Glenfiddich (US Exclusive Bourbon Barrel Reserve) 14yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750mL

The image below does a decent job of catching how blue and striking this case and bottle are, but it’s certainly not the same thing. One would think something like this would have happened before what with the whole movie industry getting behind the teal-and-orange color palate, but it’s refreshing to see on a liquor store shelf. The scotch overall though is classic ‘fiddich.

Which is to say mostly above average, but in a crowded field where others can shine. While it’s certainly not as inoffensive as a Highland Park, from our reviews of the standard 12 year, and the 15 year Solera Vat – there’s just something that always holds Glenfiddich back from being amazing. It’s never a defining characteristic though, and maybe that’s why we’ve narrowed on the striking color, because sadly the scotch within isn’t as striking.

 

What they Say: “After 14 years maturing in casks that previously held bourbon, our malt master Brian Kinsman finishes our Scotch Whisky in deep charred new American Oak barrels from Kentucky for a rich, sweet and vibrant malt.

After 14 patient years, our whisky has beautiful deep sweet flavors of creamy toffee and our signature ripe summer fruit. Finishing in new American oak barrels from Kentucky wakes it up with a bold vanilla punch, overlaid with notes of fresh oak and velvety caramel.

By being family run, we’ve always had the freedom to work with people who share our values. That’s why Brian sources the new American oak barrels for this whisky directly from the Kelvin Cooperage, itself a family run company, in Louisville, Kentucky. Their commitment to quality ensures the perfect marriage of American oak and Scotch whisky.”

Editor’s Note: The bottle has the first paragraph on the back.

 

Taste: 6.0 – It starts off relatively tame with a decent mix of smoke, malt, and the heat that starts to shine in the aftertaste.

Aftertaste: 7.5 – Here you don’t get that sherry I thought I smelled, but you do get the heat almost like this came from a high proof bourbon. There’s a lingering smoke that stays in your nose as well. It’s the signature part of the whisky, and it’s enjoyable for it.

Burn/Smooth: 8.0 – This doesn’t really burn, but that heat aftertaste is coupled with a very long-lasting warmth. This is a rainy-day read-a-book and warm the cockles of your heart whiskey.

Aroma: 4.5 – So this is done with two barrels, a bourbon and new oak barrel; however you wouldn’t know it from the smell which seems more akin to a sherry casked scotch. It’s nice enough, and it feels like there’s heat here.

Honesty: 8.0 – So here’s the thing. Yes this wanks very hard over the bourbon and finishing oak barrels. Yes the words toffee, vanilla, and caramel are tossed around. Yes there’s awards and such. However you get that iconic Glenfiddich triangle barrel shape, and that color scheme. Here it’s all about aesthetic of a scotch. Sorry but that case and bottle literally pop of the shelf, and to deny how good it looks would be a lie. Of course we still need to take points off because of the first 2 sentences here.

Mixability: 5.5

W/ Rocks: 5.5 – So that certainly opens up the whiskey, walking back some of that overproof heat like feeling. However while it does grow on you – I think I prefer this neat.

Value: 6.0 – You know, for a 14 year old single malt – that’s not a damn bad price at all. In comparison to the other Glenfiddich’s we’ve done (The 12yr and 15yr Solera Vat) I would say this is the one to buy; however there are others at this price.

Google Shop Average: $55

Website: http://www.glenfiddich.com/

 

Reviewer Scores:

BuffaloJern: 6.0

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Metric Score: 45.5/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.5 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.0

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Final Thoughts: I bought this because it literally stood out among the rest of the shelf, and I am glad to have done so. However while it certainly fares better than it’s 12 or 15 year old cousin, it’s still not a great scotch. A good one, and one worth your time and money to try and let sit on your shelf for a while. However it’s not likely one you’ll keep coming back too, or buy for that special occasion.

BuffaloJern

I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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