaltGambit

A personal favourite. The mix of new and old using the solera system really makes this a unique dram. Little too much caramel E150a but it could be worse. I personally found adding water to simply diminish this whisky for me. More toffee and sherry notes are brought out on the nose and palate but the balance gets thrown off and the smooth long finish becomes burny.

@Bryvsspy

I received this bottle this Christmas from my little sisters. I'm enjoying this bottle for its spicy finish. There's a sweetness on the nose of dried fruit that is pleasurable. Spice is apparent on the pallet and a nice spicy finish at end. I can see myself keeping this as a regular in my cabinet. Enjoy!

@awhiskyodyssey

I’ve been a bit of a Glenfiddich basher for a while now. I’ve never liked their 12 YO; it is relatively inexpensive, but lacks depth of character. I've cast the Glenfiddich distillery as a slight villain, suggesting that their products are a mass-produced caricature of single malt Scotch (I’m an equal opportunity snob: I’ve cast Glenlivet in the same mould). But a recent reality check (in the form of an argument from a Glenfiddich aficionado) caused me to re-think my opinion: I’ve never sampled the distillery’s more mature expressions, so I decided to give the 15 YO Solera a try. And I was pleasantly surprised: the 15 YO is a remarkable upgrade in complexity from the 12 YO expression.

Color: Amber

Nose: Spices, vanilla-oak, citrus, and a restrained peat.

Palate: Clover-honey, raisins, spice, vanilla, citrus (some lime notes), and faint wisps of smoke.

Finish: Medium. Christmas cake, lightly peppered spice, and oak.

Overall impressions: Diluting with a few drops of water opened up the flavour profile slightly, bringing out subtle tones of toffee, but I prefer it neat (the ABV is low to begin with (40 %); I’d love to sample a cask-strength sample or a dram with a slightly higher ABV). If you want a break from salt and smoke, this expression provides a warm, peaceful, affordable dram with a pleasant personality. In my local store it is priced slightly higher than the Glendronach 12 YO, and below the Balvenie 12 YO DoubleWood, which is about where it belongs.

Interestingly, the Solera expression is a constant work in progress and each bottling offers unique characteristics, as described on the Glenfiddich website:

"The richly layered Glenfiddich 15 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky is innovatively matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak, before being married in our unique, handcrafted Oregon pine Solera vat. Year on year, this Solera vat is never emptied but is always kept at least half full creating a deliciously harmonious and intense whisky which gets more complex and intriguing every year."

Nose: Spices, vanilla-oak, citrus, and a restrained peat.

Palate: Clover-honey, raisins, spice, vanilla, citrus (some lime notes), and faint wisps of smoke.

Finish: Medium. Christmas cake, lightly peppered spice, and oak.

Overall impressions: Diluting with a few drops of water opened up the flavour profile slightly, bringing out subtle tones of toffee, but I prefer it neat (the ABV is low to begin with (40 %); I’d love to sample a cask-strength sample or a dram with a slightly higher ABV). If you want a break from salt and smoke, this expression provides a warm, peaceful, affordable dram. It has slightly more body than a typical Speysider, and offers a pleasant personality. In my local store it is priced higher than the Glendronach 12 YO, and below the Balvenie 12 YO DoubleWood, which is about where it belongs.

Interestingly, the Solera expression is a constant work in progress and each bottling offers unique characteristics, as described on the Glenfiddich website:

The richly layered Glenfiddich 15 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky is innovatively matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak, before being married in our unique, handcrafted Oregon pine Solera vat. Year on year, this Solera vat is never emptied but is always kept at least half full creating a deliciously harmonious and intense whisky which gets more complex and intriguing every year.

@Jericho

Nose: The Nose of this Glenfiddich is really nice. buttery toffee, sweet vanilla, just a whole plethora of nice, sweet, rich flavour.

Palate: There was no real spiciness detected by me in the nose but it comes through in the palate and is incredibly nice. the sweet flavours combined with the spice really complement nicely with great balance.

Finsih: not very complex, but the sweetness and spiciness linger for a good while. the interesting part is how long the warmth lasts, as it goes down like a river of warmness that lasts and lasts....

Great whisky for the price! Excellent for beginners as well.

Was this the french oak reserve?

No, this one is the 15 Year Solera

@PMessinger
@WhiskyBee

Glenfiddich was my introduction to single malts when my late father-in-law poured me a dram of the 18yo several years ago. Until then, slamming back a few JW Reds on the rocks was my idea of Scotch drinking. (The horror, the horror!)

Since I developed a taste for a wide range of single malts, I've sampled the 12yo and the 18yo, but this 15yo Solera is, for me, the best and most unique of the lot. Its lightness and easy drinkability make it a good intro to single malts for blend drinkers, yet it's complex enough to satisfy the anoraks. A good start to an evening's tasting before moving on to the heavy stuff.

Nose: A serious fruit blast at first. Mostly melons and apples -- I sense very little citrus. Settles down after a while into a mellow pound cake with a hint of smoke.

Arrival: Cake, vanilla, apples, and a hint of orange rind.

