A friend of mine noticed that a local bottle-shop was reducing their whisky range, and a number of whiskies were greatly reduced to clear. Two of which were the Glenfiddich 30 year old and the Glenfarclas 25 year old. The total savings were about AU$300 (across both bottles).
Seeing as I've had a taste of the Glenfarclas 25 year old before, I thought I would open the Glenfiddich 30 year old first.
The first thing I notice is that the whisky looks quite rich and syrupy with very long legs. I guess that's what you get after 30 years of maturation.
The nose is sweet, full of fruit, honey and milk chocolate. And for such gentle 'flavour' types, it's intriguingly strong. It can be sitting on the coffee table three feet from my nose, and it won't be long before I catch a whiff or two. Usually it takes a bit of smoke and peat to do that. It's not overwhelming, or cloying, just easily smelt from some distance away.
The flavour is silkily smooth, with raisins, chocolate and pears. Some cream, honey notes, and a subtle spicy nudge - perhaps ginger and cinnamon? There is barely a hint of oak, and I mean only barely - it took several sips to identify it. This is really easy to drink, and very moreish, which is unusual (for me anyway) in such a sweet whisky. Also fairly complex for what initially seems like a fairly sweet simple malt.
The finish is gentle and unhurried. It doesn't feel long because it is so genteel and civilised, but lasts a number of minutes. Full of fruitiness (mainly pears), milk chocolate and a hint of smokiness.
I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this, but this is definitely a brilliant, light, sweet after dinner dram. Where the Glenfarclas range is heavy rich Christmas Cake, this is a light sweet lemon spongecake. Both are fantastic, but a lot of people struggle with the rich stuff, and this is much easier to drink, but doesn't have quite the same punch. If it weren't so astoundingly expensive, it would be a brilliant 'gateway' malt for getting people into whiskies.
Certainly not value for money, but worth trying once (if you can find it on sale somewhere)!