Review : Glenfiddich Small Batch Reserve 18 YO

This independently owned distillery with a history that dates back to 1887 needs no formal introduction at all! Chances are the distilllery’s whisky has ‘set foot’ on most palates – amateur and enthusiast alike which is why it finds its place strongly rooted as one of the best selling whiskies in the world.

This 18 YO is aged in a combination of olorosso and ex-bourbon barrels and then further finished for an additional three months in small batches. There is no mention of caramel colouring nor chill filtration but the darker shades when placed shoulder to shoulder against the older 21 YO is a sure shot give away!

ABV : 40%

Eye: Deep Copper | Caramel colouring

Nose : Malt and burnt butter with the rich sweetness of caramel pudding, chewy raisins and dates with a drizzle of honey. Milk chocolate and floral nuances are interrupted by mild lemon zest, crushed cinnamon and ground pepper.

Taste : Mildly oily on the mouth with a gush of sweetness, caramel nougat, honeycomb and dried fruits, followed by the creaminess of desicated coconuts and mildy bitter- sweet red apples. An unorthodox minty freshness emanates from a crushed mix of ginger peels and pepper.

Finish : Caramel and honey with a subtle peppery spiciness.

This Small Batch Release is rich with layers of sweetness and a more than pleasant nose, almost like biting into freshly baked vanilla cupcake with a thick caramel drizzle. Maybe a bit too sweet, but then these are trademark flavours from Glenfiddich with this specific expression building on those fundamentals. The spicy character is tightly bound with the fruity and creamy nuances and though there is that distinction when sweetness and spice break away, the transition is sudden. The sweetness is truly the talk of the town which can be a deal breaker for those who dont like their dram to be a sugar rush.

But all in all, this dram is well concocted and a pleasure to drink; though more like a digestif. I do have a qualm though, being a rather older sibling from the distillery, I would have expected this whisky to be sold at higher strengths and not at the measly 40%, but then again their 21 YO expression is also poised at the same strength – dissapointing! Boooo!!

Slainte!

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