Blind Tasting #5: Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Hand-filled (2017)
So here’s a lesson I already knew about, but apparently had to learn again: when participating in the Blind Tasting Competition, never ever change your entry at the last moment. But, like the idiot I am, I did exactly that. It ended up costing me 40 points.
Anyway, I must admit I had no proper idea on what sample #5 was. This happens often during the Blind Tasting Competition. There are only a few samples that immediately make a lightbulb go off. Most of ’em might nose and taste familiar, but putting all those aromas together and connecting them to a distillery is often very hard. So scoring 35 points (for region and alcohol percentage) was basically a bonus.
After evaluating the whisky, I chose to hedge my bet and go for a Speyside distillery. The biggest whisky region, meaning it’d give the highest chance of at least scoring some points. As far as age, I first entered 15 years old (which would’ve been correct), before upping the age to 20 years after another contestant remarked that he thought it might be an older whisky. Dumb, I know 🙂 Finally, I just entered Dailuaine. Here’s what the sample turned out to be.
Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Hand-filled (56,9%, OB, Batch #47)
Nose: Very gentle and balanced. Raspberries, strawberries, apples and custard, accompanied by a hint of beeswax, minerals, and some feint straw and hay. There’s whiffs of vanilla, oak and coconut too.
Taste: Nice and creamy, rich spirit with some notes of cherries and milk chocolate. Sweet arrival, followed by gentle spices (white pepper), and a whisper of bitter oak.
Finish: Fruity finale, with lots of apples, but also some white chocolate. Somewhat drying.
A good example of a whisky that is lifted by a long lasting, complex finish. I enjoyed this, and wouldn’t mind owning a bottle. I should remember that next time I’m in the neighbourhood of the distillery, as I believe most of these batches are received well.
Photo: whisky-onlineauctions.com (picture is of a different batch)
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.