The Malt Whisky Trail
Have you ever thought about making a whisky holiday pilgrimage to visit some of the most famous names in whisky? I bet you have! There’s quite a few different trips you could do, from island hopping, to mammoth tours all over Scotland… but one great way to see a bunch of great distilleries, along side some fantastic visitor attractions, is to do The Malt Whisky Trail.
The Trail is based around the Speyside area, taking in such names as Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glen Moray and Strathisla, amongst others (go here for the full list). Depending on your time in the area you can always complete the whole list of recommended Trail visits, and could probably fit in a few others as well (let’s face it, in Speyside you can literally throw a stone in any direction and pretty much hit a distillery!).
Glenfiddich 125 Anniversary – 43% abv
Info: Limited edition released in 2012. Glenfiddich have used a combination of peated and unpeated whiskies aged in a large proportion of Spanish ex-Sherry butts, as well as American ex-bourbon casks. No stated age that I’m aware of.
Colour: Golden sunset.
Nose: Fairly well aged malty notes with slight waxy tints and hints of leather, a good nose! Small puffs of peat smoke that really give it a great background with slight grunt, yum.
Palate: Reasonably thick oils and easy going on the palate with enough background spice to keep it interesting. Quite earthy with gentle dunnage style oak notes. Reasonably sweet with late summer fruits and malt, again with just a hint of smoke.
Glenfiddich Experimental Series – IPA Cask Finish – 43% abv
Info: Since at least 2009, Grant’s has had their “Cask Editions – Ale Cask Finish” offering. Now Glenfiddich (the same company as Grant’s) has what they describe as “The first experiment of its kind. Malt Master Brian Kinsman collaborated with Seb Jones, an entrepreneurial Speyside brewer, to create a new craft IPA and pioneer the way for a new kind of single malt scotch whisky”. Hopefully the previous 7 years of experience has helped them in this experiment, let’s see…
Colour: Clear and bright gold.
Glenfiddich Project XX – 47% abv
Info: Don’t let the Glenfiddich Project XX tempt you into thinking this is a 20yo… read on just a wee bit further and you’ll quickly realise this is a blend of Glenfiddich whiskies selected by 20 ambassadors and put together to form this NAS release. “It’s a mix of sherry casks, bourbon casks and more, with a rich and spicy character”. Interesting stuff, those ambassadors should know what they’re on about! It’s bottled at 47% abv, with no chill filtration, good stuff.
Colour: A nice full gold, slight autumnal hints to it.
Nose: Rather a nice nose here, full of flavour. Plenty of malt, and some wine type notes which meander between fruits tones, over to more flinty stone type notes, to fizzy hints and more regular vanilla and cream notes.
Glenfiddich The Original 40%abv
Info: Recreated and inspired by Glenfiddich Straight Malt’s taste profile that was first introduced in 1963. NAS.
Colour: Lightly golden to straw.
Nose: Much more of a wine-like hit on the nose to start with than I was expecting. Closely followed up by malt, a handful of nuts, touches of smoke (cask char? a tiny bit of peated malt?), and hints of cut grass and leather. Back to white wine type notes again before back to mashed malt and a fudgey sweetness which comes out after a while.
Palate: It’s medium oily on the palate, thicker than I expected for 40%. It’s very easy, fairly velvety with just a mere hint of spices followed by the grassy malt and some brown sugar sweetness. Not much of the wine found on the nose at first, although after more time in the glass and in your mouth it’s certainly there if you look, it’s rather nice.
Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1992 Single Cask – Whisky Shop Exclusive – 56.3%
First off let’s take a quick tour of the info about this release, followed by my notes and thoughts below…
Recently The Whisky Shop team and one lucky customer, Neil Cromarty, joined Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, to select a single cask Glenfiddich to be bottled exclusively for The Whisky Shop. The cask they chose was a refill bourbon cask filled on 13th March 1992, the year that The Whisky Shop was founded. 1992 was the year the cold war officially ended; the year South Africans voted to end apartheid; the year Disneyland Paris opened and the year Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.
Glenfiddich’s core range reviewed (12yo, 15yo & 18yo)
A while back someone mentioned to me that I should review more core ranges, including whiskies from my own stock and not just PR samples that are sent to me for review. Well here’s one such review… Glenfiddich. Very well known, and easily available via supermarkets at good prices. A whisky that many malt whisky drinkers will have tried from time to time, or maybe even started their malt journey with.
Let’s take a look at the main three expressions from their standard range…
(Scroll on down for my review…)
Glenfiddich has launched The Cask Collection, three new whiskies comprising of Glenfiddich Select Cask, Glenfiddich Reserve Cask and Glenfiddich Vintage Cask. These are Glenfiddich’s first no-age-statement range of single malts and have been released into the global travel retail market; a range the company is calling its “most innovative launch of the year”.
The trio will become the core range representing Glenfiddich in travel retail, and will replace 12yo, 15yo Solera and Rich Oak on travel retail shelves.