Bought: World Duty Free (Aberdeen airport), 17th September 2016
78.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
79.31/100 – Whiskybase (average from 64 member votes)
I find it hard to believe it’s three years since the Glenfiddich ‘Cask Collection’ first appeared as a Travel Retail exclusive in 2013. It doesn’t feel that long. Perhaps it took me a while to notice because I’m not a huge fan of Glenfiddich. I feel they are more Ford than Ferrari, with a focus on mass production rather than high quality. The standard 12yo is OK but that’s about it, it’s just OK. If their Cask Collection had set the whisky world alight in 2013 I might have pounced on a bottle sooner but it didn’t. Ratings for the entry level ‘Select Cask’ are what you’d expect for a non-age statement 1 litre bottle for £40.
In fairness to the Select Cask its life in bourbon, European oak and red wine casks are an interesting heritage but does this tri-union of wood really work? Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible doesn’t think so. He says, “bourbon and wine casks may be married together…but they are on a course for a messy divorce. The honeymoon on delivery is pretty rich and exotic. But it is all too short-lived as things soon turn pretty bitter.” His score of 78.5/100 is low for him and classifies this single malt as “average, and usually pleasant but sometimes flawed.”
79.31/100 on Whiskybase suggests the Select Cask is good but nothing special. Comments online are a bit more generous than in the Whisky Bible including “very sweet but still spicy, at the end rather short but still all right.” And “it’s light and very drinkable”.
Several reviews say the Select Cask is a good ‘session’ whisky, where the gathering is more sociable than focusing on the quality of the drink. Mark Dermul in his You Tube video below concurs with this by saying the Select Cask would go well during a night of playing cards with friends. Here’s his thoughts (February 2016):