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Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 Year Old

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9 Reviews

Brand: Glenfiddich Distillery / Type: Whisky

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    9 Reviews
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      23.02.2013 14:16
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      a good baseline whiskey, but there are more interesting options out there

      I am very very very new to whiskey, having only drank it for about 2 months (since christmas 2012) and I refrained from trying Glenfiddich (pronounced 'glen-fid-ick' not glen-fid-dick'!) because it reminded by of the whiskey you find at duty free next to barcardi breezers.

      After doing some reading I found it interesting to note that although i'm not wrong in associating it with duty free, but I should actually be thankful for that because during the 60's and 70's many of the smaller independent whiskey distilleries were going out of business, so in order to survive Glenfiddich has to adapt to the changing market. They were the first distillery to use heavy advertisement, to welcome tourists to the distillery, to market their product in gift packaging, and also the first to capitalise on the expanding duty-free market. By scaling production up massively, and packaging in the distinctive triangular bottle, the marketing strategy worked and they became the dominant force in Whiskey, they account for 35% of wordwide sales, and are the worlds best selling single malt scotch.

      I was left still thinking that it must be the barcardi of the whiskey world, and shouldn't be drunk by anyone who wants to look knowledgeable, but my friend (the whiskey buff) gave me permission so I gave it a go.

      With so much invested in marketing and being the world number one whiskey, how would it taste? As a speyside it's less love-it-or-hate-it than the islay whiskeys, and the taste is actually pretty uninspiring, normal, standard, average. It is to be expected from such a popular whiskey as mass market triumphs over niche but after sticking with smaller brands I was actually surprised at how boring this way. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad whiskey at all, the opposite in fact, but it just tastes as whiskey should, it's not an eye opener like some of the stronger tasting options. I'm finding it difficult to write anything on the taste as i can hardly remember it (not because I was drunk, but because i'd had more memorable whiskey's that night). Just try it, if you like whiskey you won't hate it, and if you don't like whiskey it will either ease you in gently or you'll put it back on the shelf saying to yourself "yes I definitely don't like whiskey", but if thaot's what you do then go out and try a bowmore and a laphroaig and see how those treat you.

      Glenfiddich means 'valley of the deer' in gaelic, hence the stag logo on the bottle. The bottle design is distinctive with it's shape and prominent branding.

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      29.10.2012 16:59
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      A mouth-numbing experience!

      I don't drink much but I do like the odd tot of whiskey.  I only ever buy Glenfeddich and one bottle lasts us quite a while, around a year.  I use it more for its "medicinal" purposes, I find it's good for sore throats and mouth ulcers, numbs the pain, and if I have been sleeping badly I find a tot before bedtime helps me get a better night's sleep.

      ~About Glenfeddich~
      Glenfeddich comes in a range of blends and ages.  The most delicious blend of all is the whiskey liqueur, however this seems to be impossible to purchase in England.  Therefore I settle for the "Special Reserve 12 Year Old" blend which is a good compromise between cost and taste.  Glenfeddich is also available in reserves of 15, 18, 21 and even 50 years, however the price goes up dramatically with age.

      ~How Do You Make Glenfeddich?~
      1) Malting and fermentation:  Ripe barley is steeped in water for two days, which triggers germination. The barley is then left to germinate for four to five days, which starts the conversion of natural starch into sugar. This results in 'green malt' which is then dried over fire, and delivered to the Distillery as malted barley.

      2) Inside the Mash House: there are two essential ingredients in Glenfiddich's single malt whiskey, barley and soft clear water.  The barley is malted into 'grist', a coarse flour which is then mixed with sprin water from the nearby Conval Hills.  It is then poured into giant mash tuns which mash and sift to ensure good sugar drainage.  Heat completes the process of turning starch to sugar, which dissolves the water producing a sweet liquid called 'wort'.  The wort is drained and cooled and made ready for fermentation.

      3) Fermentation
      Fermentation takes place in the 'washbacks' where yeast is added to the wort as it is pumped from a cooler into the washback fermentation vessels.  As fermentation takes place the liquid heats to around 33 degrees Celsius bubbling and creating a large frothy head of foam.  After 64 hours the bubbling subsides leaving a brown liquid similar to beer called 'wash'.

