By show of hands, who here didn’t cut their teeth on this whisky? The world’s best selling single malt, and deservedly so. Not because it is the best, mind you…but because everything here is done right. This is the perfect introduction to the world of whiskies.
Glenfiddich 12 y.o. is what we call a branded whisky. Purists, scoff and raise your noses all you like. I, like you, have a tendency toward the craft whiskies, but have learned in humility that some things, no matter how much we want to dislike them (ahem…Nickelback), are popular for a reason. We want to blow the dust off of some obscure bottle and pour a glass with reverence…but a hard lesson to learn is NEVER put prestige before your taste buds.
The branded whiskies, like Glenfiddich are produced with an eye to consistency. Generally bottled at 40% abv, colored with E150 caramel, packaged uniquely and identifiably and well marketed. I think the idiom behind this is something along the lines of, ‘we found a good thing…and if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it’. For this reason, the integrity of a bottle of Glenfiddich is for the most part uncompromised in terms of batch variation. Every bottle is similar…every bottle is good, and it is readily available at a good price.
Is the Glenfiddich 12 a great whisky? Well, no. Is it a good whisky? Absolutely.
The nose is gentle. You can safely stick your beak right into the glass without eyes watering, and pull in a deep breath. The rewards are sweet fruit and light spice. Apple and chunky pear. Perhaps vanilla. Something refreshing there as well.
The simplicity of development is the biggest charm here, I believe. Arrival is sweet and fruity. A little bit of spice and creamy vanilla. A little woody. This isn’t one that unravels slowly and allows you to pull strands of flavor out individually, instead it is a nicely layered whisky that gives it all to you at once. I have read of others picking out hints of peat and nut, but…not really seeing it. The finish is pleasantly long, and the aftertaste mild.
An early evening sipper for certain.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt