Thursday, 16 January 2014

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

Long since consigned to auction territory, I’ve been after a taste of this for a long time.  Thanks to Adrian Barnett of WhiskyChronicle for the sample.

A one off from Glenfiddich. This was created with whisky that was blended from casks that lay in warehouses which collapsed under snow on the 7th January. This casks included bourbon and Oloroso and they range from 13 to 30 years of age

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix, 47.6% A+

GFDOB-1.NON18

Nose – Fresh, clean plum and honey.  Rich malt with a candied edge and a little bit of the dust off a hubba bubba.  Beautifully rounded, honeyed sweetness with great fruit and malt structure – i.e. deeply sweet with the backbone to hold it.

Body – Toast and honeycomb with a sesame edge.  Almost cloyingly sweet but saved by that malted structure.  Very smooth and rich behind some biting youth.  Honey glazed cereal bar.

Finish – Long, spicy, well balanced, some toasted rice.  Structured and very good.

What's not good about it:  As I said not long ago, the difference between good and great is subtle – and this reminds me of the Tomatin Decades in that it has complexity and youth as well as age (and its very, very similar to nose and taste to boot).  I’m a massive fan of youth and age in whiskies but to pull it off in the same glass is clearly a fine balancing act and perhaps not one decided by a collapsing roof.  Although this is excellent, I feel it falls just on the wrong side of that fine balance and the sum of the parts is a bit less than the components.  In short, it’s a little too sweet, a little too ordinary, but…

What’s good about it:  … its extremely well made nonetheless, absolutely delicious and deeply sweet and structured.  Very addictive. 

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