Glenfiddich 23 Year French Grand Cru Cuvee Casks

Scotch Whisky Review #375: Glenfiddich 23 Year French Grand Cru Cuvee Casks

Image Credit: Drinkhacker

Distillery: Glenfiddich.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 23 Year.

Cask Type: French Grand Cru Cuvee Casks.

ABV: 40.0%.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.

Nose: Rather sweet and fruity. There’s a lot of grape notes, muscat and champagne grapes are what I’m thinking. There are some orchard fruit notes as well in overripe pear and caramel apples. Some vanilla wraps things up.

Palate: Much like the nose, it is sweet with some fruit. There’s tons and tons of caramel. Notes of apple and pear also come through, but it is as if they’re just covered by many layers of caramel. There are some earthier notes as well along with dark honey. With a bit more time, this slightly nutty note comes out as well. It reminded me a lot of peanut butter. It also seems like it is covered in caramel, almost as if you were biting into one of those caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate treats but without the chocolate.

Finish: Medium to short in length. Caramel apple is the main note. As that caramel and peanut butter note starts to come out in the palate, it also does in the finish.

Conclusion: Glenfiddich has had some interesting cask experiments and this French Grand Cru release is one I’ve been hoping to try for quite some time. The nose teases a sweet and fruity dram but I didn’t get a lot of the fruit in the rest of it. Instead, this is incredibly strong on caramel from start to finish. It’s there a bit of it in the nose with caramel apple that goes on to seemingly coat every other note that comes through. Caramel covered pear, caramel and honey, caramel and peanut butter. It’s everywhere and makes for a nice dessert-y treat. I do think Glenfiddich missed out on a chance to make something quite special here though. While the flavors that are present are quite nice, the low ABV (shambolic 40%!) really doesn’t do this any favors. Bump it up, at least to a respectable 46%, and I imagine these notes would sing a lot more instead of just being doused in caramel. Not bad, quite tasty, but leaves you wondering what it could have been. Worth the money? Not for me.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky Review #375, Speyside Review #136, Whisky Network Review #529

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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