Glenfiddich Gran Reserva single malt whisky

John got this bottle of 21 yo Glenfiddich Gran Reserva as a gift and I decided why not. Lets end this year on an old note. We stared this year with the Three Ships PX cask. We will start next year with the Three Ships Pinotage Cask.  But first, I end 2016 on a high note with the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva finished in Caribbean Rum casks.

Glenfiddich is one of three William Grant family owned distilleries which sit in close proximity to each other to the north of Dufftown. The Glenfiddich distillery is massive and has a capacity of 10 million litres per year, making it one of Scotland’s largest distilleries.

During 2016, the packaging on the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva was re-designed and re-launched as part of the Glenfiddich core range.  The liquid remains the same as in the earlier releases. The bottle is a broader, thicker version of the classic three-sided bottle used for the younger expressions in the core range.  The Glenfiddich Gran Reserva was aged for 21 yo and then finished in Caribbean Rum casks for around four months. The rum soaked casks adds warmer and richer flavours to compliment the fruity dram.

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I found this wonderful music video where the Maverick Whisky Makers of Dufftown assembled a team of scientists and musicians to show the effect of the Caribbean rum on the whisky. The music combines Scottish and Caribbean artists and uses Cymatics (Waves, in this instance sound waves) to bring the whisky to life.

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Tasting notes for the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva

Glenfiddich Gran Reserva single malt whisky

ABV: 43,2%

COLOUR:  A dark amber colour with significant hint of red in the glass.

NOSE: Rich tropical fruit, lychee, guava and banana mixed with red berry fruits and hints of toffee sweetness along with faint whispers of oak. There is a rich dark note to the nose with a layer of vanilla and cinnamon.

PALATE: The Glenfiddich Gran Reserva starts off pepper spicy and then very quickly turns to fruity deliciousness before evolving into rich toffee and vanilla.   A second sip reveals a delicious tropical fruit such as dried mango and banana with hints of oak and fruitcake.   It is rich, complex and chewy!  A toffee sweetness hangs around the background.  The addition of water opens this whisky up wonderfully and it becomes smoother and sweeter.  It is easy drinking with the traditional Glenfiddich fruitiness enhanced by the rum casks.

FINISH:  The finish is brilliant. It is long and lingering and ends in sweet spicy notes.

RATING: DIVINE

This is a brilliant dram!   The flavour development profile and finish of this Gran Reserva is undoubtably it’s highlights.  The fruitiness is perfectly balanced with the sweet spices.  This puts a HUGE smile on my face.  I was planning to end the year on a high note and knew that the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva was good, but I did not expect it to be this good!  What a finish – both the whisky and the year.  Perfect whisky to finish a years tasting notes on.

Also Read:  Top 5 Single malt whisky 2016 Edition