This Glenfiddich 18 year old is a mix of Oloroso sherry casks and bourbon casks. It says Small Batch Reserve: after 18 years selected casks are matured in “small batches” for a further three months.
All large-scale whisky is a vatting of many casks, and these are always married or settled right before bottling, often in neutral casks. I’m sure small batch is still pretty large-scale in the case of Glenfiddich, so it sounds like they are trying to convert something very common into something special. The essence of marketing.
Glenfiddich 18 yo
(40%, OB +/- 2017)
Nose: bright and fruity, with the bourbon casks to the fore. Kiwi, oranges and lemon sherbet. Sweet pears. Minty top notes, but also hints of vanilla cake with toffee underneath. Raisins. Cinnamon. Just a hint of grassy / waxy oak.
Mouth: sweet, fresh, fairly honeyed, but rather soft. Vanilla, almonds, apple pie. A little milk chocolate, ginger and traces of pencil shavings. Really not bad, just a little middle-of-the-road, and it isn’t helped by the low strength. Gentle spices and plain oak towards the end.
Finish: short and fairly grainy. Hints of citrus peels and chocolate again.
Graceful and reasonably flavoursome, sure, but I feel they’re not unleashing the full potential here. A bit more sherry and a higher strength could make it stand out more. The pricing is fair but overall this Glenfiddich is not entirely satisfactory. Around € 75 from Master of Malt.