       4) Distillation: this takes place in the still house, where the wash is distiller in copper pots stills.  The stills are heated by direct fire from under the base of the still and the still is gradually heated until the alcohol turns to vapour.  The vapour the rises through a narrowing funnel into a water-cooled condenser where the vapour turns into an immediate liquid know as 'low wines'.  This low wines contains about 21% alcohol.  The process is then repeated in smaller stills this time trickling into a brass and glass 'spirit safe' - whiskey has now been born.

      5) Coopering and Maturation: At this point the spirit is reduced to around 63% alcohol by adding the spring water into oak casts.  The oak casts mature and mellow the whiskey allowing it to breathe, soften and assume subtle flavours.  The alcohol is realised from the cask at roughly 2% every year to around 40% for the 12 year matured whiskey.

      Finally, the whiskey is bottled and distributed all over the world.

      ~History~
      Glenfeddich Distillery was funded in 1886 by William Grant by the River Feddich.  Glenfeddich is distilled in pre-used oak caskets often used before for making rum in the Caribbean, barrels from American Bourbon whiskey or sherry butts from Spain.  This is still the case today.  It is sold in 180 countries worldwide and accounts for 35% of all single malt whiskies sold.

      ~How Does it Smell and Taste?~
      Great!  I love the aroma, which is strong and fruity, apparently with a hint of pear, which I didn't pick up.  It's strong stuff at 40% and I find a good sniff of it will clear the airways!  The taste is as pungent as the smell, its by no means subtle with a sweet fruity flavour of malt and tones from the oak casket.  It gives my mouth a shock on entering and then a rather satisfying warmth followed by a slight numbness.  It's a very smooth whiskey and one of the most drinkable brands I've tried.

      ~Does it Cast a Spell on Me?~
      Well it's certainly at the very least a mouth-numbing experience, but a find that even one tot gives me a very happy but relaxed feeling - can feel the alcohol running through my veins!  Any more than a couple of tots and the "more than mildly tipsy" spell would definitely be upon me.

      ~Summary~
      A must have for my alcohol collection, it's not cheap at around £30 for a 70cl bottle, but often I can get it on special offer in Waitrose.  Lasting about a year it doesn't facilitate an expensive drinking habit, more of a much deserved odd sniffle.  

      Has it cast it's spell on me? Sure has!

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      24.02.2010 17:45
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      A great malt

      Until about 5 years ago if I was asked if I wanted a whisky, or if I was to buy whisky I wouldn't have really cared about the make. I mean a whisky is a whisky - right? Wrong. Unless you have tried a 12 year old malt or older you have never really lived. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is today consumed by more people around the world than any other single malt whisky and that is for only one reason. Absolute quality!

      I have tried older malts from Glenfiddich but as this review is on the 12 year version I will keep my review to this.

      The 12 year old malt comes in several sizes. The smallest is the 35cl, the next size up is 70cl and the largest is 1litre. I usually buy the largest which at present costs £25 in Tesco. They say the price should be £39.99 and it has been reduced by £14.99, but I have never paid this much. On Glenfiddichs website it is sold for £26.69.

      Upon buying the whisky you will find that it comes boxed. Most of the better malts come in boxes. It is a mixture of black and very dark green with Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky emblazened across the front. It also says that it is a 12 year malt. It proudly has their signature William Grant and Sons - product of Scotland underneath.

      Upon opening the box you will be met by a bottle and a small booklet. If you do buy this product remember to ask if the security tab has been removed. These are often added by stores in case they are shop lifted. I have found on more than one occasion that the tab has been left on and they are difficult to remove.

      In order to open the bottle you need to remove the foil protecting the cork top. It isn't like other cheap brands were you have a screw top.

      You will instantly be hit by the gorgeous smell of malt. The website says that you will be hit by 'a touch of pear in the nose, followed by a distinctive, well-balanced flavour of rich fruit, subtle pine and a hint of peatiness'. I won't disagree with that. The colour is a nice golden colour.
      I personally like a good sized measure when I have a drink. Usually a double - double in my favourite whisky glass. This malt is certainly not for mixing. It is for those who love the nice silky feeling of malt. It has a lovely mature and smooth taste.

      I love to have a drink of Glenfiddich. I also like to have it late of night, usually when the kids have gone to bed. There really is nothing like sitting back in complete peaceful surroundings with a glass of glenfiddich.

      Five star!!!

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      13.11.2009 18:07

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      Great value and enjoyable. My yardstick for a successful drink.

