Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rich and Oaky - Glenfiddich Rich Oak 14 Year Old

Glenfiddich Rich Oak
Glenfiddich is a powerhouse brand backed by the family owned William Grant & Sons. Nestled next to its sister distillery The Balvenie, the Glenfiddich is a typical Speyside one could say but displaying very different characteristics to the sibling distillery.

When talking about the Glenfiddich profile as a general rule of thumb, then it is pears, apples, and warming cinnamon spice. The Rich Oak still hold true to what make a Glenfiddich a Glenfiddich but through careful wood management we are presented with a newer approach.

It is also of note that there is no large print age statement on the label. With the explosion of whisky the world over and a strategic move away from age statements, we can only expect Glenfiddich will also play some part in the adoption of these policies. But is this a NAS (No Age Statement) whisky? Right now the answer to that is no. In much finer print you will find that this whisky is a 14 year old at minimum in traditional ex-bourbon before being finished in both New American and New Spanish oak. This finishing period is only an approximate 12 weeks but the results are considerable. This finishing delivers a richer darker boldness unseen in the flagship Glenfiddich 12 year old.

Glenfiddich Rich Oak
Distiller: Glenfiddich
Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Wood: Ex-bourbon finished in New American Oak and New Spanish Oak

A nose of graceful rich fruits then warm apple cinnamon pie, spicy oak, sweet woody vanilla.

The taste is brown sugar, warm dark spicy fruit rounded out by nutty wood textures, vanillas and stewed fruits.

The finish long and rich with spicy vanilla oak and lingering warm sherry notes. A metallic copper tang springs in the palate as a spirit high rises in the chest completing with dry cocoa on the palate.

Overall this is a whisky showing its heritage with a twist on the new oaks. I very much enjoy how the sharper fruitier spices of what is seen in the 12 year old has been rounded out. The cocoa elements at the end are enjoyable yet subtle. If I was to give a dram then a 5 3/4 out of 7.

This whisky would work extremely well for someone wanting dark fruit elements without the dense sweetness that sherry casks deliver. Here you can have the best of both worlds.

The Baron