As always, I'm a sucker for new-to-me whiskies. I've had some good Glenfiddichs and figured I would give this one a shot.
On the nose, it is quite restrained. Fresh citrus and wood shavings. Not as aromatic as I was expecting. Yet it doesn't come across as thin or insubstantial. There is a suggestion of depth here.
On the tongue it is big, chewy, and incredibly oaky. Tangerine and toffee, and then mouth-puckering spices and tannins. The marketing literature keeps mentioning candy floss but I'm not getting that. I get the impression of flavours that are trying to come though but are squashed by the intense oak. The finish is long and full of intense cocoa notes.
The addition of water opens up more cocoa on the nose. The tannins become a little less intense on the tongue, allowing some of that licorice to come through. Still no orchard fruits, though.
Overall, quite an interesting whisky which takes some time to get to know. The fresh fruitiness of typical Glenfiddich is replaced by dark, oaky notes at every turn. Definitely not one of my favourite Fiddichs but it has grown on me. In general, I try to appreciate whiskies for what they are, rather than what I want them to be--within reason. For the price, I would have been better of sticking with familiar favourites like Cragganmore 12 or Talisker 10, in terms of total enjoyment.