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Monday, February 18, 2019

Glenfiddich Special Old Reserve, bottled circa 1986

In the mid-to-late 1980's Glenfiddich removed the "Old" from their whisky's name, Special Old Reserve. That 'Old' was around for only a few years, while Special (not Old) Reserve had its place on the label for nearly two decades. Once again, I somehow wound up with a bottle that was caught in the transition:


At least this time the design was mostly coordinated. It's just the 'Old' that's missing from the tube.

Placing the exact year of bottling is difficult. At least Whiskybase has a matching 1000mL bottle from 1986 to use as a reference. Was Special Reserve actually younger than Special Old Reserve? Probably not. But here's to hoping there's some maturity in the Olds.


Distillery: Glenfiddich
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Region: Speyside (Dufftown)
Age: no age statement
Maturation: ???
Bottle Code: LE4675281143
Alcohol by Volume: 43%

The color is back to a pale hue. The nose has some lovely old dunnage stink to it. Beneath that is a series of bright fruity, floral notes: peaches in honey, clementines, lemons, apples and vanilla bean. Lots of fresh ginger in the palate. Sweet citrus and a little bit of raspberry jam. There are smaller notes of molasses, burlap, herbal bitterness, salt and wood smoke. It gets maltier with time. It finishes with fresh ginger, limes, honey, salt and smoke, with the limes holding on the longest.

A pair of pliers was required to get the cap off this mini. That tight seal may have helped keep this whisky fresh and fruity, similar in quality to my bottle of early '90s Special Reserve. The citrus and ginger notes also formed a bit of a link between the two whiskies. This one is a little simpler than the early '90s version, and the extra 3 three alcohol points neither add nor subtract anything. No, it doesn't seem to be any older than the Special Reserves I've reviewed, but it's still a comfy starter single malt. That touch of smoke doesn't hurt either.

Availability - Auctions
Pricing - ???
Rating - 82

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