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Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

Average score from 20 reviews and 96 ratings 84

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Glenfiddich
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%

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@huineman
Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

On ice, Puerta América Hotel, Madrid (on the house, thanks.) It pours pale wheatish, oily streaks. Aroma is intense: mainly smoke and rolling tobacco. So this is what you may (somewhat pompously) call a masculine whisky. Whatever. Mouthfeel is quite soft and velvety despite the evident alcohol boost, thanks to the oleous texture it displays from the beginning. Umami flavor is quite evident, which allows it to be paired with some not-so-common foods, such as oysters (did it myself.) Bitterish, warm, medium to long-lasting finish.

I've never had a full bottle of the Glenfiddich 18, but have had a few miniatures. I've always felt the 15 Solera vat was a much better whisky.

So far I haven't tried 15 Solera, so I can't compare. Will look into it for sure.

@Georgy

It would be really interesting to find out what this one would taste like, if it was bottled at a higher volume...But meanwhile...

NOSE: spicy,fruity nose with dried fruit, plums; aromatic with floral notes; there is a little bit of sourness which reminds me of dried sherries or cranberries; couch syrup; Demerara sugar; apply juice;

TASTE: almost the same as the nose, and yet, not a lot of flavor still for an 18 year old whisky, smooth

FINISH: warming, not too short, not too big.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I loved the smell, but the rest was not as interesting.

@Uisgebetha

Glenfiddich seems to have been developing the quality of their standard malts steadily over the last 15-20 years and this expression is my favourite of the current crop (the ones I’ve tried that is). The depth of flavour and luxurious mouth feel is just divine, although I do agree with Jim Murray that it should be bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: Molasses, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, almonds. Lots of rich warm hints in the nose which promise much. Taste: Not disappointing. Smooth delivery and finely enmeshed flavours of grape and malt, buttery and full bodied. Finish: Malty and buttery on the finish, very long and enjoyable.

@Uisgebetha a great review. Certainly the finest expression from the distillery.

@talexander

Like the 12 Year Old, the 18 is a mix of bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. However, after maturing for at least 18 years, it is then married together in small batches for at least another three months. This bottle comes from batch 3007. Thank you to Casey Reid for this sample.

The colour is a deep bronze. This time, we have apples on the nose rather than pears, baked with cinnamon. Still quite fruity and crisp. Seems to be more sherry influence here. A little musty, with that old leather armchair note. Rich and satisfying. A hint of smoke, perhaps? A drop of water brightens things up a little.

On the palate, rich creme caramel with more oak - but is somehow a little flat. Dark fruits with deep vanilla. Tobacco. Delicious but I expected a little bit more liveliness. Ah, but a drop of water makes a difference - creamier and a little spicier.

The finish is lovely - more baked apples, prickly spices and lingering malt. This is quite a step up from the 12 - richer, deeper and more complex. But there is a dull caramel around the edges that creeps in, though I wonder if that is because the bottle has been open for quite a long time? I did a full Glenfiddich vertical when I visited the distillery two years ago (my favourites being the 15 and the 30). Though I prefer the 15, the 18 does take things to another level from the 12.

@PMessinger
@Victor

Glenfiddich 18 YO polarises people. I have been entertained for years by how much extreme variation of opinion there has been, even among gentle Speyside malt lovers, about Glenfiddich 18. Me? I love my bottle, so I really don't understand those who don't. And that coming from a guy who prefers his whiskies at 68% ABV or more. The reviewed bottle has been open 2 years, gassed with inert gases for 13 months, and is 95% full. 95% full not because I don't like Glenfiddich 18, but only because I have 150 other open bottles vying for attention

Nose: a lot of spice, including black pepper, ginger, and a bit of cloves. Strange. I'd almost think that this was a rye whiskey nose. This nose is also very perfumed and floral, with beautiful flavours of rose which harmonise with gentle and beautiful fruit flavours of grape from the wine casks. The malt is apple-y, gentle, and pleasant. There is a perfect balance of sweet and dry. Wonderful nose

Taste: a very good translation of the nose flavours to the palate, with added sweetness, particularly with a long-opened bottle. At this point of the bottle open the mouthfeel is very soft, silky, and creamy. I like that soft mouthfeel very much

Finish: medium length, but all of the flavours stay strong

Balance: this is an unusually spicy Scottish malt. I have to think that this spice is from the oak...it is not from barley. This reviewed bottle of Glenfiddich 18 YO is quite elegant, refined, and very well-balanced. I am a very big fan of Glenfiddich 18 YO as exemplified by this bottle

When I see Glenfiddich 18 bashers I often wonder whether their samples are from a lesser batch than is my bottle. This bottle of Glenfiddich 18 tastes great, and is everything I could want from a light and elegant Speyside malt whisky

@vanPelt, the spice in the nose must derive from wood influence in my bottle of Glenfiddich 18, but I don't get in the nose large amounts of any of the other typical oak flavours, viz. oak, maple, vanilla, natural caramel. The sweetness on the palate probably also relates largely to sugars from the oak, but it does not taste caramel-y or of toffee, but more like honey. The finish is definitely drying, but maintains much of the sweetness from the palate, especially with this well-aired bottle. The effect overall is somewhat to the dry and spicy side, much like a typical US straight rye whiskey is dry and spicy. BTW I liked this bottle from the very opening. Of course, dry and spicy is a style I personally very much like in general.

When you compare to Glenfiddich 15 Yo,..., eh, the flavours aren't bad, but that one just tastes watery to me, like someone has watered down my whisky...the 51% ABV Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition is fantastic, EXCEPT that it really has no finish. POOF! It's gone! A very cruel magic trick. I am extremely hopeful that Glenfiddich will put out another 51% ABV 15 YO Distillery Edition, which actually has a finish. I want THAT one. I am also happy with my 18 YO, but, yep, this one divides people. Maybe get yourself a sample of the 18 first, @vanPelt.

Thanks Victor, I'm encouraged to try this now. I passed earlier, based on reviews here. For instance @galg said the 14yo and 15yo were better, and @jwise scored it 45(!) for finishing too dry. Many complain of it being too woody-- Would you say that this is a malt for "wood lovers?"

@Nock

These are notes from a tasting a while ago. I still stand behind them.

Nose: Sherry at the fore with light oak, bits of that lemon grass, and a few whispers of peat. There is some nuttiness along with some orange zest. More rounded then the 12, but not as laid back at the 15. Really glad they upped the ABV: very enjoyable.

Taste: Round oak with a little sweet sherry.

Finish: A slight blast of peat and sherry that slowly tapers off into an oak fire. Not a big start but it goes on for a while.

Balance, Complexity: Interesting balance of oak, sherry, and peat with lemon grass. Of the three Glen’s tonight I think this was the most balanced. Nothing really stands out and screams at you. The complexity is there on nose, taste, and finish more then the other two.

Aesthetic experience: Again, this nice golden amber color that can’t be natural. The body was nice at the slightly higher ABV. And it is always nice to have an 18yo on the label. Still hate the bottle shape.

Conclusion: This is the best Glenfiddich of the bunch tonight. However, for the money I don’t think it is worth it . . . by a long shot. But I won’t turn it down.

@SquidgyAsh

I've been working my way through all the various whisky samples that I received while I was in Scotland, dozens and dozens of different whisky samples, from distilleries, shops, independent bottlers and quite a few whisky friends.

Now with all of this bounty at my finger tips it's often times hard to decide which whisky to try and review next. Do I start with younger whiskies and work my way up in age, or do I start with the older whiskies first? Or maybe I start with the cask strengths, or maybe the rare whiskies.

Instead I've decided to go on a different take, and I'm not quite sure how well it's going to play out.

I'm going to try and find the perfect summer whisky.

See right now I'm sitting in the house, looking outside to a beautiful summer day and inside I tremble just a little bit.

I'm from a city where it can drizzle for weeks on a time, where you can get 200+ days of cloud each year. You ever see X Files or Millennium and notice whenever they're in the Pacific Northwest how it's usually really cloudy and overcast?

That's because it is! And from that I have moved to Perth, where it is sunny, A LOT. To the point that oftentimes you're left asking "what are these clouds you speak of?"

And moving into summer where the temperature is going to start soaring, to 95, 100, 105, 110 degrees Fahrenheit, yeah it's going to be intense and I'm going to cry, a lot.

So like I said I'm going to try and find the perfect summer dram, to help keep me company over the long bright months ahead.

So I decided to head into the Speyside whiskies, so we can expect to see Balvenies, Benromachs, Glenlivets and Glenfiddichs.

Today was Glenfiddich 18 year old.

I cracked the sample bottle and even as I'm pouring the whisky into it's glass I'm picking up stewed apples and spices.

The nose is lovely, absolutely lovely, with apples, pears, vanilla custard, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, dash of orange peel and a hint of smoke.

The mouthfeel is thin, which is to be expected at the 40% abv. This is my biggest issue with Glenfiddich. I love their whiskies, but the mouthfeel gets me every time. I'd love to see them raise their entry level abv to 46% abv honestly. I think it would do so much to improve their already good whiskies.

But enough about that!

