Tag Archives: Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #4 Fire And Cane Review

The Glenfiddich Experimental series proved to be so successful that the first 2 expressions in the series (IPA and XX) are still produced and their life support stretch far beyond the experimental state and are unofficially entrenched in the official line up.

The series continued with the expensive Winter’s Storm for 3 batches and now comes the forth and latest release ‘Fire And Cane‘. Here in this release Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman used both peated and unpeated Glenfiddich whisky and finished them for 3 months in rum casks from South America. This a very intriguing release as the combo of peated whisky and rum casks usually play very nice one with each other.

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #4 Fire And Cane (43%, £42.45/€49.90)

Nose: Soft sweet smoke, pears, brown sugar, smoked banana peels (plantain), vanilla, hints of sour fruits (even a bit tropical. Easy going and nice but after a long time in the glass it disappeared almost completely. Continue reading


Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Handfilled Batch #47 (BTC 2017 Day 5)

Last night dram of the BTC 2017 was a nasty surprise from the organizers. Nasty as who would have think of a handfill (!!!) from Glenfiddich distillery (!!!!), no less and no more! As expected, nobody managed to guess the distillery. It was a good dram and it reaffirms my belief from my two last Glenfiddich reviews (here and here) that they should stop chill filtering and bottle in higher strength.

And how did I do with my guess? I got points for region as it was clearly a Speyside offering and totally missed on the ABV. I kind of screwed up on the age guess. I felt it’s low to mid teens offering (I have witnesses for this claim!), but I over thought it and thought maybe it’s younger cask with a mature profile, so guessed too low instead of getting another 30-40 points.

Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Handfilled Batch #47 (56.9%)

Pic of a similar batch. Credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Smooth but also hides lots of energy below the surface, honey, quite a restrained nose. Then fruitiness shows up (still somewhat muted) with pears, apricot and peaches, citrus inner (bitter) peels, bubble gum (think bazooka), cinnamon and nuts. With time fruitier. Continue reading

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish Review

When Struan Grant Ralph, Global Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich, visited Israel last month, I had a rare glimpse into the Glenfiddich 21 Reserve Rum Cask making process. This expression is made from whisky that is matured in ex-bourbon casks for 21 years and then is finished in Rum casks for additional four months before being bottled to create the final result.

Struan brought with him a 21 year old whisky distilled back in 1996 and then matured in ex-bourbon cask (#201). This is one of the casks that is destined to get finished in Rum casks for the Reserva Rum Cask whisky.

Glenfiddich 1996 21 Year Old single cask (54.3%, #201)

Nose: Sweet honey, oak spices, damp wood, nutty, butterscotch, pears, butter and after a few minutes in the glass some fruit perfume.

Palate: Gentle spiciness, white pepper, sweet honey, oak, butterscotch, nutty, very rich and ends with oak spices and cooked pears.

Finish: Medium length, very soft, honey, oak spices, white pepper and nuts.

This is, just like the 19 year old single cask for Project XX tasted in the same sitting, is is the sort of whisky I wish Glenfiddich would release on a regular basis. So this lovely 21 year old whisky is emptied from casks and then finished in Caribbean Rum casks for another few months.

So far so good, but the final result is bottled at 40% and is chill filtered. I think this bodes ill.

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish (40%, £110/$139.99/€147,50)

Continue reading

Glenfiddich Project XX (Experimental Series #2) In Depth Review

Last week, Struan Grant Ralph, Global Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich stopped in our small country during one of his global tour for a series of events organized by the “Hacerem”, the local Glenfiddich Importer. The events focused on the Glenfiddich Experimental Series along with a bonus of rare view on the whisky making progress for Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish.

So it seemed like a good idea and timing to (finally) have an in-depth review of the Glenfiddich Project XX, so I sat down with Struan to discuss the experimental series, project XX and Glenfiddich in the hope to learn something new and indeed, at the end I came out wiser, impressed yet also wishing for a change in Glenfiddich.

Struan on the Experimental Series

As we all know by now, the first two expressions in the Experimental were very successful and the third one (Winter Storm), finished in ice wine casks is now hitting the shelves around the globe. Are you wondering what’s the next one in the series? I wondered too, so I bluntly asked him if he can tell me anything on the next one in the series and to my surprise he didn’t declined to answer and revealed it will be centered around PX casks. Continue reading

Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Cask Review

Until today there was one big distillery never reviewed on Whisky Gospel. Yes, A few years of reviews and still not a single Glenfiddich whisky review here.

