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New Glenfiddichs are Vintage stuff

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New Glenfiddichs are Vintage stuff

Postby Sally Toms » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:14 pm

Glenfiddich has launched two new limited edition malts – the Glenfiddich 1991 and the Vintage Reserve.

The Vintage Reserve is 13 years old and has vanilla characteristics as a result of American casks and has caramel toffee notes and gentle spiciness.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:07 am

Call me a cynic, but I couldn't help having the following thoughts when I first read this:

* It's 13 years old. Hardly anything to get excited about given that the standard version is 12yo.

* The standard 12yo would mostly be from bourbon casks also, so what's new?

* Caramel toffee notes? If they have used bourbon casks exclusively, then perhaps the resulting natural colour was a bit light. Any chance they added caramel to darken the colour?

* Gentle spiciness? Hmmm....that tasting note seems to pop up on their regular 12yo as well.

Now I have absolutely no idea what this Vintage Reserve is going to retail for, but I'm willing to bet that it will sell for considerably more than the regular 12yo. Any chance this is just a massive excuse to charge a much higher price for a Glenfiddich that really doesn't have much going for it?

Cynic signing off.
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Postby Tom » Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:15 pm

Admiral wrote:Now I have absolutely no idea what this Vintage Reserve is going to retail for, but I'm willing to bet that it will sell for considerably more than the regular 12yo. Any chance this is just a massive excuse to charge a much higher price for a Glenfiddich that really doesn't have much going for it?

Cynic signing off.
Admiral

Well why not, they already did the exact same thing when launching the Caoran Reserve. It costs more then the Solera, while the taste is about the worst fiddich around. And where is that peat anyway??.
So yeah i think about the same way like you on this.
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Postby maltcollector » Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:39 pm

I find glen fiddich quite boring, unextradordinary stuff!
Yes we owe the distillery a debt of gratitude for making single malt the drink it is today but they have fallen off the the pace.
I just dont understand why they feel they need to add caramel to give it a certain colour!
I prefer my whisky to be 'natural' after all if you left the bottle in the sunlight for a few days the caramel colour will dissapear entirely so I always feel that its 'cheating' by adding colouring agents.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:43 am

I was always led to believe that leaving a bottle in the sunlight would have negative effects on the flavour.

Do other people concur with this? I think I'd rather put up with the false colour rather than risk ruining the flavour of the bottle's contents.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:37 am

I've never heard of this before although I have heard of two different reasons for using a colored bottle in the first place.

One is so that slight color variations from bottling to bottling over time will not be so readily apparent. Glenfarclas readily admits this and strive for consistency in taste and mouthfeel with small color variations being of secondary consideration and part of making whisky.

The second explanation of using colored glass is to protect the contents from the adverse effects of sunlight.
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Postby Rudy » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:21 pm

I understood from a beer brewer that coulored glass is thought as a protection against sunlight, as is the case with medicine bottles.

As a marketing instrument, or probably cost issues, it appears lots choose for clear glass.

Rudy.
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Postby r0b » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:03 pm

maltcollector wrote:I find glen fiddich quite boring, unextradordinary stuff!.


To each his own.

However, I have never understood why a lot of people say this about Glenfiddich. It's a high-quality malt.
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:39 am

Glenfiddich is certainly a good malt. I guess a better way to put it is that it is not a bad malt.

It simply suffers from being so widely available. As we say here, it is a "garden variety" whisky. Nothing exotic, nothing special, just common.

One reason I respect Glenfiddich is because it's one of the most competively priced 12 year olds on the market. It's usually $10 to $15 cheaper than any other 12 year old. (One or two exceptions of course, e.g. The Glenlivet)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:15 am

It's an odd thing the Glenfiddich 12 year old and once again I think you've hit it on the head Admiral. The price is quite telling, are they reaching for the bottom of the malt market?

I find it's an Ok dram but there really isn't a lot there.

Further thoughts?
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:40 am

Well, I guess when you're the biggest selling malt in the world, you can make significant cost savings in your operations - from materials purchases, bulk shipping, exports, etc, etc.

