Ahh to be back to reviewing scotch again. This was a gift to the lounge, and was well received. However we’ve always sort of preferred the Levit over Fiddich as they are comparable in both price, name-recognition, and availability.
It’s odd for me to say this <spoiler> but I really want to point out that we have reviewed Glenfiddich’s 12 year, and by our metrics this doesn’t stand up as much. Admittedly it’s mostly myself reviewing, but I keep scoring under the notion of not just a single malt scotch, but a 15 year, a scotch older than it’s 12 year brother, and that it should be held to a higher standard. Anyway that’s enough from me as I now need to write out a thesis from the bottle/box.
What they Say:(note there is actually more copy, but it’s all 1 liners and jesus christ I am not doing that)
Bottle Front: “Our unique SOLERA vat, a large Oregon pine tun, which is kept at least half full, marries whiskies matured in sherry, bourbon & new oak casks to create a deliciously harmonious single malt Scotch whisky.”
Bottle Back: “After 15 years, whisky matured in sherry, bourbon, and new oak, is married in our unique, handcrafted Oregon pine Solera vat. Delicate flavours of spice, honey, and rich fruit pervade this beautifully balanced single malt whose exceptional quality has been recognised at every major spirits competition.”
Box Front: “THE SOLERA VAT
Unique to Scotch whisky, our Solera Vat marries whiskey matured in sherry, bourbon & new oak casks and is always kept at least half full. This creates a rich & complex whisky which increases in depth & intensity each year.”
Box Back: “OUR HISTORY
In 1886, William Grant fulfilled a lifelong ambition by building his own distillery. He named is Glenfiddich, Gaelic for Valley of the Deer, and on Christmas Day 1887 the first drop flowed from the stills. Today still owned by William Grant’s family, Glenfiddich is the world’s leading single malt.
OUR SOLERA VAT
Unique to Scotch whisky, our hand-crafted Solera Vat marries whiskey matured in three types of oak cask: sherry, bourbon and new oak.The Solera Vat is always kept at least half full, creating a rich and intense whisky, with notes of honey and raisins, which develops greater complexity every year.
Since 2000, Glenfiddich has recieved more awards than any other single malt Scotch Whisky at the International Spirits Challenge and International Wine and Spirit Competition.”
Snarky Editor’s Note: Well if you love your Solera Vat so much why don’t you marry it in sherry, bourbon, and new oak? Seriously though 250+ words? Screw you William Grant
Taste: 5.5 – It feels like the scotch here is a bit like a hybrid. There’s that first initial taste that’s like a lowland, but i quickly moves to the aftertaste.
Aftertaste: 7.0 – Which is almost like an Islay long burn – but the character here is more from the age and not the peat, but both are still there. The warmth is nice as well.
Burn/Smooth: 6.0 – It doesn’t truly burn, but that may be the warmth and peat of the aftertaste.
Aroma: 4.5 – It’s really just sort of there, and while not a bad smell by a long shot, I’d consider it to be subpar by virtue of just not being good enough.
Manliness: 5.0 – That is a lot of wank, and you tend to feel elements like it being first used on Christmas Day to be a bullshit made up story, and the vat talk is at worst overdone, and at best boring. The box and bottle go on as scotches tend to do, but for a 15 year the taste isn’t backing it up as much as it should.
On Rocks: 6.5 – This truly only serves to make what was there more prevalent – which is good, but it doesn’t really make the scotch into something new or better.
Value: 5.0 – It’s not a bad value at that price point, but you better make sure that you get it for that price and your local store doesn’t overcharge because of the 15 year on the bottle.
Google Shop Average: $50
Metric Score: 39.5/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.64 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.0
I do want to remind people that a five truly is an average here, and that we judge based on other single malt scotches of which this is a fine scotch, but it’s middle of the road especially for a 15 year.