      This was the first Scotch I bought and I was impressed with it. But back then i didn't have all that much experience. Recently I was given another bottle for my birthday. A friend came over to try all the other whiskeys i got for my birthday and this was defiantly our favorite. Compared to Jack Daniels; Aberlour 10; Bushmills 16; Glenmorangie 10; and Macallan 10, this Whiskey had such a good taste. It is smooth and fruity. The other scotch whiskeys tasted similar. But this had a unique natural taste. Subtle but not bland. Much darker colored than Macallan. Very similar taste to Glenlivet but so much more complex in terms of after taste.

      After tasting 4 different whiskeys in quick succession, the alcohol had kicked in and they began to taste the same. But Glenfiddich stood out so much. Its my most favorite Scotch and its going to take something very special to change my mind. If you want to start your scotch collection, start here.

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      28.05.2009 16:22
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      A good all round whisky

      Have been a fan of Whisky for around about 8 years now. There are so many to try and different version etc... Am really into my Islay single malts and a few others, have always avoided Glenfiddich for some reason. But I recently tried someones and was very impressed, so i got myself some! Whilst this is by no means my favorite whisky, it is one I think I would buy again. It has that hint of peatiness that always tends to win me over.

      So what's it like, well have a read.

      Colour: Light goldy amber kinda look.

      Taste: Pear, granny smith apple, crisp biscuit, Caramel, grass? Hints of spice in there and a pepper finish, and as I said that slight hint of pete. We love you pete!!

      It leaves a ncie finish that lingers in the mouth, no unpleasent burn or anything like that, leaves behind a pepper taste.

      This is really a whisky that you must add a splash of water too. I often say that but with this whisky it makes a big difference. Just a small drop to turn the whisky cloudy. It really brings out the flavor in Glenfiddich and makes it more complex whilst at the same time makes the drinnk less harsh.

      Price wise, its about middle of the range. You can get a bottle for about £25 but as this is such a well known whisky and a popular one, it is often on offer and you can always pick it up for cheaper if you have a look around. you should be looking at closer to £20.

      There are quite a few different versions of Glenfiddich to try. Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 Years Old is one that is rather good! Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve 18 Years Old and Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 Years Old are great if you want to splash out a little. There is also a 30 year bottle if you really want to go for it!

      Overall a very nice whisky, plenty of flavor, and well worth a try!

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        01.02.2007 00:40
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        Overview of Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 Year Old

        Whisky drinkers conjure up all kinds of images. From retired, bumbling drunken characters from the Paul Whitehouse school of comedy genius to Injuns drinkin’ the ‘ole fire water whilst the cowboys steal their guns. I’d like to think that I don’t fit into either category but then you never know how metaphorically people may view you. The truth in all of this is I like whisky. If I’m honest, I’m hardly a connoisseur and this is made obvious by my rather uncouth longing for blended whisky as opposed to malt. However, when given malt as a gesture of friendship or even as a gift for a special occasion then I’m hardly likely to look a gift horse in the mouth and that’s exactly the position I’m in post-Christmas with a wonderful bottle of Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 Year Old.

        For anyone unsure of the difference between blended and malt whisky (and why should you?) then blended generally has a ratio of malt to grain of 60% grain to 40% malt where the percentage of malt used will determine the quality and smoothness of taste and character. Each whisky used in the blending process will normally have been matured for about 5 years, however there are a number of higher aged blended scotch whiskies available. Single malt whiskies are the product of one specific distillery and has not been mixed with whisky from any other distilleries. Single malt Scotch is distilled in a pot using malted barley as the only grain ingredient. As with any Scotch whisky, a Single Malt Scotch must be distilled in Scotland and matured in wood for at least three years (in our case - 12 years). "Malt" indicates that the whisky is distilled from a single "malted" grain and "single" indicates that all the malts in the bottle comes from a single distillery.

        Glenfiddich was realized in 1886 when William Grant bought some land near the river Fiddich in Speyside right in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The distillery that was built there produced it’s first malt whisky one year later. In 1905 the operation expanded overseas to Canada and the US. Over the ensuing years, Glenfiddich has become synonymous with the finest of malt whiskies and the 12-Year-Old is one of the most popular of the Glenfiddich product range. With a string of awards including more Gold Medals than any other manufacturer at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2005, Glenfiddich retains its quality brand association that drives demand and keeps its price high. Curiously, this 12-year-old tipple wasn’t exported to England until 1963! Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 Year Old is the world’s favourite single malt whisky available in over 180 countries around the world and is the only Highland single malt to be distilled, matured and bottled at its own distillery.

