Thursday, November 05, 2009
Scotch Whisky Review: Glenfiddich 18
Tonight's dram (well, half-dram; I'm splitting it with Grace) is the Glenfiddich 18. Earlier, I reviewed the Glenfiddich 12 and found it very tasty.
It's immediately obvious that this whisky is older -- it is a brownish amber, darker than the 12. The legs are not as pronounced. It's bottled at 43% alcohol. On the nose, I notice biscuits, yeast, tea, and an unusual and quite pronounced note of dark chocolate.
In the mouth, I get a little burnt orange, perhaps some walnuts, blackened toast, and coffee. It's only lightly warming, with a relatively short finish. The flavor seems slightly hollow to me: there's a little sweetness, that pronounced chocolate note, and then the burn on the back of the tongue, but it seems like it is missing something in the middle. I don't get any fruit out of this whisky, although reviews mention "dates" and I suppose they are there somewhere. None of the reviews I skimmed mentioned chocolate, oddly, and several mentioned peat; it's awfully light, if it is there, or maybe I just can't taste anything after last night's Laphroaig. The words I ran across most frequently included "subtle" and "mellow," and that it is. It seems to me that perhaps 18 years is too long for this whisky to stay in the cask, although that chocolate note is intriguing.
Water doesn't really improve this whisky, although it doesn't demolish the flavors either.
Grace gives this one an 8 -- she enjoys the bittersweet flavors and especially the finish. I give it only a 7; it's interesting, and doesn't have any off flavors, but just seems to be lacking a little something. It isn't "moreish" like the 12. I wish I liked it a little bit better. I'm looking forward to tasting the 15, which I expect to be somewhere in between the 12 and 18.