We’ve already established the links between writing and drinking whisky right? Good. Then I’ll continue.
There is snobbery even in the world of whisky. Glenfiddich, one of the world’s largest brands, can occasionally receive a hint of distain for being just that, but it has won plenty of awards on the world circuit. I’m not much of a fan of the 12 Year Old, but the 18 Year Old has intrigued me.
So, a bottle of the 18 Year Old will set you back between £35-40, and I think it’s worth it. On the nose: Briny. Oranges. Woody spices, though nothing Christmassy like the Glenfarclas 15.
In the mouth: this very well balanced, with a little barley, salt and fruit. An echo of white wine, grapefruits: Sauvignon Blanc. The faintest tang of smoke. Though not at all oily, it hangs in the mouth nicely, leaving a thoroughly warm and calming aftertaste. This one is silky smooth and clean – that’ll possibly be the chill-filtering (something a little out of vogue these days) – and there’s something very dignified about this whisky.
One thing I’d noticed from perusing the snazzy Glenfiddich website was just how much of a consumer brand Glenfiddich is; and when you look about, you can see it’s heavily marketed, especially abroad or in magazines. Though it doesn’t effect the taste whatsoever, one can’t help but feel brands of this size lose a little charm when compared to folk like Ardbeg or even at Springbank distillery, which I visited in the summer and which prides itself on being more rustic. It seems there are two very different markets, one about image as much as authenticity, though they’re not mutually exclusive by any means.
Ah the good old 18! I have had this one myself and I must say it is the best Glenfiddich I have ever tried. I must say though, Mark, that you can pick up many more hints of different things in the taste than I can!
Any plans for your next Whisky conquest? 😛
Hi Andy – I’ve got a cheeky Japanese Single Malt on standby, which I might cover next. And a few more on the side! I’m not an alcoholic – honestly.
Oh yes, the 18 year old is the best Glenfiddich indeed. Also worth a try: Glefiddich Rich Oak, bout the same price as the 18 year old, but only aged for 14, but aged in brand new casks.
And I always wonder: “Glenfiddich Rare Collection” is ~ 1300 EUR here in Germany, how does it taste and can a bottle of whisky really be worth that much?
Hi Sebert – I did look at the Rich Oak, but veered for the 18YO instead. Maybe next time! And yes, some can be expensive. I think the 50 Year Old is getting on for £10,000 – I’d be too scared to drink something that expensive…
I would be scared to drink really old whiskies such as that! I heard a story about a 100-year-old whisky that someone I once knew tried… and he praised it as if it was God!
What is the name of your Japanese single malt on standby Mark?
GF is one of the top selling spirits in the world, so the commercialism is justified (or, at the least, paying off).
I’m not a huge fan of the taste – even of the 18. I prefer Macallan for the same fruity flavor, but with a bit more richness. Overall though, I’m a die-hard Talisker fan – I want my whiskey to taste like a combination of cigar smoke & mummy dust.
Andy – it’s this one: http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/yamazaki-12-year-old-whiskey/
Jared – it is justified, if not to be expected, but it still comes as a shock when you’re used to navigating the Ardbeg website!
I find Macallan sometimes a little too sweet, but that was the 10 – I’ve not tried any of the others. Speaking of smoke and mummy dust – have you tried the Ardbeg 10? It’s like licking the inside of a honey-coated wood-burning stove. Delicious!
Ah the Yamazaki 12yo! I have been dying to try this! I need to find my ideal writing tipple!
How has Julie not commented on this post yet??!
Chloe – I have no idea! Maybe she’s got her own tasting glass now and is making some notes. Check under her desk.
Never tried this, but am muchly tempted now…
I’m with Jared on the whole, I think; I went through a Laphroaig phase, but when I treat myself now it tends to be Talisker…
Mark, yeah, the Laphroaig is certainly a nice one (I was sent a bottle of the Quarter Cask upon signing a new book deal – I might make whisky part of all future contracts!)
I shall find you a nice bottle of something if I see you at a signing Mark 😛