Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14- With a nod to American spirits and as a way to get us far far away from American politics, I present this modest diversion. The magic herein is due to the lengthy stay in deeply charred bourbon oak and man did it ever work. The rich amber color and ultra silky mouthfeel are most welcome on a fall evening. I found a unique mash up of corn and vanilla sweetness and a delightfully long finish. The 86 proof is bold enough to make a statement and yet still is mellow enough for everyone to enjoy it neat as intended. The nose is crazy sweet almost like a dessert, yum……While the leaves in our area are changing and flying, grab a bottle of this and enjoy it outside, somehow the spirit and the fall action enhance each other perfectly. Now if we could just have a choice other than cranky old guys for the most important job in the land! I rate this blue labeled beauty a solid 8 on the snob scale. Slainte
Let’s be brutally candid, most malt whisky is very drinkable. We’re looking for the subtle nuance, hence the snobbery. What we have here is a slight perversion of the brand that I normally love, and the reason, IMHO, is to get younger whisky to market. The nose has a welcome telltale peatyness and packs a punch. The dominant flavors are a woody caramel with a citrus kick, no doubt from the American Oak barrels, which were used in a mash up with some sherry casks. The ultra light color is all natural but a bit deceiving as this is not a light scotch at all. The mouth feel is a tad thin but the finish is surprisingly lengthy and predictably edgy, probably due to its fairly young age. My guess is that the conversation at the distillery went something like this, “ so how can get this product to market without waiting 10 or more years?” . The answer is a gonzo barrel dance with some hocus pocus thrown in for good measure. For me this seems like a disappointing money grab from our normally stellar Islay friends and that makes for a weak rating of 7 on the snob scale, still drinkable, just not remarkable.