It’s not that I didn’t taste Glenfiddich whiskies, after all it’s one of the most popular single malts around the globe and even my brother who doesn’t drink much whisky (I know, a big failure on my behalf) has a Glenfiddich 12 yo bottle at home. But I must admit that those Glenfiddichs I did taste, like the 12 yo, 18 yo and others just didn’t tingle enough my resolve to sit down and write a proper review.

But then Glenfiddich has released their first two experimental series expressions and the one that was finished in IPA casks definitely piqued up my interest. I’ve seen Irish whiskies finished in beer casks like Jameson Caskmates and Scotch blend (Grant’s Ale Cask Finish) but this is the first single malt Scotch whisky ever finished in IPA casks. It was finished in casks that held IPA beer brewed specially for this whisky by Speyside Craft Brewery for three months, and then bottled at 43%. Let’s see if this experimental is successful.

Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Cask (43%, £43.98/€49.95)

glenfiddich-ipa-experimentNose: Malt, citrus bitterness (grapefruit and the white layer between the peels and the fruit meat) with that distinct hops greenery and bitterness. Then comes the fruit sweetness, green and unripe pears and apples and yet behind that initial wave it’s still a very classic Glenfiddich, honey, vanilla, bread, very smooth with a touch of white pepper. After a while in the glass it’s pretty much all classic Glenfiddich with a slight IPA bitterness. Continue reading

Whisky News: Old Pulteney 35 yo, Highland Park Dark Origins, Glenfiddich Excellence 26 and Bowmore Tempest V

Been a while since I collected news on new releases, but in the last 2 weeks there were a couple of important whisky news, so here they are.

Also, did you check my little giveaway? Rules are simple and you may win a whisky bottle!

Old Pulteney Launches Limited Edition 35 Year Old Single Malt

Old Pulteney 35 yoMulti award-winning Old Pulteney Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has added a new, exceptionally rare whisky to its distinguished range, the limited edition Old Pulteney 35 Year Old. Only 450 cases of this outstanding single malt will be rolled out to global markets with a retail price of £500 per bottle.

The embodiment of Pulteney Distillery’s exceptional craftsmanship, this new expression is matured in American ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-sherry casks which have been expertly hand selected by Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring. Each striking 700ml bottle is non-chill filtered at 42.5% ABV. On the palate this full bodied expression is sweet and spicy to start then quickly develops a range of signature Old Pulteney flavours from honey, rum soaked raisins and oranges to the heavier notes of seasoned leather, pralines and a touch of the salty North Sea air. A truly indulgent, perfectly balanced whisky, it has a long slow finish and is light amber in colour.

The eye catching detail and design of the limited edition reflects the brand’s rich maritime heritage, which includes a stunning wooden box with porthole revealing the unique Old Pulteney bottle which carries the classic herring drifter, which has become a symbol of the brand.

Founded in 1826 at the height of Wick’s herring boom, Pulteney Distillery is one of the most Northerly distilleries on the Scottish mainland. It is this unique maritime heritage that gives the whisky its identity as the ‘Maritime Malt’. A long-held favourite tipple for whisky enthusiasts, many say they can taste a faint hint of the sea in Old Pulteney maltsthanks to the Distillery’s windswept location and close proximity to the North Sea.

The launch of the 35 Year Old follows the success of Old Pulteney’s 40 Year Old single malt which was released in 2012, Old Pulteney Senior Brand Manager, Margaret Mary Clarke commented:

“Old Pulteney 35 Year Old is a world class expression and we are delighted to add another high age, limited edition to our existing portfolio.

 From its eye catching packaging to its superior taste, the new malt is a true reflection of Old Pulteney’s outstanding quality and craftsmanship. We are confident that it will take its place amongst the best luxury whiskies available today and cement our position as one of the UK’s top ten single malts.” 





Highland Park announce the launch of a new core expression inspired by the cunning spirit and courageous personality of its founder, Magnus Eunson.

dark originsEstablishing a secret bunker in the hills of High Park in Orkney, Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson became a famed dark distiller back in the late 1700s, creating whisky for the people of Orkney to offer relief from the villainy of the tax collector. By day he workedtirelesslyin his church providing spiritual guidance to the peopleofOrkney, but in the dead of night, he hand crafted what was to ultimately become the best spirit in the world, warming hearts and uniting all who tasted it.

