Google Festive time warp, today Glenfiddich

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

December 19, 2019


Festive time warp, today Glenfiddich

It’s not that we’re Mother Theresa, but I believe Glenfiddich get too much flak just because they’re big and #1 here and there. I also believe they recently upped their game, which is absolutely not the case everywhere in Scotchland. There.

Wardhead 21 yo 1997/2018 (47.7%, Liquor Library + Helvetica + Whisknick, hogshead)

Wardhead 21 yo 1997/2018 (47.7%, Liquor Library + Helvetica + Whisknick, hogshead) Four stars
This one came with a pretty un-Facebookable label, and probably not many hopes to comply with American regulations. That’s perhaps why we should like it even more (S., you rebel). Oh and yes, Wardhead is Glenfiddich, even if legally a blended malt. Colour: white wine. Nose: exactly un-or-lightly sherried Glenfiddich as we always knew it, that is to say shock-full of williams pears and cut apples, then grasses and a spoonful of mashed potatoes plus touches of almond oil and vanilla. Custard, hints of shortbread. Mouth: very good, a bit simple in the best sense of that word, pretty tense, with more pears and even a feeling of young calvados (rather Domfrontais), then pure barley, sweet ale, and just eau-de-vie de malt. Perhaps ides of cantaloupes. Finish: medium, rather bright, very orchardy, malty, and pure. Also bitter oranges and more almonds (marzipan). Comments: perhaps not quite Brora 1972, but impeccably malty.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

So an old official… perhaps this…

Glenfiddich 36 yo 1974/2011 (46.8%, OB, Rare Collection, 1000 bottles)

Glenfiddich 36 yo 1974/2011 (46.8%, OB, Rare Collection, 1000 bottles) Five stars
Fully ‘American oak’, but since most sherry casks are made out of American oak as well, it’s hard to tell whether they actually mean ex-bourbon, or virgin. Not that that’s very important, mind you, let’s just remember than in the old days, American oak often meant bourbon, and European oak, sherry.… I agree, a tad misleading. Colour: gold. Nose: it is rather firm, starting with whiffs of warm leather and cigarette tobacco, as well as a thin slice of ginger cake, also cigar box, dried figs, dried pears... It’s after one minute that fresher fruit start to burst out, including the expected pears (even at 36), more figs (fresh and dried), melons, and a touch of chamomile tea, or even earl grey. It’s absolutely not an old thing for Wall Street veterans, quite the contrary. Mouth: indeed, no signs of overpowering oak despite the notes of pencils and balsa wood, rather big custard and fig cake. Or there, some fig-dominated Christmas cake, then all things made out of apples and pears, mainly cakes. But dried figs keep running the show, even when the expected cinnamon and nutmeg from the oak start to be willing to come to the front. Finish: medium, never oaky, and never fragile, just a tad more tea-ish, which is normal. Cinnamon cake and… no, we won’t mention Christmas again. Some marmalade too in the aftertaste, as (almost) usual. Comments: good work by some ‘fiddich luminaries who composed this vatting at that time, including our old friend ‘HHH’. Cheers HHH.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

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