Glenfiddich 14 Rich Oak (40%, OB 2016)

This is a variant on the normal Glenfiddich range. Having been matured for 14 years in American oak (presumably ex-bourbon casks), it’s finished for a few weeks in virgin casks, both from Spanish and American oak. I used to have a full bottle when it first came out about ten years ago, but this is from a Glenfiddich sample set – it came with samples of the 12 and the 15 Solera.

Nose: Sweet and fruity, this hasn’t strayed far from the Glenfiddich signature. Vanilla, caramel, sweet apples and pears.

Palate: The 40% strength hurts the arrival, which feels a bit weak. There are a lot of oaky notes – pencil shavings, ginger, new furniture. The virgin oak is quite loud here, and it’s brought a certain bitterness too that has pushed the typical fruit to the background.

Finish: short, honeyed in a way that reminds me of Balvenie, but some bitter oak tannins unfortunately creep in.

Comments: This is an interesting Glenfiddich – they experimented with virgin oak before it became a more commonplace thing. The nose is pleasant, but the lack of balance on the palate and finish make it lose points. It lacks the freshness and balance of the Glenfiddich 12.

Score: 77/100

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