One Quick Dram: Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 Whisky Tasting Notes

This is the last of the tasting notes for the “Older than 21 year olds” tasting, where the Glenfiddich 21 went head to head with the Glenlivet Archive 21, Glenfarclas 21, Jura 21, Whyte & Mackay 30, Balvenie 21 PortWood and the Bunnahabhain XXV, all of whom already have tasting notes up on the blog, with links to each review included.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Glenfiddich. My first ever single malt, so many years ago, was a Glenfiddich Pure Malt. I have, obviously made some headway in my whisky journey since I was that excited kid getting a small sip of a special whisky, there’s something about the triangular bottle that conjures up that primal experience. Not that that expectation makes the whisky outstanding, but it has the ability to touch some emotional button down there.

Which brings me to this expression. I love rum finishes, and I think these two spirits have a way of conversing through the cask that is really great. The Glenfiddich 21 fails to take advantage of that, and could have probably taken more rum influence than it was given. This expression (especially this expression) would also have benefited from a higher ABV, I’m thinking that at 46% this would have been an outstanding whisky.

Lineup for the "Older than 21" Tasting

Lineup for the “Older than 21” Tasting

Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 (40% ABV)

Color: Copper, quick thin legs.

Nose: A Glenfiddich nose with Toffee, maple, vanilla and honey. The rum influence is toned down, so the molasses and brown sugar are there, but not aren’t as pronounced as I would have expected.  After sitting for a few minutes, the nose develops banana and toned down bittersweet chocolate.

Palate: Very liquidy feel, almost too elusive to “chew”.  Sweetness on the tongue, with notes of ginger, all spice and pepper.

Finish: Relatively short with spice and toffee left on the palate but nothing in the throat.

All in all, I’d present this whisky at a higher ABV and maybe make it a tad more rum-y. It does the “smooth” most non aficionados look for extremely well, though, and since I’m just a blogger representing nobody but myself and Glenfiddich sells one out of every seven bottles of single malt whisky in the world, they probably know what they’re doing for their target market.  🙂

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