        And so for the taste. Well, I like my whisky neat and unencumbered but most folks drink it with a drop of water to taste or even orange as whisky can be quite sharp when you aren’t used to it. Others prefer a drop of lemon or maybe ice too; whichever it is, drinks like Glenfiddich should be savored in a whisky tumbler sat in front of a log fire, out on the banks of a Scottish river or simply whilst in company and probably after a nice meal. I generally go for the last option as I don’t have a log fire or live in Scotland. *rolls eyes* Whisky is designed for sipping rather than anything more brusque and woe betide anyone getting hammered on whisky as you will know about it in the morning (NOT recommended bearing in mind it‘s 40% abv). As you take a sip of your fire water, you will notice a hint of pear followed by the distinctive flavour of rich fruit, subtle pine and a hint of peatiness. With most whiskies you will get a long, lingering and rounded aftertaste and for the uninitiated, this is usually observed by a shudder when you aren’t used to it. Personally, I love the initial kick you get from a wee dram although malt is a more subtle drink than its blended cousins like Jameson’s and Famous Grouse (I like both of those brands too). The peatiness in the taste differentiates the various malt whiskies from the different parts of Scotland according to the water/soil that played a part in the distillation process of the whisky.

        Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old Special Reserve is available in most supermarkets, off-licenses and from the optics in many pubs. The bottles are beautifully designed in incandescent green bottles with the famous Glenfiddich logo including a picture of a stag just above the brand name. The bottle will be inside a predominantly black cardboard tube decked out in the corporate livery to retain the brand identity as well as keeping it attractive to purchase. Prices will vary for a 750ml bottle and is advertised as £22.99 from the Glenfiddich web site. As ever it pays to shop around and see if you can snare a wee bargain for yer bottle full o’ drams. Glenfiddich is the Scottish King of the malt whiskies and for whisky drinkers, an essential brand and drinking experience. For everyone else it’s an acquired taste but once you’ve acquired it, you won’t want to let go.

        Thanks for reading

        Mara

        More info at: http://uk.glenfiddich.com/enjoy/range/special_res.html

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          08.01.2003 17:02
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          I have to admit to having a weakness for whisky. I?m not a big drinker, but when the cold weather comes I do like to get a good single malt whiskey in to fight off the cold nights. This christmas our friends bought us a bottle of Glenfiddich Pure single Malt, Special Reserve. Having bought this brand before I know that a bottle of this will set you back around 20 to 25 pounds depending on where you but it, sometimes you can get it at Safeways on offer for 19.99p Glenfiddich comes in a black canister with the words Glenfiddich written in white and has a picture of a stag in gold on the front, this is an unmistakable canister. There is a crest with a shield and two men with clubs standing each side of it on the front and lid and also on the bottle top. The words stand fast are written in a scrawl at the bottom of the crest. This is a 12 year old scottish single malt, the bottle inside is dark green and the black crested lid is a twist off one. William Grant and sons Ltd are the family thay have been producing Glenfiddich for 5 generations. You can also buy a 15 year 18 year or a 30 year old single malt. Their web site is www.glenfiddich.com if you want to visit it. It is made with the finest barley, clear spring water and is distilled in copper pot stills. Then it is stored in oak casks and left to mature for 12 years. The taste is divine, a smooth warm fruity liquid, with a hint of pears and just a little hint of peatiness. The colour is a deep amber and the smell is very suble as you swish it around the glass. Glenfiddich is matured and bottled at its own distillary and the pure Conval Hills spring water is used from start to finish. If you like the taste of whisky, then I would not hesitate to recommend this one to you. Blended whisky?s are not even in this league. Any whisky drinker will say the same, and if your looking for a cosy night infront of the open fire, theres no better companion t
          han a Glenfiddich. Served in coffee, with hot water, on it?s own or with coca cola. Light the fire, turn off the t.v . and cuddle up with your loved one and a warming Glenfiddich.