Sweet flavors make up the palate, honey, the spices again, a bit of fudge, caramel, vanilla, apples, toffee, nice oak backbone.

The finish is VERY dry, with it being a wee bit floral and oaky, but the fruit and spices all blending together.

Definitely not a bad little whisky, a whisky that I actually quite enjoyed. Runs around $130 AUS at Dan Murphy's which isn't a bad price. I'd actually probably consider this whisky as a gift to a friend who was just getting into whisky as I personally believe that the fruit and spices would suck them right into the world of whisky.

@tjb

Following on from trying the 12 and 15 I thought I had to try the 18 year old Glenfiddich to complete the set. The 12 was pleasant but instantly forgettable, the 15 was interesting and very good value. The 18 is the flagship offering from the marketing behemoth that is Glenfiddich and the one that interested me the most.

The bottle states "18 years old. Married in small batches. After being patiently matured in the finest Olorosso sherry & bourbon casks to create an extraordinarily Smooth, Rich and Mellow single malt".

The nose is fruity, oak, spice with a whiff of smoke. It is rich and smooth with raisins, orange zest, fudge and spices. The finish is very interesting. It is orange peel, woody, sherry and salted caramel and a silky syrup.

This is a classy dram with a silky smooth feel. It is refined and I can see why this is the premium product from the range. Whilst I can appreciate all of the things that make this the better product I believe the 15 year offers better value for money. This is very good but it just misses the mark in my opinion.

@GotOak91

The night started out as we went to the Wooden Nickel, a bar in my local college town with which I had found out that they had quite the little single malt selection i.e. Glenfiddich 12-21, Lagaulivn 16, Balvenie Doublewood, Laphroaig 10 among a couple others. I had decided to acquire a taste of Glenfiddich 18 instead of the 12 or 15 as I have read that it was recommended to start with at least the 15 year on the Glenfiddich or the Glenlivet. I wanted to go above and beyond tonight even though I knew its best to start lower and work your way up in order to find the differences anyway lets get started...

Color: I likened it to a copper lager like color but the lighting wasn't great to get a real look at it so bear with me.

Nose: I had found while nosing the following: A sweet citrus like scent with oak and malt undertones. When I thought about it had an almost sticky citrus sweet scent to it with a little bit of floral components.

Body: Smooth and soft but Ill admit the tongue tingles a bit even though its only 43% the last time I noticed this was with the Barrel Proof Rare Breed by WT.

Taste: I find honey, oak, citrus, and a little bit of tobacco with a hint of spicyness but just a little...which leads to...

Finish: A long soothing finish that contained malt and an odd citrus bitterness that's similar to the pith of a citrus fruit. The bitterness is only noticed when you allow the whisky to roll around your tongue when examining it otherwise it doesn't appear.

Overall: A enjoyed this whisky even though the bitternss was unforeseen but in all reality it wasnt a turnoff. So I believe that I was quite impressed by this Glenfiddich 18, my only regret was not trying another while I was with my friends as they are not whisky connoisseurs. Oh well...

@GotOak91, that's a nice first single malt review, and I think that it's great that you started with the whisky that appealed to you, and not on some ladder prescribed by the ideas of others. It is also great that the whisky tasted very good to you. With bar samples you seldom know how long the bottles have been around and open. Sometimes a sample from a bar bottle will be so long oxidised that it is unrepresentative of the way the whisky usually tastes, and sometimes too much oxidation will lead the whisky from a bar to be downright off. If you get a lot of your first samples from bars and restaurants don't be surprised if you find some differences in new bottles of the same whiskies which you open and sample later. Happily you had a good experience here. A few months ago I had a sample of one of my favourite tequilas, Don Julio 1942, at an upscale restaurant. It was horrible, and tasted unlike any previous sample I had had of it. At the end of the evening I went to the bar section of the restaurant and observed that the bottle of Don Julio 1942 had its regular perch right in front of a very bright light bulb continually shining upon it. Clearly it had sustained too much continuous heat and the flavours went off. The important thing was that I already knew what this excellent product tasted like, so I knew that it was this sample which was off and not Don Julio 1942 Tequila. Had this been my first sample of the 1942 I would have drawn a very negative and inaccurate picture of it.

I haven't tried the experiment, but I'll bet that if you de-corked and then re-corked a new bottle that the oxidation to follow would be mild to early-moderate, and then nearly completely arrested at some point because of the small amount of available oxygen having all been reacted and depleted. Put another way, no one expects much oxidation from the air in the new sealed bottle. What I am saying is that that one fresh dose of the same quantity of air with a resonable resealing doesn't seem to me likely to do a lot of oxidising. (Yes this would assume that the bottle is kept cool and out of sunlight)

After many years there would also be the Old Bottle Effect some members have discussed on Connosr, and also there would probably be some very small air leakage around the cork, which I expect would lead to a very slow progressive oxidation over a period of many years, the rate being dependent on the quality of the seal of the cork.

