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Glenfiddich Solera Reserve

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Glenfiddich Solera Reserve

Postby jcskinner » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:38 am

It's been a while since there were any tasting notes on the site, so as I was tasting the end of a few bottles and trying to write up some notes on them before they were gone, I thought I'd throw one up here too, more to stimulate some more notes than to draw attention to this particular dram.
But anyhow, the Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 year old is a unique whiskey I believe, due to its manufacturing process. Following distillation, three differently finished Glenfiddichs (sherry, bourbon and new oak) are vatted together and then added to the Solera tun, which is never allowed to be less than half full.
The finished bottling is then taken from this tun. It's a system, akin to the famous 1000 year old stew that's perpetually on the boil somewhere in Germany, that is more associated with Spanish brandy.
Does it work for whiskey? Let's see:

Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 yo (40 proof)

Nose: Malt vinegar gives way quickly to heavy wine notes, spicy oak and turmeric

Palate: Dominated by wine, a port quality, cut with orange peel (the mrs says apricots) and exotic spice - cardamom pod, earthy turmeric, dried vanilla and an oily, creamy mouthfeel.

Finish: Vanilla on the finish, a good length with tobacco, and that turmeric earthiness cutting through the wine sweetness at the very end

Overall: Heavily sherried. As heavily sherried as one might wish for. The Solera tun system definitely multiplies the sherry impact, while not remotely eradicating the strong vanillan influences from the bourbon and new oak casks. A bit unbalanced, but fascinating and rewarding. Lacks the cohesion of the special reserve, though. But this is definitely an experiment that I'd like to see other distilleries repeat.

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