The Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is one of the distillery’s flagship bottlings, selling high volumes every year. Since 2019 (or 2020?) it is nicknamed Our Solera Fifteen and comes in the new style “triangular” bottle.
For this version Glenfiddich uses a combination of bourbon barrels, sherry casks and virgin oak casks. Before bottling, they are brought together in a huge vat, which they say is inspired by sherry bodegas (whereas such large vats are more common in Porto for instance, not in Jerez). They always leave some spirit behind to get a certain continuity, hence the reference to the solera method.
I tried this Glenfiddich 15 ‘Solera Reserve’ back in 2017, with a mildly positive outcome.
Glenfiddich 15 yo – Our Solera Fifteen (40%, OB +/- 2022)
Nose: a lot of dusty, malty cereals, with yellow apples and a hint of caramel. Slightly musty wood, hints of heather honey and a few raisins. Then a light hint of fresh peach, orange and assorted fruit candy. Wet newspaper in the background. Not unpleasant but really thin.
Mouth: weak now, I’m afraid, which leads to more vagueness. At the same time it’s really rough around the edges. Vanilla and raisins, with a hint of almonds. Then grainy notes, a hint of genever. Mid-palate a gingery note appears, with some herbal bitterness and green tea. Burnt caramel too.
Finish: short, with flavours that remind me of old blends. Malt, vague caramel, a hint of cardboard and bitter herbs.
This is a seemingly undecided whisky lacking oomph. I have the impression the virgin wood is showing more than in previous editions: there’s some grainy pungency but it’s also watered down beyond repair. It’s quite cheap and easy to drink of course, but still I find it slightly disappointing – I prefer some blends over this single malt. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange, and many others.