Getting fooled by Glenfiddich – a blind tasting of three whiskies

Glenfiddich blind tasting by Peter Moser

I love blind tastings. They are a great way to make a huge fool of yourself. Ahem. Okay, let’s try this again. I love blind tastings. They are very educational and let you focus on the whisky without any preconceptions. A prime example of this was last year at a blind tasting at the Campbeltown whisky festival where I rated an Inchmurrin highest and a Littlemill lowest. Would I have scored them the same if I had known beforehand what the were? I hope so – but can’t say for sure!

Peter Moser, who runs the German-speaking whisky site fosm.de has invited me to take part in his blind tasting sets for the last few rounds – which have always yielded very interesting, sometimes sobering results. For round seven in his series, he sent us three samples, labelled #1-3 and with very little clues other than it being a big distillery in the process of reinventing itself and all of the samples being from the same distillery. In the end, the distillery turned out to be Glenfiddich. No, I did not guess that correctly but I was close-ish At least that’s what I tell myself… That has to count, right?

Now, for the full dose of public humiliation and poking fun at myself on my own site I’ll reveal the three drams – complete with translations of my original tasting notes:

Continue reading “Getting fooled by Glenfiddich – a blind tasting of three whiskies”
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Blind tasting: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614CDram data:
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: June 2014
Age: 16 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 1st fill ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 55,2%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Oh, a mystery whisky! I love tasting mystery whiskies – even if there’s a chance I’ll make an utter fool of myself, but that’s part of the game! Let’s dig in!

Tasting notes:
Colour: apple juice
The nose is pleasant and light on the first nose with a hint of alcohol dominating. Light vanilla, red apples and red pears, strawberries, dried pineapple, summer honey, candyfloss and dextrose sugar pieces for athletes with added lemon aroma and heather tips. With time and careful nosing there’s quite a lot going on here, creating a summer-dram profile. Not too much oak influence, if you asked me I’d put this at about 10 years. My first intuition says Highlands (or maybe Speyside). A very clean and unobtrusive style of whisky – a Glenmorangie with more oomph than the 10yo or a slightly richer Glenlivet? Something along those lines. Even if it’s not, that’s what it reminds me of and it smells familiar. Definitely modern whisky and I’m 99,9% sure it’s Scotch malt whisky (leaving a tiny margin of error open, because, well, you never know, blind tastings are funny things). On to the palate now! Continue reading “Blind tasting: Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yo batch 0614C”

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24 drams till Christmas (blind) tasting #16: Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusive

Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusive

Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusiveDram data:
Distillery: Arran
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: 438 bottles
Casks: quarter cask finish
Alcohol: 52,8%
unchill filtered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Blind tasting notes:
Colour: light gold
The nose is initially on the light side, getting darker and richer as time passes. 40-43% ABV would be my guess. We’ve got vanilla, honey, heather, a hint of toffee, baked apple with brown sugar, sweet flowers, fragrant oak, slight spices and dried fruits (raisins) in the background.
Continue reading “24 drams till Christmas (blind) tasting #16: Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusive”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Macallan 10yo Fine Oak vs. Macallan Gold

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Macallan 10 yo Fine Oak vs. their NAS Gold edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A5A: Macallan 10yo Fine Oak
Distillery: Macallan
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014
Age: 10yo
Limitation: –
Casks: Bourbon+Sherry
Alcohol: 40%
chillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
straw
We’re back to the very light and faint noses. Classic style, vanilla, honey, a light creamy pudding note, eucalyptus, glucose-laden tinned fruits, sweet white grapes, dark oranges and faint notes of malt. Getting less fruity and quite a bit more malty as time progresses. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Macallan 10yo Fine Oak vs. Macallan Gold”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Cardhu 12 yo vs. Amber Rock

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Cardhu 12yo vs. their NAS Amber Rock edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A4A: Cardhu Amber Rock
Distillery: Cardhu
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Bourbon + toasted oak finish
Alcohol: 40%
most likely chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose opens with a rich and creamy note of vanilla and fruits. Oranges, orange rind, ripe pears, lots of apricots, fully ripe peaches, almost over-ripe Kiwi (including slightly bitter notes of Kiwi kernels), raisins and a top note of ginger. Maybe a very faint note of smoke – 2ppm-ish, but it could also stem from the casks. No european oak notes, though, probably American Oak Ex-Sherry casks? Just pure speculation – it is a blind tasting after all. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Cardhu 12 yo vs. Amber Rock”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glenlivet 12yo vs. Founder’s Reserve

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the thirdd pair of whiskies: The Glenlivet 12yo vs. their NAS Founder’s Reserve. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A3A: Glenlivet 12yo
Distillery: Glenlivet
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: 12yo
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chillfiltered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
gold
The nose opens with a delicate, sweet note of vanilla and honey. Summer fruits as well, although subdued. Oranges, sweet pears, red apples, ripe white grapes and a slight spice (ginger?) in the background Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glenlivet 12yo vs. Founder’s Reserve”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Dalmore 12yo vs. Valour

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statement

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Dalmore 12yo vs. their NAS Valour edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A2A: Dalmore 12yo
Distillery: Dalmore
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-2015
Age: 12yo
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
dark red gold (as fake as can be)
The nose opens initially light and alcoholic. Light vanilla, orange juice, orange rind, green apples, peppermint, with a profound sweetness (molasses and caramelised ginger?) in the background and also a light rubbery note. Getting sweeter and darker as time goes on with dried fruits appearing in the mix. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Dalmore 12yo vs. Valour”

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NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glen Moray 12yo vs. Port Cask Finish

Blind Tasting Challenge - NAS vs. age statementIn early 2015 whisky blogger and malt maniac Oliver Klimek set out to do a wide-scale comparison between NAS and age statement expressions, all done blind and with 35 tasters per pair of whisky. The results are very interesting with a near-draw between the entry-level malts and their NAS counterparts. Head over to his site dramming.com for all details on the challenge and the results!

Here are my original tasting notes on the first pair of whiskies: The Glen Moray 12yo vs. their NAS Port Cask Finish edition. All notes are original as written during the blind tasting phase.

A1A: Glen Moray Port Cask Finish
Distillery: Glen Moray
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2014 – 2015
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Casks: Port Cask Finish
Alcohol: 40%
chill filtered; probably coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
pale straw
The nose opens very light and shy. Predominately vanilla (pudding) and honey. Some light fruit notes as well – fresh grapes, red apples, banana chips, freshly squeezed oranges. The alcohol is noticeable (a eucalyptus note) but I wouldn’t put it at more than 40% ABV due to the very light nose, it would benefit from more oomph. The fruity notes fade over time and reveal a more malty side. Continue reading “NAS vs. Age Statement Blind Tasting Challenge: Glen Moray 12yo vs. Port Cask Finish”

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