Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve

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This is a mystery dram from a pack of 3 such samples from Flaviar. Flaviar is a website that sells bottles and tasting packs of all sorts of spirits, some well known, and quite a few obscure ones. They’re a tad pricy but their shipping to here is very reasonable, and the tasting packs can be quite interesting, worth checking out.

This one turned out to be an from Glenfiddich. Everyone knows Glenfiddich and their 12 year old is one of the first stepping stones on many a whisky fan’s journey. I’m not a huge fan of their stuff (aside from the 14 year old Rich Oak), but I’ve always wanted to try this one. It’s matured for at least some of the time in a Solera. This is a method of maturation used primarily in making sherry where you have a set of tiered casks. Half of the bottom tier is bottled, and then refilled from the above tier, until you reach the top tier which is filled with new sherry. So you have some much older stuff floating around in each tier.

Glenfiddich started their solera vat in 1998, and I find it quite an interesting concept and am quite curious to see what this maturation method does to whisky. This isn’t really a tiered cask system, but a vat used at the end of maturation from which only half is bottled. Unfortunately no information is available as to just how much of the maturation time is spent in the solera vat.

Aged 15 years. 40% ABV. Aged in European sherry casks and new oak casks.

Nose: Oranges. Oak. Apricots. Tile grout. Butterscotch. Some glue and acetone, not much. Light, clear honey (the industrial stuff). Golden delicious apples. Ginger biscuits.

Palate: Apricots. Oranges. Woodspice….. hey where’d the flavour go?

Finish: Short. Very short. Bit of dry wood, woodspice and apple tart.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

I liked the nose on this, it was quite interesting, but as usually happens with low ABV, chill filtered whiskies, the flavour kind of fades away after that. This was still quite a bit more intriguing that their 12 year old, although I have a feeling cask influence is doing more for the flavour profile here than the solera vat. Still quite a generic Speysider though, there’s better fare out there for a similar price.

 

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