Posted By Charlie on November 21, 2011
The vital stats
Country of origin: Scotland
Region of origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Age: 12 years in new oak
Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
ScotchInfo.com score: 78/100
Packaging: The round tube contains the three-sided green bottle. The cork opens easily after removing the cap revealing a slightly larger than normal mouth on the bottle.
After removing the seal I found that mine left a little ridge that would poke my hand when I removed the cork stopper. This is the only bottle in my vast collection of whiskys to have had this behavior. I’m hoping it was just a bad sample that didn’t tare as it was designed.
To the eye: The sunlight color is well known to come from addatives so who can be sure of its natural color, but it is made to look the part of a good 12 year vintage.
Nose: Apples and pears coated in honey with vanilla clearly backing it up.
Palate: A spicy fruit, particularly apple but perhaps pear. A hint of honey is present behind the spice. Although it is smooth and creamy for a 12 Year, the spice is fighting the fruit.
Finish: A little bit of a nutty oak wood is present during the medium finish.
Overall: This is a pretty good scotch for a 12 year. Not the greatest of this vintage, but when its price (roughly $30~$40US per bottle) is factored in, then in a ratio of price to performance it is a good buy. It has enough complexity to it to be enjoyable and as a top-shelf mixer it can’t be beat with Coke or even a little Tripple Sec and bitters.
Finding it: The Glenfiddich 12 Year is widely available, in fact it is one of the most popular single malts in the world and thus it is at every bar and liquor store the world over.
Who would like it: This a good introductory single malt, especially if the taster might not like peat flavors found in the Islay bottlings. It might be too spicy for some so perhaps something with some sherry aging would be a slightly better first-timer scotch, but given the availability this is still a good whisky.
Who wouldn’t like it: If you demand very smooth, very sweet, very complex, or lots of peat then you should look elsewhere.
Pairing: You can enjoy this scotch paired in a mixed drink or with some salty peanuts.
I have no objections to a first-timer enjoying this drink on the rocks, especially since its alcohol content is 40% and might be above what someone is accustomed to drinking.
Yes, that’s right, I’m not objecting to the use of ice with scotch. Many people look down their noses at those who enjoy a dram on the rocks, but if that’s how you enjoy it, who am I to tell you that you’re happiness is wrong? And for the newcomers to world of scotch, I’ve never heard of something being scared off by a drink being too easy to sip or enjoy but I know of many that find trying one harsh drink will keep them from ever trying another one like it again. (For more information about how to best enjoy scotch, please see this other post)
Other comments: This the best selling single malt scotch in the world, and its popularity is well deserved. It isn’t harsh and it is a great “Welcome!” to any first time single malt taster.
What others are saying: Overall, I agree with much of what this reviewer had to say and their report is well written, too.
Many blogs really rip on this whisky but many reviews are poorly written by anonymous folks so I won’t link to them. I did find that the ScotchNoob rating was well written in their “Not Recommended” conclusion, even if I don’t fully agree with that conclusion.
In looking around at various anonymous web reviews I thought I had the highest rating, but then I found this review.
This review is outstanding and I think I’m going to have to look into more of their reviews in the near future as I really like their writing style and their observations are excellent. Perhaps it is because I’m a geek as well that I like their writing so much.
So it seems that my findings are not in line with the mass of haters out there, but I’m clearly not the biggest fan, either.