Expression: Vintage Cask (Cask Collection)
Age Statement: none
So here we have the third and most exclusive expression in Glenfiddich’s ‘Cask Collection’, a range that was first launched in late 2013 for Travel Retail. Using the famed ‘Solera’ vat technique, which gave the 15 year old its popularity, Glenfiddich have adapted this way of creating whisky for all three expressions in this series.
This particular expression, the ‘Vintage Cask’, was inspired by the style of whisky used to produce back in 1887. This means that (lightly) peated barley was used, something that is unthinkable in the modern style of Glenfiddich whisky. Both European oak and Bourbon casks were used in the maturation of this whisky, which would typically give depth and complexity to the spirit. So let’s see if that’s the case here;
Nose: Surprisingly peaty! Of course I knew I could expect some peat smoke here, but this is more than I expected. Quite salty as well, a clear sea weed note and even a bit of oil. After that there’s definite vanilla, quite clear, almost creme brûlée here. A hint of a light and sour fruit, lemon perhaps. Light spice too, a pinch of pepper maybe. If I didn’t know any better this would almost remind me of a Talisker, although I’m sure that I insult a lot of Talisker fans with that statement. Sorry guys, it just reminds me of it.
Taste: Ok, nothing near Talisker anymore. Again, the first thing to hit is peat, unsurprisingly. After that there’s that lovely vanilla again, followed by the citrus. A flowery note even now, which I can’t really put my finger on. Only at the end the salt kicks in, which now reminds me of roasted shellfish or something like that. The spice is again very light, bringing just a hint of bitterness, but because it’s so little this remains a smooth, soft and mellow whisky on the palate.
Finish: The light bitter note starts off a lovely mix of sweet vanilla, refreshing citrus, chocolate now even, and smokey saltiness. The peat still reminds me of roasted seafood and is a constant factor here, but never too much in your face. Vanilla and soft fruits are left in the end.
Overall: I’ll admit it; I’m not particularly a Glenfiddich fan. I’ve always found their whiskies to be nice to drink, easy to drink, but never very special. Until now. This is one hell of a whisky. Complex from start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I have yet to try the first two editions of this ‘Cask Collection’ trilogy and I’ve been told they’re not quite as good as this one, but I’m very curious to try them now.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars