The Christmas season ushers with it warmth, happiness and joy; giving reasons a plenty to try a little something something. That led me to the Glenfiddich 21, which laid there in a corner of my cabinet for a while now. I had opened it a few weeks back and thought it would be a great opportunity to circle back and give it a shot. Besides, it seemed like a good day to pour a glass; the alfresco offered some peace and quiet, with just the twilight resting on my outdoor furniture and a sober cool breeze that brushed against the greens.
This Reserva Rum Cask expression was first introduced as the Havana Reserve owing to the use of barrels that previously aged Cuban rum. However, due to existing embargoes within the US for Cuban products, the distillery amended the name to be less geo-specific and therefore more marketable.
The expression comes in a plush, regal, hard box packaging, with the bottle itself being more broad and stout – common with older aged spirits from the distillery. The Reserva cask finish promises to coat an added layer of flavours over the existing ex bourbon maturation; typically sweeter and spicier undertones but none overly pronounced.
ABV : 40%
Eye: Deep Gold
Nose: Deep caramel notes, honey and barley with the richness of raisins, figs and grapes. Chocolates and nectarines are interrupted with the scent of melons, soon followed by leathery, earthy notes which are soon replaced by green pepper, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
Taste: Vanilla accompanied by the sweetness of rum and raisin cake topped with custard and berries. Dark chocolate, smoke and oak wood are trailed by pepper and crushed cinnamon.
Finish: Medium | Sweet, spicy and dry.
This 21 YO Fiddich is a lovely christmasy dram, with a host of sweet and rich dry fruits that appear more so on the nose than the palate. The spice is wonderful, pleasant and welcoming with cinnamon and nutmeg tingling the taste buds. The earthy, leathery notes indicate its extended time in the barrel with the Caribbean cask maturation promising the bounty of sweetness and spice.
What is unfortunate though is as soon as you are introduced to all this christmasy goodness, you are pushed off your feet, feeling somewhat left alone. The finish isn’t as robust as you would expect and feels quite light for a 21 year old whisky taking most of the fun out of the experience.
The Reserva Rum finish is a lovely dram but misses the ‘value for money’ mark with so many bottlings available at a more affordable price point. It is a good bottling and you might as well pick one up when your local liquor store or Dan’s puts it up on offers, but you do need to be cognizant of bottlings that can offer a similar or better experience with change still to spare!