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KCM Spirit Reviews

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review 85: Glenfiddich 15 Yr Distillery Edition

Review 85
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Distillery Edition: 51% abv

Before we move onto the 18 Year Old, we want to take a visit to a different version of the 15 year old Scotch. This one is only slightly different, being ONLY 11% more alcohol than the regular. Oh, and instead of using three different types of casks, this one uses two casks: American and European oak. Its always important to understand what high proof alcohols really mean. One last thing to note about this whiskey. This one is non-chill filtered, which means it has not been sent through a filter to get rid the haze in the color. We like this kind of thing because chill filtration is said to hinder some of the flavor. Does all this really make a difference, or are we just speaking mumbo jumbo about this stuff? Let’s take a look. 

The nose is huge in flavor, but if you’re not careful, it can burn quite a bit as well. It has nice, dark, rich flavors of caramel, vanilla, malt, oak, chocolate, hazelnut, and molasses. You will get some sweeter, but tart notes of green apple, and cherry, and even so much as a delicate smokiness once you dig into it more. There is still some light sherry that we can normally find in Glenfiddich. The nose will either repulse you or excite you, but I urge you not to let the potency of the aroma scare you off. You’re close to the taste by now, so don’t give up! 

The taste is dry, and most of the burn will hit you in the arrival. This Scotch is definitely malty, and grainy. Barley and wheat are large contenders in the battle for your attention, but don’t let that take all of your focus. Caramel, vanilla, sherry, honey, and oak all give some flavor to this malt, as well as some spicy cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. We even noted baked red apple in the flavor. Don’t worry, I’m drooling just thinking about it myself. This Scotch, being at 51% can take some water, so don’t be too shy with it. This helps mellow the flavor out a bit, as well as bringing out earthier tones. The taste is spicy with a huge presence in the arrival. It swells at the end of the body. The finish is medium-long, and prominent while it lasts. This is where the sherry really comes to light, showing nice sweetness. There is maltiness and cinnamon in the finish, along with fruity notes of honeydew, strawberry pear, and cherry. Some fresh mint exists in the finish, but there’s a more prominent saltiness which competes with the sweet malt flavor. 

With time and water, this Scotch will open up and become sweeter. It takes water well and depicts a great flavor profile. This is very enjoyable, and well made Scotch, and does better by night and day than the regular production level Glenfiddichs. Highly recommended. 

Score: 9.0/10

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