So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Merry Christmas and Cobra Whisky / Glenfiddich 30 yo

Having a flu at Christmastime is no fun – every drink smells of acetone. Still, festive cheer is always a reason to celebrate and if the Christmas spirit doesn’t warm you, you could always turn to spirits at Christmas, like this Cobra and Scorpion Whisky I found in Phnom Penh. NAS for 10 USD.



Kidding of course, no way I’ld hazard that!

Instead, and now that I’ve recovered: Glenfiddich 30 yo, circa 2012, 40% with wood presentation box.

Glenfiddich does not need an introduction – it is one of the most overlooked Scotch whiskies around, something that is unavoidable when its triangular bottles are stocked in (almost) every bar and bottleshop. Most of us have heard its remarkable success story: One of the first to market a Single Malt in 1963, it led the way in the creation of the category and is today the world’s best selling single malt, and is clearly a recognized industry leader. Also it is still privately owned by William Grant and Sons, the company set up by the founder’s family.

All this whisky must come from somewhere and Glenfiddich has 5 wash and 8 spirit stills that remain gas fired and working 24/7. At one point in 1983, it had 29 operating stills! (Edit: Brand Ambassador Matthew Fergusson-Stewart has cleared this up for me, 28 working stills of which 13 are direct fired, since the 80s). So quaint little distillery it is not:

The distillery on a rainy day mid September 2014:


IMG_0132 IMG_0130 IMG_0129 IMG_0127


And the Still House, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Glenfiddich 12 is something most whisky drinkers would have had. It is light and fruity fresh, lets see about the 30:

IMG_1083 IMG_1081


Nose Nose: Supple and feminine smooth. On the light side but by no means lacking, its complexity is immediately obvious and perfectly balanced. Upliftingly fresh, estery even, with meadow flowers and apple blossoms. New calfskin gloves, and sherry: Gingered plum jam, rich and christmasy spicy sweet. The sherry is in perfect balance, being part of the act rather than the prima donna. Old wood, the 30 years is telling! Also quite a lot of crackling toffee and caramelising bananas. American oak. Finally old dry lacquered cabinets again.

Taste Palette: Again sweet and smooth as per the nose, though less expressive. Here the sherried elements step forward: Ginger, desert spice, plum juice, chocolate. Also rhubarb and old wood. It seems whisky is a solvent for wood and time.

Finish Finish: Long and lightly sweet, gingery, juicy aftertaste.



The low abv does hurt this whisky I think, particularly for a light style like Glenfiddich. Nonetheless in terms of balance and complexity, it exists as an example of excellent blending. If anything it is just a little too close to mundanely great, you know as opposed to excitingly great. Come on Glenfiddich, if people are spending on something this old, be earnest and make it cask strength.







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This entry was posted on December 28, 2014 by in Glenfiddich and tagged .
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