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Tasting the Glenfiddich Core Range at the Norma Jean

14 November 2011 2,096 views Written by: Gal Granov

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I am not the biggest Glenfiddich fan out there, but when Tomer ,an Israeli blogger and whisky lover (who blogs in Hebrew about alcohol and whisky) , asked who is interested in a Glenfiddich tasting , where we’ll pretty much try the entire range, i could not say No. It’s true, I’ve recently tried most of it at the British ambassador’s house at the snow phoenix, but the chance of tasting them all from the 12,through 14,15,18, 21 and then 30 was something that is not to be missed, until today I’ve not had the 30 year old, and the 18 year old was only a distant memory, so those two were drams i was keen to taste and re-taste.

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The Entire line on stage

So, there were were, Friday afternoon, at the Norma Jean (in my opinion Israel’s best pub when it comes to whisky selection, not that it’s so hard, as bars here have a poor selection of malts priced very high). Around 20 people came,and I was greeted by Tomer, and was glad to meet some old whisky acquaintances, and some nice ones. The part which was nicest was meeting Blog readers, whom i never met, and only been discussing whisky though the blog or the Israel whisky forum on Tapuz. i was flattered by the warm words and compliments on the blog by many of them, always a nice thing…

Tomer started with a little background about the Glenfiddich distillery, history etc, and people were thirsty and anxious to starts, so we did, with the 12 year old.

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Tomer Pouring the 15 year old

As I’ve published notes on the 12,14,15 and 21 a few months ago, i shall not go into notes again, I will only say that the 14 and 15 were again favourites of the crowd, and that is no wonder. The 14 and 15 IMHO are the best of the “affordable” expressions in the GF range, where the 18 is good, but still does not offer the same price/quality ration. The entire tasting was very informal and sitting in long tables (see pic below) really helped with people getting to know each other.

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The tasting room (your truely with the Pe shirt in the middle)

After the 12,14,15 came the 18. It’s been a long time since i had this one, and it was only a distant memory, so her are my updated tasting notes:

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Glenffdich 18 yo, 40%  ABV , £38 glenfiddich-ancient-reserve-18-year-old-whisky

Nose: plenty of dry oak here that’s for sure, Kirsch liqueur, apples and a wee zest, which i can not pin point. OK, it’s nice.

Palate: Tons of oak, spice, a lovely nuttiness and again the Kirsch and cherries from the nose . Some toffee as well. a bit syrupy.

Finish : Spicy syrup, a bit of sherry and gentle ginger candy.

A fine dram, yet a bit too woody, and being 18 years of age, i did expect a bit more of it,  when compared to the 15 and 14 year olds which are cheaper.

Glenffdich 30 yo, 40% ABV , £238

glenfiddich-30-year-old-whiskyA 30 year old bottling at 40%? that is very disappointing. at this age, and price point one would expect something at least at 46%.

Nose: Takes some time to open up, and you should allow it to rest a bit, and see it change in front of your eyes (nose). Big coconut,perfumed wood, and fruit salad.

Palate: Bigger than the nose suggests, and much better, With Spice, cinnamon,orange peel ginger candy, and banana pie.

Finish: syrup, oak, and sugared apple and pear peel.

This is a very good dram, had it been bottled at say 46%, i am sure it would have been excellent. This is what i expected  from a Glenfiddich, and too bad the younger ones do not even come close to this including the 21 yo.

As for the crowd: Clearly the 14,15 were winners for most, and many expressed their disappointment from the 21 year old, which they had high expectations of, and frankly that one did not deliver. The 30 was loved by many, but it’s not surprising, and at that price point.

Thanks again to Tomer for organizing this event, at an amazing price point (even considering we’re in Israel where prices are very high). It was a pleasure, and a great experience to be able to taste the entire core line up of Glenfiddich at one sitting. I wish more Fridays afternoons were as fun as that Friday afternoon.


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  • Tomer Ben David

    Hi Gal,
    Thanks for your lovely post!

    More than 20 people came, and I was glad to meet each & every one of them. It was fun to meet friends from Facebook & the Israeli alcohol and wine forum on Tapuz- friends whom I’ve never met in person!
    It was an amazing experience!

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      thank you tomer!
      Indeed. fun times, and happy to have met all those people who love whisky, and share our passion. Hope to see you in future whisky events as well.
      G.

      • Tomer Ben David

        You’ll see me, don’t worry (:

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