I decided I would best serve the reader by diving into the next step up in the Glenfiddich range rather than stick to comparable whiskies to the Glenfiddich 12, such as the Glenlivet 12. This would permit me to discover and better describe the changes that take place as the Glenfiddich ages.
The 15 year old uses the Solera Vat. According to the box, the Solera Vat is always kept half full at least. What this means is that the whisky in the vat and therefore in your bottle is partially much older than 15 years. It is aged in sherry, bourbon, and new oak casks. Most of the Solera vat is filled with refilled bourbon cask whisky, then European Oak, and finally new oak.
Tne colour is golden, darker than the 12 year old.
The scent still comes on fruity in my opinion. Less vanilla than the 12 year old, but still a light touch of it remains. I can make out some sherry in there, but not being a sherry drinker, I’m afraid this nuance is lost on me. Perhaps now is the time to consider developing an interest in sherry? I also smell some chocolate, very light. Overall not as sweet smelling as the 12 year old though.
It is very smooth initially on the tongue. A bit of bite after a while, but retains some of the fruit of the 12 year old. The fruitiness is not as prevalent though and I detect none of the vanilla. Some light chocolate at the beginning and end of the tasting. It’s more like a darker chocolate in my opinion, but you may differ in your assessment.
The finish is much longer than with the 12 year old and more satisfying.
Overall, an improvement on the 12 year old of course.
Adding a bit of water changes the smell somewhat. Potpourri? Definitely fruity.
Even more smooth on the tongue now, with no bite at all. Still fruity. Pear? Apple? Let me know what you think.
The finish is extra smooth now and delightfully sweet. The chocolate hints have vanished though.
Update July 29, 2012
Having recently updated my experience in sherry drinking and recently tasted the Macallan 12, I realize that though sherry is present in this bottle, it is not overwhelming. It is rich, but not overpowering as in the Macallan. Also, I discovered some nuances, such as apple pie. To add to my assessment of the finish, I find that the wood is quite obvious to me now. An excellent find and well worth the price of admission. I’ll add that I have noticed that more recent bottlings omit the Solera Vat descriptive, but the production method remains the same.
Overall, a distinguished drink and a compliment to any evening spent with good friends and great food.