This is the first mass market Glenfiddich foray into sherry casks. My excited first thought was “wow, here’s a sherry bomb from Glenfiddich”, and this is, indeed, the most interesting of the Cask Collection trio. This dram suffers, however, from two flaws, probably owning to the low ABV, chill filtration and coloring, which succeed in toning down some of the more classic sherry notes and highlighting the relatively generic “sweetness” I mentioned in my review of the Vintage Cask and the Select Cask.
This expression is, by far, the most interesting of the three, and has the most potential. I’d absolutely LOVE to taste this expression at natural cask strength (and obviously non chill filtered and with no artificial coloring), and I think that at cask strength this could be the expression to bring the malt maniacs (back?) into the fold. Of course, I have previously ranted about the fact that Glenfiddich probably has no interest in bringing us into its fold, but I won’t go back into that.
Glenfiddich Reserve Cask (40% ABV)
Color: Light bronze, quick and thick legs.
Nose: Oloroso sherry jumps up at you, with hints of sulfur and balsamic vinegar yet with the expected sherry nose of sultana raisins and dried fruit are somewhat toned down.
Palate: The basic barley sugar sweetness found in the other Cask Collection expressions, some sherry notes, with oloroso coming through. Notes of Coca-Cola (yes, you read that right…) and sugar water with a faint sulfuric note.
Linger: Long on the tongue and the back of the throat, with that generic sugar water sweetness lingering.
All three Cask Collection expressions are variants on the same theme. Different brush strokes on the same canvass. All three are drinkable, but none will rock your world. This expression – the Reserve Cask – has some promise, and at at a significantly higher ABV could be a fascinating dram. What a shame it is that only Brian Kinsman gets that pleasure – and I would ask Mr. Kinsman to please share it with us.