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Monday, February 11, 2019

Glenfiddich Special Reserve 12 year old, late 1990s (Europe release)

I bought this 350mL from a reliable European retailer that had listed it as a late '90s bottling.

Its front label is very similar to the 2002's, but it has a much different bottle code. At some point in the 1990s Glenfiddich switched from L-number to L-letter codes, e.g. L2 vs LK. Unlike the 2002 bottling, this whisky was produced for Europe. It has a 350mL volume (as opposed to 375mL in the US) and it has Greek, French and Icelandic words on the back.

We're still in GF's 40%abv phase, about which all I have to say is 🙁. And though the Pure Malt phase has not yet been reached, the label compromises with the term Pure Single Malt. Speaking of compromises, see this bit of comedy:

With a smile!
No compromises except industrial dye, aggressive chill-filtration and the heaviest dilution allowed.

Distillery: Glenfiddich
Owner: William Grant & Sons
Region: Speyside (Dufftown)
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: bourbon casks and sherry casks, maybe?
Bottle Code: LK6023020532
Alcohol by Volume: 40%
Chillfiltered? Yes
Caramel Colorant? Yes

The nose begins with a mix of lemon, lime and orange peels, framed by a generic Speyside/Highland sherry cask note. It takes 20+ minutes for small notes of yeast, Blue Moon beer and peach candy to float up. The very thin palate shows toffee, nuts, Milk Duds and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Tart limes last the longest, and a metallic note stings underneath. After 30+ minutes, a bland caramel note starts to take over, and a hint of woody bitterness enters. The short finish is all sweet citrus, caramel, pepper and woody bitterness.

The 2002 and 2017 were sampled alongside this bottling, and this late '90s GF lands between the two quality-wise. To those of you who carry within your hopes and hearts that all 1990s whiskies have some old glut stock in them, may I just say #NotAll1990sScotch. This whisky is neither horrible nor grievously flawed, but it's devastatingly boring. Having gone through multiple glasses of the stuff, I've been unable to glean anything further. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of the bottle's contents, other that maybe vatting filler?

Availability - ???
Pricing - this was $17 before shipping
Rating - 78

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