Glenfiddich 15, Distillery Edition

Glenfiddich 15, Distillery Edition
As there are so many older and relatively obscure whiskies on my list of potential reviews for January, I thought I’d begin with a more recognizable name: Glenfiddich. However, this is not, alas, one of their regular releases in the US. It used to be but was pulled a few years ago. It can still be found outside the US and at duty-free stores. It is a vatting of whisky matured in bourbon and sherry casks (in what proportion, I do not know) and is, unusually for Glenfiddich, bottled at the higher strength of 51%. My sample came from Michael K.’s bottle (you can read his review here).

Glenfiddich 15, Distillery Edition (51%; from a sample received in a swap)

Nose: A mix of orchard fruit (apples, pears) with rich aromas of pastry crust and vanilla. Gets sweeter as it goes, with honey and golden raisins, but also gets a touch grassy. With more time the fruit gets a bit musky (overripe pear, some citrus) and there’s a mild pepperiness too. A few drops of water make the fruit even more intense. 

Palate: Bright and fruity as promised by the nose but those warmer bakery notes aren’t here. The mouthfeel is nice but the flavours are a little thin. On the second sip there’s more acid, more of the pepper. With a lot of time the citrus comes out to the front but so does that grassy/metallic note that showed up on the nose. Water brings out more of the fruit and pushes the grassy/metallic note back.

Finish: Medium. No new development: the citrus (lime) and pepper fade out together. More intense here too with water.

Comments: This is pretty much what you might expect the 12 yo to be at a higher strength. That is to say, quintessential Speyside malt of its type. It’s not particularly distinguished neat (well, that’s true for the palate and finish anyway: I really liked the nose) but water knits everything together really well. Michael, however, much preferred it neat.

Rating: 85 points.


4 thoughts on “Glenfiddich 15, Distillery Edition

  1. I’m a fan of this one. I certainly prefer it to the 12. I’d love to try a version of the regular solrea vat 15 at a similar strength to this. I think that would be an ideal Glenfid for me!
    Keep on waffling,


  2. Interesting. Very interesting. I was initially rather aggrieved by your mark as I very much enjoyed this drink. I don’t rate or review drinks however I would perhaps loosely (and very subjectively) correlate my enjoyment to be in or around 90 points on your scale. However in an act of restraint not typically seen on the internet, rather than launching straight into a vitriol, I spent some time reading your other reviews for context.‎ Where there is commonality in what we imbibe (namely A’bunadh, Batch 45‎, Glenfarclas 105, Valinch 2011) our ranking is the same (i.e. we both prefer the Glenffidich). If such correlation holds true, all that to say, if the Glenffidich is an 85, I very much look forward to trying the drinks in my cabinet which you rate as 90+.


    • I realize a 100 point scale gives the impression of precision but this is a bit of an illusion. I use it mostly in order to distinguish my preferences more clearly among a lot of whiskies but all my reviews of samples are single snapshots of a particular experience. You shouldn’t set too much store by them: the notes are hopefully more useful. If you don’t recognize (very much of) my notes on a whisky you’ve also tasted then it doesn’t really matter what score I give it.


  3. Pingback: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Distillery Edition – Selfbuilt's Whisky Analysis

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