Whiskey Review: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

, | October 5, 2015

Glenfiddich 15 Year OldEditor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

Glenfiddich is a whisky that hardly needs an introduction. Operational since 1887, Glenfiddich revolutionized the world of single malt whisky—and Scotch whisky branding more generally—and continues to remain one of the top selling single malt scotch whiskies in the world.

The Scotch which is the focus of this review, the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old, has taken home a bevy of spirits awards, most notably at the San Francisco world spirits competition in the early 2000s. One of the most archetypal of all Scotch whiskies, Glenfiddich is certainly a behemoth. The prospect of reviewing such a whisky was intense, yet the process was delightful to say the least.

Here are my tasting notes:

Warm and buttery in appearance, Glenfiddich 15 appears younger in the glass than one might imagine considering its age.

Stewed apple and a slightly tart, acrid scent overwhelm at the beginning of nosing. Very dark caramelized wood and a lovely perfumed quality follow. As the whisky opens up, chewy toffee becomes apparent, transforming into the smell of overnight French toast—dense pumpernickel bread soaked in brown sugar and butter caramelizing together in perfect harmony. The butter note sticks in the nose throughout the tasting experience.

On the palate the gritty, nutty aspect of buckwheat plays with burnt caramel and clove. Dense and rich in mouth feel, there is a particular umph that is captured in the whisky. The substantial, chewy nature of the whisky pairs well with the butter and honey that stretch across the palate. Lastly, fig rounds the experience.

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The finish is slightly bitter, yet as soft and buttery as the nose. Mixed peppercorns and salted caramel play up the sweet and salty nature of the finish. Lingering and satisfying, grassiness retains a lasting foothold.

A classic and a delight, Glenfiddich 15 is a whisky I would happily recommend to anyone searching for a hearty unpeated Scotch whisky. I give it a score of 95.

Should you not be able to find a bottle in your area, you can hunt down one for sale online here.

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Savannah Weinstock

I am a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR whose Environmental Studies thesis focused on “Scotch Whisky, Sustainability, and Commodification of Nature & Culture”. While writing my thesis, I spent time living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland where I visited and interviewed distilleries nationwide, concentrating on the...