And, @GotOak91, thanks for carrying on this conversation with me. I consider these oxidation effects on whisky to be crucial in having a good understanding of a desirable but ever-changing beverage.

Also, appropos of Glenfiddich 18, this whisky gets a whole range of reception: big fans, "just ok" so-so reviews, and bashers. I am a fan.

@markjedi1

After the 12 Year Old and 15 Year Old, the next Glenfiddich in the standard range is this 18 Year Old, a mix of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks.

As always with Glenfiddich, the nose is soft, fresh and inviting. Vanilla and barley are accompanied by apples and pears. But the sherry speaks louder than the bourbon: raisins, almonds, candied oranges, dried apricots with a hint of smoke from the cask. Not overly complex (the 15 Year Old offered more in that regard), but good nonetheless.

It is silky soft on the tastebuds on mild spices and a clear sherry character. The raisins and apricots are overly clear and joined by nutmeg. Nuts again. Subtle caramel and honey.

The finish is fairly long, slighty drying, on honey and candied oranges.

It is better and fuller than the 12 Year Old, which should come as no surprise, but I find the 15 Year Old better, even though it has a shorter finish. This one is just good.

@MaltActivist

Such a nice oaky nose with a bold mix of tobacco and citrus. Creamy honey texture where all the spices interplay with the glorious sweetness of honey, vanilla and figs. But the champion is spectacular charred orange. Long satisfying finish. This one is a keeper!

c

Okay so I've heard and read a lot about Glenfiddich. I thought this would be a good and inexpensive way to taste an 18 year old scotch for the first time. That it was on sale for $50 was an added bonus.

Nose: I took three stabs at this. I realized quickly that I need to take this tasting process much slower. I nosed this baby three times. Straight from the glass I caught the distinct smell of honey. After waiting a few minutes, I caught honey and sherry, with a little bit of cherry on top. After another few minutes, I gave the glass a good swirl. I was immediately impressed with the slowness of the legs. I caught cherry, melon, and toasted grains (seems weird that I could pick out that smell).

On to the taste: Just as I did with the nose, I conducted three tastings, all neat, ten minutes apart.

First taste: Sweet vanilla, buttery, nice consistency and smooth. The finish was mildly sweet with spices lingering for well over a minute.

Second Taste: Honey, currants, cinnamon, and spices. Fairly thick consistency. Toasted grains, cinnamon, and lingering spices made up a nice long finish.

Third Taste: Cinnamon, honey, something toasted...hints of vanilla. Faint cherry and some spices (actually, I think I may need to learn to distinguish between spices and alcohol burn, but I'm sticking with spices for now). Vanilla, cherry, and faint honey on the finish. Very long and smooth.

I really loved drinking this. It is the best whiskey I've tasted in my (limited) experience. I'd recommend without hesitation and would want on hand to serve to friends, especially considering the price. I suspect that for an 18 year it is probably less complex than other more expensive whiskeys but that will be tested on another day.

@galg

Nose: plenty of dry oak here that’s for sure, Kirsch liqueur, apples and a wee zest, which i can not pin point. OK, it’s nice.

Palate: Tons of oak, spice, a lovely nuttiness and again the Kirsch and cherries from the nose . Some toffee as well. a bit syrupy.

Finish : Spicy syrup, a bit of sherry and gentle ginger candy.

A fine dram, yet a bit too woody, and being 18 years of age, i did expect a bit more of it, when compared to the 15 and 14 year olds which are cheaper.

I have quite literally spit this whisky out of my mouth. Much too tart for my taste. I prefer the 15y solera reserve if I HAVE to drink the glennfiddich.

@wylcx

Notes of oak and apple, cinnamon and hints of sherry very smooth mellow finish.

You may want to try the 21 yo, rum cask finished, rich and smooth... really good stuff.. the best Glen I've tried

m

I’m not much of a fan of the Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, but the 18 Year Old has intrigued me for a while. On the whole, a bottle of the 18 Year Old will set you back between £35-40, and I think it’s worth it.

On the nose: Briny. Oranges. Woody spices, though nothing Christmassy like the Glenfarclas 15.