Dark Origins, a stunning, non-chill filtered single malt with an ABV of 46.8%, will start to appear on shelves in July and roll out internationally throughout autumn 2014.

It uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavour with sherried spice, a chocolate twist and the signature sweet smoke fans of the Orcadian elixir have come to know and love.

Highland Park is one of the few distilleries not using distiller’s caramel and so Dark Origins takes its natural colour from the interaction between spirit and cask which Highland Park believes consistently rate amongst the best casks in whisky.

 Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, said: “Cask management is so very crucial to our work at Highland Park. We have strived to raise the bar, working tirelessly in sourcing the right wood and then working and finessing the balances to ensure we create single malt that is rich, warm and enticing in flavour. Dark Origins sits in the heart of our core range complementing them perfectly – distinct in itself, but always and forever a classic Highland Park.”

The official tasting notes:

Colour:                 Rich mahogany

Nose:                    Sherried spice and ripe bananas combine with toasted hazelnuts and baked apple

Palate:                  Well-balanced, dry peat at first mellowing out to maraschino cherries, warm dark chocolate entices the palate

Finish:                  Enduring sweet smoke

Dark Origins will be exclusively available from Harrods from 1st July – 14th July for £64.95. It will then be available from specialist independent whisky retailers, at the Highland Park distillery and www.highlandpark.co.uk thereafter.

Glenfiddich releases 26YO expression

Glenfiddich-Excellence-26-Year-OldGlenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is the first globally-released expression from the Dufftown distillery to be matured exclusively in first fill and refill Bourbon barrels.

Described as having notes of vanilla, toffee, caramelised pineapple and spring blossom on the nose, the 43% abv single malt delivers vanilla, oak and dry tannin qualities on the palate.

Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman said the Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is one of “the most desirable expressions yet”.

“By maturing this expression exclusively in Bourbon casks we’ve created a beautifully intense flavour, reflective of the relentless passion we have for producing single malts.”

Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old will be a permanent addition to the distillery’s range, and will be available from June in select retailers and on-trade accounts in core markets for an RRP of £350.

Communication around the launch of the expression will fall in line with the brand’s recently launched marketing campaign, Family Run since 1887.

“As a family run company, we’ve always challenged established whisky-making norms because we care personally about the quality of our single malts,” said Peter Gordon, Glenfiddich company director.

“We cherish our independence because it allows us to innovate and create superior whiskies, and Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old is a prime example of this.”

The only other expression released by the brand to be matured in American oak is the Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 Year Old Bourbon Cask, which was launched in travel retail in 2012.



Bowmore-tempest-vTempest V is non-chill filtered and aged for 10 years in first fill Bourbon casks and is described as a “true product of its environment,” due to the “detectable” salty ocean breeze and signature dark Islay peat.

As with previous releases in the Tempest collection, Tempest V offers similar characteristics such as mandarin, tangy lime and cassis, while at the same time differentiating itself with a fuller, richer and sweeter first fill Bourbon character.

With a splash of water, Tempest is said to burst with flavours of “tangy seaweed tempered bysweet vanilla ice cream and sugared almonds”.

“It is Bowmore matured in the very highest quality of 1st fill ex Bourbon casks, revealing harmonious and enveloping layers of honeycomb, rich Bourbon vanilla and ripening fruits carried on an ocean breeze,” said Rachel Barrie, master blender.

“Tempest V’s highly complex layers of silky smooth vanilla and luscious fruit-infused peatiness transport you to the elemental beauty of Islay.”

Bottled at 55.9% ABV, Tempest V is currently available from Royal Mile Whiskies, Whisky Exchange, Harrods and Arkwright’s Whisky and Wine at an RRP of £46.99.

Whisky news – Douglas Laing Old Particular, Bowmore Devils casks, Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary Bottling and Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2013 Bottling

Seems like this week distilleries all over were quite busy…

Douglas Laing Old Partiuclar Series Announced

Douglas Laing’s Old Particular is a ‘particularly’ unique series of individually hand-selected aged Single Cask Malts from all over Scotland – each bottled according to the founders’ philosophy of topmost quality. Meaning, Old Particular bottlings are from only one cask, without colouring and without chill filtration – allowing the cask and the naturally present oils, fats and enzymes in the spirit to make their own special contribution to its nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish. Launching this September and available from specialist Whisky retailers, some truly exceptional bottlings feature in this first batch including Malts distilled at Bowmore, Caperdonich and Port Ellen distilleries to name but a few. oldparticular The entire line up for this series is below (ordered by whisky age):

