After my success with the Glenlivet 16 ‘Nadurra’, I decided to give Glenfiddich’s mid-range cask-strength a try. After all, if I liked the Glenfiddich 12 more than the Glenlivet 12, what’s to say I wouldn’t like this as much, or more, than the Nadurra?
Nose: Noticeably sweet. Malty, apple juice with cinnamon right off the bat. Let it sit and we’re talking orange peel, sherry and burnt sugar. Some water brings in toffee, salt and pepper. I’ve read others call the nose “floral”, but it’s more minty to me.
Palate: Smooth, oily, mouth-coating. Rich and waxy off the bat with jammy notes and burnt sugar. It then turns creamy with sherry and orange chocolate. The palate then spices everything up with some chili and pepper. There is also definitely some peat here. Retaste: Similar, but a bit rougher and more sour than I remember.
Finish: A malty long finish with more of that orange chocolate, oak and honey. Mouth-drying. Right on the end, when your mouth goes bone dry and the finish feels like it’s died off, it comes right back with a bang of something you’d never expect: a mouth full of gummi bears. Bangarang!
Quite superb. Not as great six months later than it was about half-way through the bottle. It balances well in a way that other whiskies don’t: orange chocolate, peat, mint and pepper don’t mesh, so why not have it in stages? This whisky oddly compartmentalizes everything, and rolls it out bit by bit. I don’t know how, but it feels like it only ever gives you one note at a time, though in no particular order. I’ll mention, also, that the first dram was rather spiritous and rough, and the last few were similar. The first drams were much more savoury than the middle. It reminded me of a meaty, starchy British dinner with candied carrots, all coated with a maly flavour. While it wasn’t bad, it surely wasn’t the superstar the whisky is now. In short, it benefits from some oxidation.
Note: I must confess that I love orange cream chocolates, so there may be a bit of bias mark-wise when it comes to that, but it’s hard for me to tell.