Bought – Sainsbury, 15th August 2014
On behalf of all people who buy whisky miniatures, I’m going to have a grumble. Glenfiddich used to, until recently, sell a triple pack of 5cl bottles, one each of their 12yo, 15yo and 18yo. Several supermarkets sold them for £10-£12. They’ve now repackaged it, replacing the 18yo with the 14yo, which is a cheaper whisky but the price remains at £10-£12. The Whisky Bible ranks the 18yo as 95/100, and it’s generally considered a better quality malt than the 14yo. But, will anyone really notice? Will anyone care? Am I just ranting for the sake of it? Yes, it’s the latter.
The Whisky Bible gives quite a lengthy review of this 14yo, saying of the taste “soft oils”, “sensation of passing barley”, “oak-laden notes”, “spices” and “creamy mocha”. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were reading the options in a coffee shop, such is the variety of flavours in the Rich Oak. But it’s the finish that the author, Jim Murray, praises the most, saying “possibly the best phase of the experience. The vivid, surging oak has cooled and some barley oils mingle in a relaxed fashion with the sweetening, very mildly sugared mocha”. In summary Mr Murray says “Delicious, thoughtful whisky and one to tick off on your journey of malt whisky discovery”. But if only it were 46% instead of 40%, he says.
If it’s any consolation (to me), the bible allocates more words to this 14yo than it does to the 18yo, and the 18yo is also 40%, so there! Perhaps I need to find a cask strength Glenfiddich and do a bit of blending to bring the strength up for this 14yo. It’s only a matter of time in my whisky journey before I start mixing my own.
Glenfiddich promotional video for the 14yo Rich Oak: