The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Top Canadian Whiskies of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2013

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Top Rums of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 30 Rums of 2013

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – XXX

Review: Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – XXX    83/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 3, 2013

The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland. The Gaelic word “Glenfiddich” translates to “Valley of the Deer” in English and as a result the Distillery has adopted the emblem of a large male stag to symbolize the distillery and their whisky. According to the Glenfiddich website, their Malt Master personally selects each Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon Cask that goes into the Glenfiddich 30 Years Old Whisky by nosing and tasting each of them to ensure that they contribute the right character and flavour into the final Malt which is produced from only a handful of vattings each year.

The subject of this review is a version of the 30 Year Old expression labelled as Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – XXX which was purchased for me about one year ago here in Edmonton, Alberta.

GF 30 XXXIn the Bottle 4/5

My bottle of Glenfiddich 30 arrived in the blue cardboard canister shown to the left. Frankly, there is not much special about the blue canister, nor the bottle which has a dusky greenish brown colour. It is the same basic style of bottle and container shared by the rest of the Glenfiddich range. This is not an inexpensive whisky retailing for about $375.00 here in Alberta. I guess I would prefer more sizzle and pop at that price. (Incidentally, when I check the Glenfiddich website, I see that the bottle and container have much more of that sizzle that I am talking about, although I also notice that the price listed on that website is substantially higher than the Alberta price.)

My 750 ml whisky was bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Glass 8.5/10

Poured into my glass the Glenfiddich whisky has a light coppery colour which when tilted and swirled reveals numerous skinny legs which trickle back into the whisky. The initial nose brings forward a rich menagerie of wood and honey spices. I sense some willow thicket in the air above the glass as well as a grassy meadow complete with clumps of heather and faint wiffs of woodsmoke as if there were a campfire nearby. As the glass breathes the woody notes grow bringing forward stronger impressions of willow, balsam wood, and oak.

As nice as this sounds I must make the comment that the overall aroma within the breezes seems somewhat muted. I was expecting a richer, fuller experience while nosing the glass. It is as if the whisky is being held in check by some unseen force which seeks to dampen the scents and smells in the glass.

In the Mouth 50/60

The first mouthfull of whisky is kind of like the nose, with the full flavour of the whisky seemingly unwilling to reveal itself. Mild wood spices and lightly ashy woodsmoke are my first impressions, although there are also ever so light flavours of butterscotch and honey. Joining in are floral accents which remind me of heather and balsam. A dry sap-like flavour runs through the whisky making the dram lightly bitter, and for my palate there is not quite enough malty sweetness or honey-like caramel to offset this lightly bitter sensation. I find myself wishing that something would stand out and make the whisky interesting for me. Instead I find the whisky unremarkable and if I am honest, somewhat boring.

In the Throat 12.5/15

I have to give credit here for consistency. The finish has that same unremarkable quality which was apparent on the nose and upon the palate. The whisky is smooth almost to fault, and the lack of full flavour in the  finish has me almost annoyed. I am yearning for some quality of the whisky to stand up and shout, “Here I am!”. Unfortunately, the silence is deafening.

The Afterburn 8/10

I think the theme of this review is disappointment. This particular version of the Glefiddich 30 Year Old Whisky which (as nearly as I can reckon from the online websites which sell the whisky) was bottled in about 2010 for the North American Market) is downright boring. Although it is smooth (almost to a fault), it lacks any sort of flavour punch to hold my interest as a premium sipping whisky.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: