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.