The 9 Main Glenfiddich Whiskies Reviewed


Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand in the world. It’s not surprising then that for many people – including myself, this is their first single malt Scotch. I wanted to do a proper review of the nine main Glenfiddich whiskies to see what they were like in general and how they compared with each other. Here’s what I found.

1. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

About

  • 40%ABV
  • Price: $49.99 approx. for 750ml

This is the most well-known expression in the Glenfiddich range. It’s matured for at least 12 years in American oak and European oak sherry casks and then mellowed in oak marrying tuns.

Tasting Notes

Color: Amber, golden

Nose: Pear, apple, vanilla, honey, oak, floral, sherry

Taste: Honey, oak, vanilla, pear, apple

Finish: Short: Oak, spice, honey, apple, pear

Score – 78 / 100

Summary

The Glenfiddich 12 is a non-complex, simple and easy to drink whisky with your standard Glenfiddich apple and pear flavors, that’s pleasant to drink. This makes it perfect for a wider audience so it’s no wonder that it’s the most well-known expression of the best-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand in the world. Especially when you consider the price, which is relatively low for a single malt Scotch.

2. Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old

About

  • 43%ABV
  • Price: $58.99 approx. for 750ml

This whisky seems to be exclusively for the US market. It’s matured in ex-bourbon American Oak casks for at least 14 years and then finished in charred new American Oak barrels from The Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a Scotch whisky with a Kentucky finish for people who love Scotch and bourbon. It has the classic Glenfiddich flavors of apple and pear with caramel and vanilla from being finished in the new barrels.

Tasting Notes

Color: Gold

Nose: Vanilla, oak, apple, pear

Taste: Vanilla, apple, oak, caramel

Finish: Short: Vanilla, oak

Score – 75 / 100

Summary

Being finished in charred new American oak casks definitely gives this whisky sweeter, more bourbon-like notes which complement the classic Glenfiddich flavors and don’t overwhelm them. If you like bourbon and Glenfiddich, you’ll certainly like this.

Although not a very complex whisky either, the extra 3%ABV does make it somewhat more flavorful than the Glenfiddich 12.

3. Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

About

  • 40%ABV
  • Price: $72.99 approx. for 750ml

This whisky is aged in European oak sherry casks and new oak casks, and mellowed in the Solera Vat which is a large oak tun. The reason for this is that the tun is never emptied and has been kept half full of whiskies since 1998 which means that the Glenfiddich 15 is potentially blended with some older whisky.

Tasting Notes

Color: Amber

Nose: Caramel, oak, sherry, pear, vanilla

Taste: Oak, cinnamon, apple, honey, sherry

Finish: Short: Oak, spice, apple, pear

Score – 80 / 100

Summary

This whisky is certainly better than the 12 year old, although it probably would have been even more flavorful had it been bottled at a higher ABV. It seems to me that the full potential of the Solera Vat isn’t realized, which is a shame.

4. Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

About

  • 40%ABV
  • Price: $118.64 approx. for 750ml

This whisky is matured for at least 18 years in Spanish Oloroso wood and American oak casks.

Tasting Notes

Color: Gold

Nose: Vanilla, oak, malt, cinnamon, apple, honey

Taste: Oak, cinnamon, vanilla, apple, honey

Finish: Short to medium: Oak, spice, honey

Score – 85 / 100

Summary

This whisky is definitely better than the Glenfiddich 12 or 15. The flavors are more prevalent but once again they would have been bigger at a higher ABV. It’s still an easygoing and tasty whisky with nothing unpleasant about it but it’s a bit pricey for what it is. If you’re prepared to pay this much for a single malt whisky, you could probably do much better.

5. Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

A bottle of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

About

  • 40%ABV
  • Price: $209.99 approx. for 750ml

This whisky is aged for at least 21 years and then finished in Caribbean rum casks.

Tasting Notes

Color: Amber, gold

Nose: Banana, floral, fruit, oak, apple

Taste: Vanilla, honey, fruit, ginger, banana, apple

Finish: Long: Fruit, spice, oak

Score – 85 / 100

Summary

The Glenfiddich 21 is very flavorful. It’s light and sweet and its age gives it a smooth character.

