There's nothing I can tell you about Glenfiddich that you already don't know. It is unquestionably the most popular single malt whisky in the world. They are by and large one of the most consistently above average whiskies produced given their staggering levels of output.
What I can tell you that you might not necessarily know is that I met their Global Brand Ambassador Mr Ian Millar a few months ago who is quite a proponent of whiskies with age statements. Barring a couple of new releases from them it seems that this is quite true for the distillery as well.
In fact I recently read they're scaling up production to meet demand and more Glenfiddich in the world is, in my opinion, a good thing!
I was invited by our local distributor for an evening of tasting the classic Glenfiddich range which was quite nice. It's quite common to give these expressions a pass just because they're the most drunk whisky in the world. And you kind of forget why they're No1. It's because they are pretty damn good.
We started the evening with the 12 (average), moved on to the 15 (so good!), then the 18 (lovely) and finally the 21 year old finished off in Caribbean Rum Casks. My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 40% ABV
Bananas. Toasted oak. Almonds. Walnuts. Cinnamon. Ginger spice. Now some vanilla. Chocolate. Coffee beans. Gets fruitier over time. Red apples. Berries. There's something a touch sour. Don't know what that is. And some mint leaf. I like it. It has the classic Speyside / Glenfiddich nose with a little sweet and fruity twist. 22/25
Quite oaky. I don't like the delivery - it's a bit thin. Black pepper. Cinnamon. Ginger. Wild berries. Mocha. Coffee beans. Chocolate. Ripe oranges and orange zest. This seems to me like a taste. Don't know how to explain it but it just felt that the spirit was too restrained. Not the best part. 21/25
Medium. Oak. Cinnamon. Quite drying. 21/25
This is half decent though I feel that the palate was a touch over-oaked and a bit thin. The general consensus among the group was that it felt like it was made to order. And by that I probably mean that all the flavors that are supposed to please me were there but for some reason didn't work so well together. It's not a bad whisky. It's not awesome either.
The final two statements in your review sum up 'Fiddich, if you ask me. Many 'snobs' will turn their noses up at this over-marketed malt, but it is perfectly fine whisky. It's just like the eternal C+ student in the class... don't expect it to give you anything more than the norm.
Glenfiddich for me is a Damm fine malt... I agree with you on your thoughts about the 21 but I like you tried the 21 a few years ago and loved the stuff, I tasted it alone and spent time with it, I remember thinking wow I like this, then about 6 months ago I had it with friends, most were not impressed, I do think this might have had an impact on my thoughts, I intend to retry by myself just to see..