Perhaps these savings allow them to put the whisky on the shelf for a lower price. Put it this way....they certainly aren't going to underprice it and operate at a loss?

And being a family affair company, they don't have corporate pressures or pricing policies to subscribe to.

(Diageo is a good example of this.....why is 10yo Talisker so bloody expensive, when many 12-15 year old whiskies are significantly cheaper?)

As for the taste? Well, the nose offers a bit of lemon citrus, some fragrant floral notes, and it's not too spirity. The palate is full, quite malty, a bit biscuity, but I admit there's nothing spectacular going on. If someone asked me, "What does single malt taste like?", I could give them a Glenfiddich 12 and they would get a fair idea.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:28 am

So does its history, sales volume and price make it a brand that needs defending when the malt itself does not have a loyal following among malt enthusiasts? Or am I incorrect here?

I find that while it doesn't have much to offer at the entry level, the 30 year olds are exceptional. Even though it seems to have little to offer it still garners a strong defense from some people is that defense based on loyalty to the malt that paved the way for single malts but has now been left behind by the enthusiasts? Or is this all just a matter of personal taste?
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:08 am

For various reasons, most of which we've touched on, Glenfiddich is deemed by many people to be a beginners' single malt.

Which means that as soon as the beginners have got a few different drams under their belt, they branch out to other more exciting whiskies, and tend to cast a disparaging eye back to Glenfiddich. I think a typical philosophy goes something like this:

"Oh yes, that's Glenfiddich, the whisky I first started on. But I've matured since then, and I now enjoy other, more challenging malts".

I also think it's trendy for malt snobs to pooh-pooh Glenfiddich. (I can say that, because I'm a self-confessed malt snob). Why defend a common Glenfiddich when you can extol the virtues of your rare and exotic 1963 single cask of Bruichladdich? :D (Or whatever).

It's like riding a bike. Once you've got your balance and you're confident, why would you go back to using training wheels? People adopt the same mentality with their scotch.

Make no mistake - the entry level Glenfiddich is the biggest selling single malt in the world, and the producers know exactly what their consumers want. It's no accident that it's not the most challenging malt on the planet, but at the same time, spend a bit of time seriously exploring this whisky, and you'll find that it offers a fair bit more than people give it credit for. I've had plenty of dull & unpleasant speysiders (Deanston 12yo comes to mind) that make Glenfiddich look like nectar.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby The Fachan » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:17 am

Admiral,

Maybe you should look at your geography as a malt snob. Deanston is more than a little distance from speyside, its barely over the Highland Line at Doune just outside Stirling.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:32 am

Yes, a poor slip in concentration on my part there. :(

Perhaps I should have said, "plenty of dull & unpleasant malts" rather than make the geographical reference to Speyside.

But I still stand by my thoughts that Deanston is a weak malt! :) :wink:

Cheers,
Admiral
(Who resides 16808 kilometres, or 10444 miles, from Speyside! 8) )
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Postby The Fachan » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:56 am

Admiral,

No offence intended, I actually agree with you on Deanston. Could you be any further away and still on the planet.

Ian
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:16 am

None taken.....I'm just feeling a bit stupid for not reading what I type! :)
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:59 am

Admiral on the strength of your recomendation I drank nothing but Glenfiddich 12 last night. A few times I caught myself waiting for a bit more but generally I really enjoyed the dram. It is a little lighter Speyside than Aberlour 10 but still I really enjoyed it. Some questions have been answered.

Lawrence

PS I'm in the north of British Columbia skiing until Thursday and it's -32C. :shock:

I'm glad I brought along a bottle of Glenfarclas 105. :D
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Postby hpulley » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:36 pm

At my work Xmas party last month, the malt selection was Glenfiddich 12yo or Grants Family reserve (a blend). I had a few drams of Glenfiddich. Not a lot going on but not that smooth either, IMO. I only try it in restaurants and such when it is the only thing available but if I was on a desert island and it was the only dram available I think I might rather have coconut milk ;)

Harry
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