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Being a first review from an unaccomplished writer please bear with me. The language and vocabulary will evolve over time. The first time I ever had scotch was many years ago during my Army days and happened to be the 12 year old expression from Glenfiddich. At the time I didn't place any thought into where it came from or its flavor profile. It was free, it was smooth, and I could easily carry the bottle around the party.
Now that I am older and have decided to take this style of whisky seriously and I wanted to write my first review. I decided this 12yr special reserve to be the appropriate starting point, especially since I did not appreciate what I was drinking when I was younger.
Drinking neat, the first things I notice is a light smell of carmelized brown sugar and pears. Not unlike an expensive desert at a nice restaurant. There were no other distinctive notes on the nose for me which was a little disappointing but not unwelcome.
The body was clean and moderatly oily. I could still taste the fruity pears but the brown sugar disappeared. It was warm but uncomplex and easy to drink but no fireworks. Slight smoke and quickly disappearing aftertaste.
I understand why many call this a gateway malt. No surprises and comes at you in a straight forward way. Supremely easy to drink but best left for those who want a few tugs and not reflect on what the are sampling. Certainly great for newbies but I am ready to move to the next level.