However, once again, there’s a lack of complexity, and once again I think there could have been more to this whisky had it been bottled at a higher ABV. And once again, when you take the price into account, you have a bottle that’s too expensive for what it is.

6. Glenfiddich Project XX

A bottle of Glenfiddich Project XX

About

  • 47%ABV
  • Price: $79.99 approx. for 750ml

This whisky was created by twenty (hence the name) whisky experts who chose twenty casks, after which the Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman had to make something ‘nice’ with only these barrels. This is why it’s part of the Experimental Series, but did it work?

Tasting Notes

Color: Gold

Nose: Vanilla, honey, raisins, apple, caramel, pear

Taste: Cinnamon, oak, apple, raisins, honey

Finish: Medium to long: Oak, raisins, apple, cinnamon, honey

Score – 80 / 100

Summary

There’s a lot happening in this whisky. It’s fairly complex, the higher ABV gives this whisky an extra richness of fruits and caramel and there’s a good balance between the sweet, spice, and fruit notes. Something decent was made out of almost random haphazardness. On the other hand, 21 experts were involved so perhaps this should have been even better.

7. Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask

A bottle of Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask

About

  • 43%ABV
  • Price: $69.99 approx. for 750ml

This is the first single malt scotch to be finished in craft India Pale Ale barrels. An India Pale Ale craft beer was specifically created to imbue these casks with hoppy flavors.

Tasting Notes

Color: Polished copper

Nose: Apple, malt, honey, vanilla, caramel, pears

Taste: Malt, vanilla, apple, citrus, honey

Finish: Medium: Vanilla, malt, citrus

Score – 70 / 100

Summary

As a whisky this is a simple and fairly decent expression. It’s light and summery with a citrus freshness but you can still detect the standard Glenfiddich notes. However, I didn’t pick up much influence from the IPA casks which means that there’s no reason for me to prefer this Glenfiddich over any of the others.

8. Glenfiddich Winter Storm

A bottle of Glenfiddich Winter Storm

About

  • 43%ABV
  • Price: $285.97 approx. for 750ml

This whisky is aged for at least 21 years in ex-bourbon casks and finished for up to six months in Ice wine casks from Peller Estates.

Tasting Notes

Color: Gold

Nose: Fruit, honey, oak, apple, dried apricot, orange, white grape juice

Taste: Fruit, apple, white grape, citrus, white pepper, oak

Finish: Short to Medium: Oak, pepper

Score – 80/ 100

Summary

This is a relatively complex whisky with some influence from the wine casks. The somewhat higher (3%) ABV is presumably the balance between giving this whisky more flavor and ensuring the white wine doesn’t overpower it. Why Glenfiddich had to give this expression a higher ABV and then do a balancing act instead of making the 18 and 21 46%ABV, is a mystery to me.

Also, this is whisky is very expensive for what it is.

And the mystery is now solved.

9. Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

A bottle of Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

About

  • 43%ABV
  • Price: $54.99 approx. for 750ml

This Glenfiddich whisky is peated, matured in bourbon barrels, and then finished for about three months in Latin rum casks.

Tasting Notes

Color: Amber

Nose: Slight smoke, banana, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, honey

Taste: Smoke, peat, caramel, apple, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, honey

Finish: Medium: Smoke, honey, fruit, brown sugar, toffee, pepper, apple

Score – 76 / 100

Summary

This is a fresh, fruity and super sweet whisky. The peat is light – it’s not an Islay peat monster, and it’s also a sweeter peat – compared to the more medicinal Islay peat. The rum casks amplify the sweetness coming from the bourbon barrels.

The peat and rum combination works well overall and the light peat compliments the fruitier and sweeter notes of the whisky. Fire & Cane is one of the more interesting Glenfiddich whiskies and is also great value for money.

Useful Whiskey Links

  • Click here to buy whiskey at Tipxy.com
  • Click here to join Flaviar and explore interesting and rare whiskeys
  • Click here to design your own bottle of whiskey at designerdram.com
  • Click here to search Amazon for awesome whiskey gifts and accessories

(Affiliate links)

Josh Mitchell

I'm Josh Mitchell. I love whiskey and am working on increasing my whiskey tasting abilities and my collection.

Recent Posts