Whisky Reviews

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old


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The name means “Valley of the Deer”, and the deer portrayed on the bottle and packaging is, perhaps, the most well known in the world. I certainly can’t think of one more commonly seen. Glenfiddich is, as you will probably be well aware, one of the best selling whiskys in the world. This, I suppose, is both a blessing and a curse for the distiller – while their sales are massive, their reputation among the snobby inner circles of whisky fandom is poor. As with so many things in this world, though, their poor reputation is likely down to their high level of recognition by the masses.

Don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a world-leading whisky in terms of flavor, but it does deserve more credit than it is often given. The subject of this review will be their 12 year old expression, which you’ll find in virtually any shop that sells whisky and has a price tag around $35 which rather unfortunately puts it in the same range as the much better Aberlour 10 year old.

The nose is fruity and fresh with the distinct scent of green apples, Williams pear, buttery honey, a touch of wood and almond paste. An easy nose to come to terms with and not without its charm, overall quite pleasant indeed. The body is smooth and soft and presents toasted, nutty flavors along with almond, pear and a touch of cloves. The green apples come back for a final farewell on the medium-short finish.

As I said before, it is by no means spectacular, but I don’t at all blame people for liking it. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, nor would I hesitate to keep a bottle at home – but I wouldn’t make it a priority to keep it in stock, nor will it ever see a place in that most holy of places; my bar globe.

Color: Sunlight stricken gold.

Nose: Green apples, Williams pear, buttery honey, touch of wood and almond paste. Pleasant.

Taste: Smooth, toasted nuttiness, almond, pear and a touch of cloves. Green apple finish.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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  1. Will

    April 15, 2011 at 4:19 am

    I just opened a litre bottle and it tasted horrible. I drink scotch and burbon and for single malts Oban and Aberlour mingle with Highland Park. I picked this litre up at Duty Free and it is undrinkable. I really never want to taste it again and it has 990ml left in the bottle.

    Is it possible that it is from a bad batch? Email me back if you know what I should do.

  2. Mike J

    July 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Disagree, there are much worse whiskeys than this one. Was it a duty free in Cambodia? I personally liked this single malt upon my first taste of it. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible. Though I am not a professional critic.

    • John McCollum

      August 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Hilarious that I’m reading this in Battambang, Cambodia, having just bought this bottle at a local drink shop.

      Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

  3. Slap bet

    November 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Hi, me and my friend have a slap bet! I’m saying this is a clear Pear taste, but do they add any thing to get this distinct pear taste? (Pear flavour or flavour of pear?) Or is this just a combination of tasts that make the brain combine these taste to make a pear taste?

  4. Martini

    January 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I agree with Will and wonder if I’ve gotten a bad bottle (although mine did not come from a duty free). Very disappointing! It was so bad I could only use it in mixed drinks at parties.

  5. will

    July 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Snobs all of you. This is a good scotch, definitely a great starter or just fall back. Undrinkable? Maybe you rich types have never been to college where Mccormicks vodka and what not are prevalent, those are undrinkable and even then at college parties everyone was still downing it. This is FAR from undrinkable. A fine scotch.

  6. scott

    August 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Glenfiddich is definitely one of my favourite single malts. Thanks for featuring it.

  7. john e

    January 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    My first bottle of single malt ever and I am 47 years young! I’ve tried a supposedly very expensive single malt at the urging of friend a while back, neat. It was smooth and very enjoyable. My first bottle of Glenfiddich, received as a gift , tried neat was a bit too much. However over ice, it became sweetish and very enjoyable. I like it.

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