In the mouth: this very well balanced, with a little barley, salt and fruit. An echo of white wine, grapefruits: Sauvignon Blanc. The faintest tang of smoke. Though not at all oily, it hangs in the mouth nicely, leaving a thoroughly warm and calming aftertaste. This one is silky smooth and clean – that’ll possibly be the chill-filtering and there’s something very dignified about this whisky - like an elder statesman.

One thing I’d noticed from perusing the snazzy Glenfiddich website was just how much of a consumer brand Glenfiddich is; and when you look about, you can see it’s heavily marketed, especially abroad or in magazines. Though it doesn’t effect the taste whatsoever, one can’t help but feel brands of this size lose a little charm when compared to folk like Ardbeg or even at Springbank distillery, which I visited in the summer and which prides themselves on being more rustic. It seems there are two very different markets, one about image as much as authenticity, though they’re not mutually exclusive by any means - it's interesting to compare the two directions of whiskies.

The Glenfiddich range is quote good once you get past the 12 year old. I do like the 18 year old, but I prefer the 15 and the 21 year olds (and the 30, but it is ~way~ overpriced) over it. But the 18 year old is a very decent dram!

Great review of a very smooth Scotch.

@jwise

It's time to give the Glenfiddich 18yr another go. I tried it last year, and found it had the most awful finish of any whisky I had ever tasted. I am hoping it was just a bad bottle, but in case it wasn't a fluke, I just picked up a miniature 50ml bottle.

This whisky was bottled at 43% ABV, with a light gold color.

Nose: GREAT nose. Floral, honey, ripe fruit (pears and Honeycrisp apples), slight nose tingle along with the wonderful bouquet. This is really fantastic. I could enjoy this for a LONG time! Delicious! I can't wait to taste this wonderfully aromatic whisky.

Body: Stand up body, medium.

Palate: Spice right up front. Ripe fruit.

Finish: Spice builds. Fruit explosion! A VERY dry finish comes in right after the fruit. Wow. That is REALLY dry. Harsh, even. Long finish.

This is just what I remembered. Horrid. I have this REALLY dry taste in my mouth, and I just want it gone. Such an incredible nose, and what a great flavor on the palate, but what an incredibly horrid finish. I am tempted to take another taste, but I don't want to experience that dryness again. Yeacht!

Upon nosing and tasting this whisky, I was really thinking I was going to find it very different than the first time. Unfortunately, my first impression of the whisky was spot-on.

A 3, really? I see you rated the 15 year old a 5. I find this odd. perhaps it is just me. :-)

@Dougful

Number 3 of my exploration of the Glenfiddich line.

Nose: Ugli gruit, citrus, apples, butterscotch, light peat smoke. A good nose.

Palate: Sweeter than the 15 and also richer. Toffee, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, the sherry note is much stronger here. It makes me think of a more heavily spiced Glenfarclas 12.

Finish: Medium. Butterscotch, ginger, and the spices come back.

This is good, but for my money I prefer the 15. All around a solid and affordable 18 year bottle. Though I don't think this one shows the maturity you'd expect from that age.

@tabendar

Very wonderful whisky all around. I had two fingers with one cube of ice. Medium-bodied with a slight sweetness and no bite. Hints of floral tastes and low peat. Very easy on the palate and incredibly enjoyable. I am new to the whisky game but instantly one of my favorites. Worth the money.

@jdcook

Subtle - fruity, apples and pears. A hint of smoke. Really gentle and light. Not complex, but thoughtfully balanced and very pleasant.

The taste is gentle, soft and melts into your mouth. Still subtle, but more sophisticated than the nose. Sweet caramel, honey and oak. Hints of raisins and spice.

For such a gentle soft dram, the finish is surprisingly long and warm - spiced honey with fruity notes. It lasts a minute or two, but leaves my mouth watering and refreshed.

This is a genuinely elegant malt with what feels like a very sophisticated balance of flavours. It's really light - so do not drink it second after pretty much anything else, but as a first dram, it is really subtle, elegant and thoughtful dram.

Yeah - this is one of those malts that doesn't quite feel natural. That sounds bad, but it isn't - like there is nothing wrong with using photoshop to sharpen up an image and give it more impact. I get the feeling with some distilleries that they do a fair bit of tinkering to produce the final product. Now, if the final product is good, there is nothing wrong with the process to get it there. So while some distilleries just do the basics, and produce a spirit without too much 'post-processing' (so to speak), others (and this dram feels like one of them) feel like they have been thoughtfully put together to produce the balance they have.

...and my wife thinks I have a good sense of humour. At least, she keeps laughing at me... :p

"Subtle, elegant and thoughtful" - It's funny when you start to judge whisky on almost human characteristics. Reliable, dependable, faithful, GSOH :-)

Nicely reviewed.

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