The Glenfiddich Rich Oak 14 year old and Glenfiddich 15 year old Distillery Edition are new arrivals on the whisky scene in South Africa, having hit the shelves in September 2013. However, they have been out for a while in the UK, having launched there back in 2010.
Glenfiddich Rich Oak 14 Year Old Tasting Notes
Details: 750ml, 43% abv. After spending 14 years in ex-bourbon casks the whisky was double-finished – spending 12 weeks in virgin American oak casks and then a further 6 weeks in virgin Spanish oak casks.
Nose: Plenty of oak as you would expect, coupled with typical wood spices – cinnamon and nutmeg. Also some pear and apple notes.
Palate: The spices from the nose tingle on the taste buds. Plenty of creamy vanilla, with the green fruits coming to the fore.
Finish: Medium length, with the spices fading fast leaving a slightly nutty taste on the tongue.
Overall: I fully expected to enjoy the Distillery Edition more than the Rich Oak, what with it’s 51% ABV and slightly peaty notes. And I did… Initially. The Rich Oak has grown on me however. With the 14 year old I think you’re either going to love it, or hate it, depending on how much you enjoy “woody” whiskies.
Glenfiddich Distillery Edition 15 Year Old Tasting Notes
Details: 750ml, 51% abv. Non chill-filtered and bottled at a higher abv after spending 15 years in ex-bourbon and ex-Spanish oak casks.
Nose: Really pleasant nose. Great mix of vanilla/toffee, red fruits and nuts.
Palate: Very smooth on the palate! The fiery burn you would expect from a higher alcohol by volume just isn’t there. Spices and fruitcake, topped with some vanilla custard and almond-toffee sauce. Hints of dark chocolate and a flash of oak on occasion.
Finish: It lingers nicely, warming your throat for a while after.
Overall: The 15 year old is a solid dram, very true to Glenfiddich’s DNA that offers a very welcome boost in abv and more complexity than the standard 12 year old while not costing too much more. A winner.
So how much will they cost? The Rich Oak will sell for around R450 and the Distillery Edition around R500, placing them squarely between the 12 year old and 15 year old in our existing line up.
Thanks go out to Glenfiddich SA for providing me with samples of both whiskies.
I’m glad that Glenfiddich is focussing more attention on South Africa – the addition of these 2 expressions to our local line-up is a good sign that Glenfiddich – and the Scottish whisky industry in general – is keen to bring more expressions into the country. Will it end up confusing the consumer though, offering a bit too much choice to the Glenfiddich range? We now have the 12, Rich Oak, Distillery Edition, 15, 18, Age of Discovery, 21, 30 and 40 year old in SA! I guess the thinking is to get drinkers of the flagship 12 year old to start moving their way up the range and these 2 new expressions are likely to win themselves some new fans.