In a previous review we looked at the Glenlivet 18 which got the Runner-up place in their 13-20 year old category of the Spirit of Speyside whisky awards. So which whisky won then since that was an excellent whisky? Answer left for the user to work out
Glenfiddich is a powerhouse distillery producing industrial quantities of whisky in Dufftown. Glenfiddich has always had a single malt range of products but it also produces for William Grant & Sons portfolio of blends to some extent as well. I go into a lot of detail about the brand in my 18 year review -> Glenfiddich 18 Year Old
The Glenfiddich 15 Solera is the second expression in the core Glenfiddich range. It is bottled at the disappointing legal minimum of 40% ABV with a little dollop of artifical colouring I suspect as well.
The expression is a marriage of ex-sherry and virgin Spanish oak but the most interesting aspect of this bottles name is “Solera”. A Solera system involves decanting barrels into a very large wooden vessel or tun and then bottling the contents from the bottom of the tun. This is all fairly standard but the interesting part is that the tun is never emptied between batches. Since 1998 when this expression arrived on the market the tun has never been less than half full. The advantage of this system is you can further develop the complexity and layers into the whisky has all the batches interact over the years to some (small) extent.
Colour – yellow but there is noticeable red shadow in there aswell
Nose – lots of fruit. pears, tinned peaches in syrup and cooking apples. There is a slight note of charred wood and also pine cones.
Palate – Fairly thin mouth feel which is disappointing. A little raspberry and cherryade. Honey for sure and cinnamon powder.
Finish – the finish lasts longer than I was expecting with more of the boiled fruit flavoured sweet notes. The type which have a kind of cheap chemically after taste going on. Cinnamon is still dominant in the finish though.
I liked this whisky but mostly for the aspects about it which are similar to the 12 year old. In terms of Glenfiddich core range whiskies the 18 year old is much better than both the 12 and this 15. In comparison to the Glenlivet 18 which was beaten in a straight fight at the festival? My money will always be on the Glenlivet there is just more interesting flavours and indeed more alcohol.