Glenfiddich 12, while not terribly complex or challenging, is a satisfying and enjoyable entry-level malt.
Classification single malt scotch whisky
Company William Grant & Sons
Cask ex-bourbon, oloroso sherry
Still Type “swan neck” copper pot
Aged At least 12 years
Awards Master Award, 2017 Scotch Whisky Masters; Gold, 2016 International Spirits Challenge
It has wide appeal: Beginners will enjoy it, while sophisticates won’t turn their noses up at it.
It’s versatile and inexpensive enough to use as a sipping whisky or a mixer.
It may be too approachable for whisky fans who are looking for something more challenging.
Color: Golden straw
Nose: Big notes of sherry right out of the gate, with light apple, honey and caramel following behind
Palate: The fresh apple flavor for which Glenfiddich is known is strong here. Sweet malty notes dominate the midpalate, along with light honey and vanilla.
Finish: The sherry influence appears on the back of the tongue. The swallow is quite gentle, with a light alcoholic bite. The finish is long, with lovely malt and sherry notes sticking around, waiting for the glass to be refilled.
Glenfiddich 12 is a phenomenally popular whisky whose quality matches its popularity. While not quite as complex or challenging as some of the older and more ambitious Glenfiddichs, it’s as satisfying and enjoyable an entry-level single malt as you’re going to find. It’s sweet and “easy” enough for beginning scotch drinkers, but it’s suitably flavorful and balanced for even the snobbiest whisky snob. It’s a great way to get back to basics for a dram or two.
While it’s best when drunk neat, Glenfiddich 12 holds up surprisingly well to water or ice, even if they’re not necessary. As for cocktails, it’s a little weak in a highball, but makes a fine scotch sour, and it’s a nice upgrade from blended scotch in a Penicillin.
Glenfiddich 12 isn’t exactly a thrilling adventure for the taste buds, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s more like the foundation on which a lifelong education in whisky can be built: a perfect starting point, and one that’s enjoyable to return to on a regular basis as well.
It's the best-selling single malt on the planet. The Glenfiddich distillery has been around since 1887, and it feels like the 12-year-old expression has existed for almost as long. But in fact, it only debuted in 2002, when it was called “Caoran Reserve.” It’s been sold under its current name since 2008.
The Bottom Line
Glenfiddich 12 is a single malt that can appeal to the entire spectrum of scotch drinkers, and it’s a great starter bottle for any whisky collection.