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William Grant’s Glenfiddich
Welcoming 2018 with an affordable 18 year old single malt from one of the most famous distilleries in the world…
Born in Dufftown in 1839, William Grant spent much of his youth working on the family farm. Then, in 1886, at the age of 27, he struck out on his own and gained employment as a clerk at Mortlach distillery. During his 20 years with the business, Grant began to foster notions of creating his very own distillery and in 1886, his destiny came calling…
Grant had worked hard to save what money he could over his professional life so when he heard that Cardhu distillery was up for sale, he wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass him by. Cardhu was stripped of its equipment and Grant immediately got to work on constructing his own distillery in a field to the north of Dufftown. A burn from the River Fiddich provided all the water he needed and spirit finally ran from his stills for the very first time on Christmas Day of 1887.
Grant passed away in January of 1923 but left behind a distillery in rare health which rests, even today, in the ownership of his descendants. Glenfiddich is the largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland, with an annual capacity of some 13 million litres, while the product itself is the best selling single malt brand in the world, with 1.21 million cases sold in 2016 alone.
Glenfiddich’s 18 year old single malt has been matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso casks and bottled at 40% abv.
Smell: Fresh Fruits… Apple, Pear & Lemon. Subtle Sherry influence, Touch of Grassy Malt and Vanilla.
Taste: Apple, Lemon and Pineapple, Vanilla and prominent Oak with subtle Spice.
Thoughts: Credit where it’s due, this is one of the more affordable 18-year-olds at around £65 – £70. I must confess that I would prefer to see a higher bottling strength for that price but this isn’t aimed at the snobby connoisseur. Those who regularly enjoy a dram of the 12-year-old and wish to treat themselves to something special will no doubt enjoy this and they’ll feel like they’ve got value for money because it’s sensibly priced in comparison with their usual tipple. It’s not a dram I’d seek out on a regular basis but I still thoroughly enjoyed my wee miniature.
I think it’s easy for people to take pot shots at Glenfiddich but the whisky world needs the big brands just as much as it needs the small craft producers. Perhaps one cautionary word of warning, the low strength and pleasant flavour make the 18-year-old ridiculously drinkable. You may find your £70 bottle doesn’t last quite as long as you’d hoped.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.
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