Development: Most powerful part of the experience so far. Nuts, caramel, more vanilla, and slight sprinklings of salt and pepper.

Finish: Smoky, slightly bitter, very mild, but long-lasting.

The is the one Glenfiddich that's a must-have-at-all-times in my cabinet. Not particularly challenging, but wholly satisfying in its own way.

This was my first attempt at a whisky review and I'm surprised, some 14 months on, that my tasting notes remain about the same. I think I've developed a more discerning palate in that time, however, such that the bitterness I noticed in the finish is present throughout the tasting experience, and it's less tolerable now. I'm now on my third bottle of 'fiddich 15, and I might buy another one eventually, but I'd now rate it at no more than 86...if I'm in a generous mood.

@Alanjp

The Glenfiddich 15yr single malt has a bit of a story behind it, and to explain it the following is from the Glenfiddich website: It’s innovatively matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak, before being married in our unique, handcrafted Oregon pine Solera vat. Year on year, this Solera vat is never emptied but is always kept at least half full creating a deliciously harmonious and intense whisky which gets more complex and intriguing every year.

That story intrigued me when friend and fellow Connosr member Darren Rook explained it to me from the stand at this years Whisky Live, and after sampling (and enjoying) the dram I bought myself a bottle! It has a reddish gold colour, and on the nose is a combination of sherry, spice, citrus fruits and warmth! It’s much the same when you taste the whisky, with a little more fruit in there, and a woody feeling.

It’s not a spectacular finish, but suitably pleasant and enjoyable! It leaves enough of the spices there to keep your mouth warm and ready for another sip! I would suggest this as one of those evening drams you have to wind the day down and reflect on what you’ve had to put up with that day! The maturity of the whisky shines through too.

@Lars

Saw this whisky advertised in a magazine with a big piece of honeycomb and some raisins and thought to myself this would be one that I would like. So off the the local LC I went and a bottle was purchased. Like most whisky's I have tried this one gets better once opened after a few days.

Colour: Reddish liquid honey.

Nose: Spices, cherry,honey and a hint of leather.

Palate: Heavier than the 12yr. Smooth, a touch of pepper with dried cinnamon apples, and pears. Creamy honey with a light chocolate taste at the end.

Finish: A nice medium to long finish with a honey and spice ending.

Definitely a whisky that should be tried and kept in the cabinet. I would give this one to new whisky drinkers for a nice introduction to the world of whisky.

@markjedi1

Previous releases of the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old were labeled ‘Solera Reserve’, meaning the whisky was raised according to the Solera principle. I cannot tell if it was the same with this release. I can tell, however, that it is a damn fine dram.

The nose is very sweet and inviting. Honey, vanilla and fresh fruit: oranges, pear, green grapes. Apple compote, chocolate with raisins, sultanas. Mild on the spices with cinnamon and ginger. Some liquorice.

It has a lot more body than the 12 Year Old. Vanilla, butterscotch, lime instead of oranges, baked banana and woodspice. Even some leather. Round and creamy.

The finish is the only downside, because it is rather short. I remember cinnamon and honey.

Glenfiddich is often looked down upon, seen as a mass product, but the fact of the matter is that the guys from Dufftown know how to make good whisky.

@TheConscience

I was on the hunt for a relatively inexpensive Speysider of high quality. After a thorough perusal of reviews I decided to purchase this gem. I am occasionally led astray by this rather contemplative method of choosing whisky, as a future review will illustrate, but not this time.

Nose: as advertised, honey and raisins. Definitely fruit, sherry, and cocoa, with some underlying citrus to liven it up.

Palate: light in the mouth, with more of the promised honey, warm spices and rich fruit, oak, and butterscotch.

Finish: lingering spice with echoes of toffee and fruit.

Definitely a winner from Glenfiddich. It hits all the right notes for one interested in this kind of easy drinking flavour profile.

@Max

I seem to like sherried whiskies more and more now. This idea came to my mind after tasting this whisky.

Initially, after opening the bottle I was pleased but not stunned. But in a couple of days, when I let it breathe a bit, it rewarded me with a magnificient complexity and taste. It's soft and mellow. Marmaladish taste! Like it a lot! One of my most preferred whiskies so far (though my experience is far from being rich at the moment).

Nose: sherry, fruits - peach, apple (baked?) Palate: marmalade, honey, raisings, caramel Finish: creme-brulee, toffee, sherry

c

A friend and coworker offered a glass to me at the end of a long day in the office. I was excited to try this after recently tasting (and loving) the 18 year.

Nose: faint honey

Taste: Is that...no...still nothing...wait! A tiny bit of honey? I honestly thought this tasted like nothing.

Finish: Smooth. Smooth but no identifiable tastes.

This reminded me of Johnny Walker Green Label, which I tasted the day before. I don't know that I would recommend this bottle to anyone unless that wanted something smooth and safe.

That's entirely possible. It's amazing how easily you can throw your taste buds out of whack. And it just seems that on any given day something will taste completely different,(better or worse) than it did on another day, or in a different context or a different mood.

Take it slow and you will be amazed at what you once thought undrinkable will suddenly become one of your favourites. That was my experience with peaty, smoky Islay style whiskies. I hated them until one day, after sitting down with a friend and some Ardbeg 10, I saw the light, or tasted it finally.

Cheers, and welcome to the club.

@chuckfinley, You may want to try this one again, perhaps from a different bottle. It's generally considered by most of the major, credible whisky reviewers to be a very good whisky. Jim Murray, in last year's Whisky Bible, gave it 94.5 pts. and called it a masterpiece. He only gave the 18 half a point more. I have been enjoying both the 15 and the 18 and tend to agree with Jim.

p

appearance - medium dark amber nose - apple, sweet, dark fruit, spice, honey, rich taste - spicy, cinnamon, apple, woody, raisin finish - spicy and woody average length finish

One of my favorite in the $50 category. I can't imagine there being much room for improvement even in bottles 3x the cost.

@galg

This whisky is quite interesting as it’s matured in 3 types of casks (American bourbon, Portuguese sherry and virgin oak), After which the whisky is married in a Solera vat .

Nose: Dried fruit, Kirsch, Sherry and some wee citrus.

Palate: Sweet, with dried fruits galore, cocoa, and a lot of spices. Very nice.

Finish : Long, with malty, dried fruits, sugar and Oak chips.

Bottom line:

Very good whisky, Rich, and complex, with a lot of that wonderful dried fruitiness. It was also the favourite among the Crowd. Well done!

I've never had the 18 year old but I'm not the biggest fan of the 12. Personally I love the 15 year old too. Back when I was relatively new to single malts and hadn't branched out too far yet, the 15 was my go to whisky.

@galg, thank you for another nice review. I much prefer the 51% ABV Distillery Edition of the Glenfiddich 15 to the standard bottling. That said, Jim Murray is unfortunately very accurate in saying that the finish of the DE disappears quite quickly. If the finish is your, you will probably stay with the standard. My palate still prefers the DE's more intense less-diluted flavours though.

@jwise

I tried this whisky about a year ago, and remember liking it alright, but not enough to buy a bottle. I found a 50ml bottle recently, so this is my second go-round with this whisky.

The color is a pale gold, bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: Salt and honey. Strong malty flavors. Herbal & floral notes.

Body: Medium body.

Palate: Intense herbal. Spice builds. Not very enjoyable. The finish is better.

Finish: Long finish. Dried fruits and spice. Quite malty. A little dryness, but not as bad as the 18yr. Not so much tart, either.

@Dougful

Number 2 in my vertical tasting.

Nose: Red fruit,maple syrup, orange peal, pear, star anise, light peat.

Palate: Light and yet complex. Citrus and sweet. Butterscotch, cinnamon, hint of smoke. Quite tasty.

Finish: Medium. Mostly vanilla and cinnamon.

A very good expression from Glenfiddich. Adds some much wanted complexity and the flavors meld nicely. The finish is the only area I found a bit lacking. Would be really nice to try at a higher ABV than 40%.

Of the 12, 15, and 18. This is the one I like best, especially considering that this can be found for around $40 US.

Yeah, this is indeed a fine dram - it was the whisky that got me into whiskies, so it holds a special place in my whisky pantheon!

yup....the best expresion from Glenfiddich

@jdcook

This was a slightly belated (but much welcomed) birthday gift from my Sister-in-Law. I get the feeling there was supposed to be some conniving going on behind my back between my wife and her sister as to what bottle she was going to purchase, but in the end I was just asked to choose one, and the only bottle from one of the local bottle-shops that I didn't have that still interested me was this one.

I have owned a bottle of this before, it was my second ever whisky purchase after the Glenfiddich 12 year old. I was a little unsold on whiskies after the 12 year old, but the 15 year old really sucked me in, and I haven't been able to look back since. So I have a lot of good memories of this dram.

The nose is fresh, light and enticing. Honey and citrous (especially oranges) hit me straight away from over a foot away as I hold the glass in my lap. Licorice, oak and floral notes become clear as the glass gets closer to my nose. As the glass reaches my nose and I breathe deeply I get a light cinnamon note as well. Really intriguing and mouth-watering.

The taste is light and refreshing, starting with honey and warm cinnamon with background oak notes. As the warmth rises, notes of butterscotch and vanilla come through. The citrous comes through again, this time a little more lemons than oranges. A few more sips, and I get just the barest note of white chocolate, with some old leather in the background as well.

The finish starts where the taste ends, lemon citrous, with vanilla, butterscotch and cinnamon. Fades gently leaving a gentle spicy tingle and a light honey sweetness.

I was afraid this would not live up to the memories, but it has wiped away a long (very long) week at work and put a smile on my face. Definitely worth looking up. And worth bringing out to quiet those who think Glenfiddich can't make a decent single malt.

Thanks for the gift Jess, much appreciated.

Good review @jdcook. The reason I acquired my bottle is that, per Glenfiddich, it is matured in 3 types oak: sherry, bourbon and new oak, and then married in a solera vat. No wonder it is so complex. Now this is temping me to open mine :-)

@AboutChoice - it will reward you if you do!

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