Ahh to review scotch again. Well plainly we’ve had quite a lot of whisky this past October, but while Single Barrel is nice – it’s still Jack Daniels, and I will always prefer my whisky coming from across the pond then in the depths of the American south. Unfortunately while we have a scotch here – a single malt as well, there is something left to desire. I never understood why some people would compare Glenlivet to Glenfiddich, because honestly the latter is merely average.
Nothing really has reminded us of scotch flavored scotch since Highland Park so long ago. Even that though went down smoother than this. It feels like they’ve honestly tried to make a good whisky here, but fell short. It’s mellow, but by too much. It has a bit of smokiness, yet not enough. It burns a bit like whisky, but there’s none of that great warmness. It has a fairly nice taste, but there’s no layers here, just a mellow scotch that ends in a tiny puff of smoke.
Like Glenlivet, Glenfiddich is a Speyside whisky which are typically sweeter than most, which is why we choose this to follow our JD reviews being of a similar mindset. yet you get none of that here. I am a single malt man, and unless you have some Blue Label or 18yr Chivas in most cases I’d choose a single malt over a blended scotch. Which makes this next statement rather bizarre for me, because I’d recommend Johnnie Walker Black Label over this. It’s the same price, it’s a better scotch, and they don’t lie to you like the text below.
What they say: “Our signature malt is matured in the finest oloroso sherry and bourbon casks & is renowned for its beautifully balanced nose & fresh rich complex flavor.”
Rich and complex? Please. Your mellow taste is far from rich, and that puff of smoke does not make it a complex whisky. I can only think that such text is from a bottling of your later years that you’ve absent-mindly slapped onto this scotch. Make no mistake older Glenfiddich’s are an improvement to what we have here, but that’s no excuse. I’ve had 10 yr old scotches that are better than this – age is not directly tied to quality. So then how does this young gun fare?
Taste: 6 – It’s a mellow taste, not very diverse. There’s no sweetness – and honestly it’s a little watery.
Aftertaste: 5.83 – It’s pretty nice, but not great. It gets smoky, but no nice warmness
Burn/Smooth: 4.5 – Pretty average burn but there’s no warmth.
Aroma: 6 – Smells like a really nice scotch flavored scotch. No points for complexity, and none for a great scotch whiff.
Manliness: 7.17 – It’s manly by bottle, nice coloring and the whole presentation is really nice. The problem is that it lies about being complex. It’s a great scotch and we were all willing to give it 8-8.5′s but when you outright lie to us you lose points.
On rocks: 4.83 – This is actually a really weird situation here, for the most part it was less well received on rocks. A bit of water or ice really opens a whisky up and changes it. (Seen most dramatically in our Blue Label review where ice made the scotch go from layered to a more blended feeling. For the most part the addition of ice/water to a whisky really improves it giving you the nice flavor with less of a burn, and letting you get a nit more of the complex flavors. Here though it changes the taste and it’s not great.
Rusty Nail: 6.42 – It really shines here with the Drambuie giving it a nice sweet but powerful kick. Rusty Nails typically vary greatly in Single Malts due to the difference is flavoring, but the mellow taste here gives way like a blended scotch would.
Value: 5.5 – Kind of what you’d expect to pay, less than a typical single malt, but more than a blended.
Google Shop Average: $33
William Henri Neve the IV: 6
Mr. Hentai: 6
Metric Score: 40.63/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.8 |+| Reviewer Average: 6
It’s a slightly above average single malt, nothing terribly fantastic, but if your in this price range then it’s a good thing to pick up if your looking for a single malt on principle of having a single malt then maybe. Problem is that Glenlivet is just a couple bucks more, and if you spend just another $10 you could pick up the Balvenie, or Auchentoshan – which are much better. I suppose it’s your choice, but I can safely say that I doubt I’ll ever by 12 yr ‘Fiddich ever again.