  • OLP0002 Auchentoshan 15 YEARS
  • OLP0021 Braeval 15 YEARS
  • OLP0006 Clynelish 16 YEARS
  • OLP0026 Glen Ord 16 YEARS
  • OLP0018 Arran 17 YEARS
  • OLP0032 Miltonduff 17 YEARS
  • OLP0019 Auchroisk 18 YEARS
  • OLP0023 Caperdonich 18 YEARS
  • OLP0004 Sherry Blair Athol 20 YEARS
  • OLP0025 Glen Keith 20 YEARS
  • OLP0012 Jura 20 YEARS
  • OLP0037 Tomatin 20 YEARS
  • OLP0003 Bladnoch 21 YEARS
  • OLP0028 Glen Garioch 21 YEARS
  • OLP0007 Glen Scotia 21 YEARS
  • OLP0031 Macduff 21 YEARS
  • OLP0005 Bowmore 25 years
  • OLP0014 Tamdhu 25 YEARS
  • OLP0035 Teaninch 30 YEARS
  • OLP0033 Port Ellen 31 YEARS
  • OLP0008 Tobermory 35 YEARS

Morrison Bowmore is to release a special Halloween edition of Bowmore named The Devil’s Casks this October.


Matured exclusively in first fill Sherry casks for 10 years and bottled at a high 56.7% abv, The Devil’s Casks are described as “hot and fiery” with notes of fruitcake, chocolate and dark fruits.

The small batch, limited edition has been created to tell the spooky tale of how the Devil himself was spotted in the round church of Bowmore and chased from Islay onto a paddle steamer carrying a cargo of Bowmore headed for the mainland.

Just 6,000 bottles of the non-chill filtered single malt Scotch have been created, each packaged in a deep red gift box with imagery and text depicting the story.

“Ten years’ maturation in first fill sherry casks has brought out Bowmore’s fiery characteristics,” said Iain McCallum, master of malts for Bowmore. “The notes in this dram are hot and seductive. This small batch release is quite simply, devilishly good.”

Bowmore The Devil’s Casks are being released in October with an allocation of 540 bottles for the UK, carrying an RRP of £50.99.


Glenfiddich125anniversaryThe Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage – part of the Glenfiddich Rare Collection – is a 25-year-old expression first casked in European sherry oak on Christmas Day 1987. Malt master Brian Kinsman then selected a small number of centenary casks so that Glenfiddich founder William Grant’s great-great grandson Peter Gordon and his son Dougal could choose which would become the Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage. Peter Gordon, who is also company director of Glenfiddich, said: “It was an honour to select this whisky – it truly reflects the pioneering spirit that has underpinned our 125 year history and my great-great grandfather’s legacy of making ‘the best dram in the valley’.” With only 286 bottles available, the limited edition expression is said to have notes of fruit cake, almonds, cinnamon, citrus and vanilla on the nose, with spice, sweet sherbet and oak on the palate. “Bottled from just one European oak sherry cask and testament to the uniqueness of this exclusive whisky, Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage has a cask-strength abv of 55.4%. “Glenfiddich has been family-run since 1887 and with the freedom of independence and the foresight of long-term planning, we have created the largest collection of single malt stock anywhere in the world.” Each bottle of Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage is individually numbered and is finished with a rustic copper and blue design. Officially launched on 9/9/2013, the release comes with an RRP of £699.

Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2013 Bottling Announced

lagavulin_jazz_2013_sA special limited-edition bottling of Lagavulin™ single malt Scotch whisky will again be available at this year’s Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival ( #LagavulinJazz ), which starts on Friday 13 September with a concert in the Malt Mill at Lagavulin distillery by the master of American Stride piano, Stephanie Trick. The third in this series of releases, the 2013 bottling comes in an edition of 1,500 individually numbered bottles filled on 19 January 1995 and drawn from hand-selected Sherry Butts. It is bottled at an ABV of 51.9%. “We’re delighted to announce our third Jazz Festival bottling” said Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach. “The first two have been of quite exceptional quality, and this year we’ve increased the quantity to ensure that it can be enjoyed by visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival, and those who follow.” The neck labelling continues the jazz theme of previous editions, again featuring a piano keyboard. Bottles will be available to personal visitors only at Lagavulin distillery (limit of two bottles per customer) at a UK RRSP of £99.