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            25.09.2001 05:41
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            Glenfiddich is the perfect blend of availability, quality, and value for the beginner scotch drinker. This simple single malt has been around for a century, and comes from the Speyside glen of the river Fiddich, hence the name. You can purchase a bottle in just about any liquor store, as this is the most exported single malt scotch whisky from the UK. It will probably run you 18-25 pounds per bottle, depending on the store, for a standard 750mL size. They also come in a full 1 liter size as well as miniatures that will allow you to have one shot's worth for a first taste. Glenfiddich has all the basic characteristics of an authentic single malt scotch, it just doesn't stand up to the quality of the 6 classic malts and other scotches such as Bowmore. In either case, Glenfiddich has a fairly aromatic presence, and it's right down the middle when it comes to all other scotch qualities. It has a medium finish, some peatiness, and it goes down rather gently, unless you buy the 102 proof cask strength type. Because this scotch is so average in all aspects, it is the best way for beginner connoisseurs to become familiar with the world of scotch. Once you try Glenfiddich, you have the baseline for comparing other scotches and finding the qualities that are most enjoyable to you. Most people I know like to drink scotch in general on ice, but I prefer it straight. Again, try it both ways and see how you like it. Cheers.

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              15.03.2001 18:34
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              I am a bit sentimental about Glenfiddich. When I was born, my grandfather went to the offy and asked them for their finest bottle of whisky, which happened to be Glenfiddich. Whether he wished to celebrate or drown his sorrows on seeing me has not been recorded for posterity. Now, a mere twenty five years later, there would hopefully be a wider selection and the off-licence proprietor would probably have come up with something more expensive, but at the time it was evidently the drink to be seen with. The second part of my sentimental relationship with Glenfiddich started when I was about 14 or 15 and had to accompany my olds on holiday to the promisingly-named Dufftown. We traipsed round numerous distilleries, all of them very similar as far as I can remember, so that my parents could get the sample at the end and decide which whiskies to purchase. I was too young to get a dram of my own (they tried to feed us orange juice – pah!) but I persuaded my dad to let me have a sip of his. He said “You won’t like it” as parents always do, but actually I did like it – rather a lot. Welcome to the slippery slope, kid. That sip was Glenfiddich, and for a long time it had its place as my favourite whisky (until it got rudely booted out by Bunnahabhain about a year ago). But enough of the anecdotes – they don’t really tell you much about the drink, do they? Glenfiddich is generally considered to be the best-known Scottish malt whisky in the world, and is also the biggest-selling. This has the advantage of making it readily available in off-licences and supermarkets, but the disadvantage of lumping you in with all the ordinary joes if you buy it. If you want to be a bit eccentric or just different, then Glenfiddich won’t go very far towards achieving that. If you just want a whisky which you’ll like to drink, however, you might have better luck. Glenfiddich is a fairly pale whisky whose app
              earance complements its light, cheerful taste. It is a good one to begin with if you have suddenly acquired an ambition to become a whisky connoisseur and don’t know where to start. It is inoffensive, by which I don’t mean that it is weedy or tasteless, just that it has the quality of appealing to a wide range of palates – experienced and inexperienced alike. There is a very mild peatiness to it but this is balanced by an over-riding sweetness. I think it is this combination which makes it such a wide-ranging and popular drink. I am a bit concerned about Glenfiddich’s shift in image – I don’t believe that the quality has deteriorated in the slightest, but the label has become ubiquitous and perhaps a little downgraded as a result. If all and sundry like it, can it really be anything special? I know that sounds snobby but I would no longer buy a bottle of Glenfiddich for someone very keen on malt whisky (unless it was their particular favourite) because I think it would look as though I’d just grabbed the first one I saw off the shelf and hadn’t put any thought into it. The distillery has perhaps cottoned on to this as it is producing a wider selection of "special" whiskies of varying ages and labels. On the other hand, if you are buying it as a present, you can be reasonably safe in the assumption that the recipient will like it, which is ultimately the most important consideration. Glenfiddich’s universal appeal is good news for the distillery and has probably played its part in prompting other distilleries to make their products more widely available in England and abroad – so I shouldn’t really complain too much about its popularity. Glenfiddich benefits from clever marketing which has made it a household name. It is a shame that this has also made it seem a bit “ordinary” as I still find it to be a good quality, pleasant drink. It is not currently my favouri
              te malt, because my tastebuds seem to have decided of their own accord to wander away from Speyside, but it will always have a special place in my heart as my first love of the whisky world

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            • Product Details

              Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 Year Old has a fresh and fragrant nose with a touch of pear. It has a distinctive, well-balanced taste with rich fruit flavours, subtle pine and a hint of peatiness. It has a long, lingering, round aftertaste.