Safe as safe can be. If you’re a malt enthusiast…you’ll probably want to steer clear. Perhaps finding this a little…run of the mill. Or perhaps you’re of the sort that is mature enough in your stylings to simply appreciate a really well-made whisky when you try one. This is not bells and whistles, flash and pomp, fireworks and sex scenes. Glenfiddich is quite simple really. A whisky whose craft will pass into lore as the absolute template on how to not go wrong.
The only problem for this guy? It’s life’s beautiful mistakes that give this world the character and verve that makes me want to rise every morning. Take away those bumps in the highway and I’m liable to fall asleep at the wheel.
As a rule…keep your Glensafe. Nine times out of ten I’ll opt for a Springbank.
Though this may sound disparaging, it’s not particularly meant so (as I hope the score attests). Just thought you and I should be on the same page going forward.
The nose is rich in heather and gooey honey. Big ol’ baskets of fruit and armfuls of flowers. Creamy vanilla ice cream, drizzled in creme caramel. Red apple. Berries in cream. Pancakes and syrup. Though the oak is becoming slightly more pronounced by this milestone, I still don’t think I would peg this at a full 18 years. Young and vibrant.
The delivery is just as decisively competent as the nose. Smooth and unchallengingly sweet. Creamy vanillins dance with dried fruit and crunchy apple. Lovely really. Almost refreshing.
How do you fault a whisky of this quality and consistency? Simple. You call it boring.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt
Nice review and it articulates well what holds this whisky back: the lack of corners and edges. Now, 18s aren’t usually known for their power, but Glenfiddich 18 takes few if any chances, even compared to Glenlivet; everything is solid, but subdued. Although it’s NAS, I think Snow Phoenix is much closer to what an older Glenfiddich should be: rounder and with more traces of casking, and like Snow Phoenix, maybe the 18 could benefit from a higher ABV (even Glenlivet gives you 43% at 18), because it’s here that the “bold Speyside” starts to peter out. A good value considering age alone, continued pressure on pricing is going to push this expression into deeper waters where it will have trouble competing with admittedly younger, but better, whiskies.