The name means “Valley of the Deer”, and the deer portrayed on the bottle and packaging is, perhaps, the most well known in the world. I certainly can’t think of one more commonly seen. Glenfiddich is, as you will probably be well aware, one of the best selling whiskys in the world. This, I suppose, is both a blessing and a curse for the distiller – while their sales are massive, their reputation among the snobby inner circles of whisky fandom is poor. As with so many things in this world, though, their poor reputation is likely down to their high level of recognition by the masses.
Don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a world-leading whisky in terms of flavor, but it does deserve more credit than it is often given. The subject of this review will be their 12 year old expression, which you’ll find in virtually any shop that sells whisky and has a price tag around $35 which rather unfortunately puts it in the same range as the much better Aberlour 10 year old.
The nose is fruity and fresh with the distinct scent of green apples, Williams pear, buttery honey, a touch of wood and almond paste. An easy nose to come to terms with and not without its charm, overall quite pleasant indeed. The body is smooth and soft and presents toasted, nutty flavors along with almond, pear and a touch of cloves. The green apples come back for a final farewell on the medium-short finish.
As I said before, it is by no means spectacular, but I don’t at all blame people for liking it. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, nor would I hesitate to keep a bottle at home – but I wouldn’t make it a priority to keep it in stock, nor will it ever see a place in that most holy of places; my bar globe.
Color: Sunlight stricken gold.
Nose: Green apples, Williams pear, buttery honey, touch of wood and almond paste. Pleasant.
Taste: Smooth, toasted nuttiness, almond, pear and a touch of cloves. Green apple finish.