Glenfiddich 12 and 14 rich oak
Working for a company in Niagara falls, I was handed the task of spearheading a restaurant opening as a member of our ‘elite team’. This was a huge task, one that I took great pride in and I saw that everything went perfectly. Almost everything.
I was in charge of the sauce building and crafting some of the soups for the opening. We would make a huge batch of French onion soup that would fly out the doors in just a couple days. To give some idea of the size of the batch, it was made in a large steam kettle that fit my 6’4” frame inside of it(sorry chris). So, in short we had gallons of it.
My chef, my boss was going through some of our food products(he would quite often be tasting ‘not food products’ in the office) and tasting different items. I would love to show off my sauces. He came to my caramelized onion soup.
“its good, but its missing something……”
“chef?” I would ask, holding onto his every breath.
“the host! Its missing the host! Good job. You’ll see it improve on its own in a few days.”
We kept our cooked batch in a large plastic bin in the walk-in fridge and when it got close to the bottom, we would prepare another batch, and into the plastic bin went the new batch. There was often a little dribble of old soup from the last batch that would mingle with the new. It was typically held over after we washed out the plastic storage bin and eventually added in to the current batch. The point being, there was always the ghost of the previous batch, named the host. The host spent a long time with that soup, and added a ton of flavor. this is like the solera casking process for glenfiddich 15!
dark green triangular prism with rounded edges. The label is graced with a buck; a male deer and under that is printed ‘special reserve’.
pear blossoms and flower petals, light honey scents with some gnarly oak. Possibly a little spirit. Great sensation of malted barley. Some sour oil and a light pine scent.
Peppery apples and malt with a light beery taste. Light olive oil in the mix before some sourness and loads of white peppercorns. Theres a touch of smoke and I find this makes my mouth wet.
Glenfiddich 14 rich oak
Same triangular prism in a clear bottle. The label is the pretty much consistent with the other brand family, but this sports a pumpkin or burnt orange color label to it. attractive and sexy.
The barley/wood marriage is well balanced here. Obvious wafts of pears, apple and lilacs, paired with a surprising red berry quality. Red currants, cherry skins, toffee and loads of vanilla and sawdust. A touch of coffee to round out the bass notes.
Apple strudel dusted with pepper and vanilla. After swallowing, the red fruits evolve to a jelly roll spiked with nutmeg and allspice. Some pleasing heavy notes like coffee and chocolate appear, but are very faint. Fades of with black pepper and toffee. Some floral notes to the finish. Very, very smooth.
This is lightyears ahead of the flagship glenfiddich 12. Excellent. Chewy.
Glenfiddich commonly uses the host method when making their whisky. this time it’s completely safe and sanitary. They have a large marrying vat that holds old batches of whisky and they add the newest batch to it, let it marry and mingle before they send it off to be bottled. The vat never empties and carries the evolved whisky in with the new so that there’s always that consistency. It’s a cool trick, when it’s done right.
The green bottle 12 year old is off and on the worlds top selling single malt and unofficially the worlds most regarded ‘first scotch experience’ bottle. Impressive accolades.
The 14 year old glenfiddich is finished in virgin American and Spanish oak for up to 12 weeks, respectively to impart some assertive vanillin and ripe fruity profile.
Glenfiddich ferments their grains for roughly 68-70 hours with a proprietary, custom yeast, that creates the house flavor of glenfiddich. They ferment in wooden washbacks as opposed to steel.
Glenfiddich employs 3 types of copper pots stills which are roughly 11 feet high and are all replicas of the still first purchased from cardhu. As of 2016 they had 28 stills.
The barrels used are typically a mix of sherry and first fill bourbon barrels sourced from the major US bourbon distilleries.
Only the 15 year uses the solera cask, which never goes beneath half capacity to remain consistent from batch to batch.
They currently age in 47 warehouses.
The mashbill is 100%malted barley.