Glenfiddich 15 Years Distillery Edition Review

“Ordinary World”

Whisky Review # 841

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 51%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon and Oloroso casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 50-60 (October 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: Okay
Buying Advice: 😑Okay for starters. Not interesting enough for regulars.


Deep Golden (Artificially Coloured)


A little too Edgy and "Hot" for a matured Speysider. The Alcohol is noticeable. I would suspect that mainly Refill casks were used. A little Sulphur perhaps but nothing too serious. The Sherry Wood is noticeable. On the Nose this Glenfiddich presents a mix of Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Floral notes. It is definitively quite modern and "mainstream". It 's not bad but I can't get excited about it either.

Main Aromas:

Barley Sugar, Butter Kekse (German Butter Biscuits), Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apricots, Orange Marmalade, Toasted Nuts, Charred Oak, Milk Chocolate, Grapefruit Juice, Pepper, Cinnamon and Leather.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Caramel, Apple, Pear, Mandarin, Pineapple, Dusty Straw, Dried Herbs, Coconut, Nutmeg, Cloves and Lemon-Pepper.


Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour notes. The Alcohol remains quite present. It tastes younger than its actual age.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Apricots, Apple, Pear, Hazelnuts, Orange Marmalade, Mandarin, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Clove, Pepper, Nutmeg and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Butterscotch, Black Currant Cake, Wet  Rocks, Ginger, Mustard and Leather.


Middle-Long & Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes.The Alcohol remains noticeable. It is quite consistent with Nose and Palate. I find Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Heather-Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Sultanas, Hazelnut paste, slightly Bitter Orange and Grapefruit Juice, Apple, Pear, Lemon, Grapes, Oak Char, Cocoa Powder, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Licorice, Mustard & Mint.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that eases the slightly "rough" character of this Malt. Other than that it basically remains unchanged. Just add a few drops and see how you like it best.

Rating: 82.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good


Glenfiddich was founded in Dufftown in 1886 by William Grant. It's one of the few distilleries that is still in the hands of the founder's family. In the year 1963 it became the first whisky that was marketed worldwide as a Single Malt. It was the first Single Malt to appear in the Travel Retail/Duty Free shops as well and the chance is very big that Glenfiddich was your first Single Malt. It was mine anyhow. It is also the first distillery that opened a visitor centre, back in 1969. The current core range consists of the 12, 15, 18, 21, 26, 30  and 40 years old. We visited the distillery in May 2014 and May 2019. Despite the large number of visitors they still do a good job on the Tours.

The 15 DE I'm reviewing today is around for a while and is available at the distillery and some Travel Retail Shops. It's not a bad Whisky but it has all the slightly boring characteristics of many of today's Single Malts. I have a specific issue with this Glenfiddich though. It smells & tastes a little rough and not fully matured. I must blame the indifferent refill Wood for that. This 15 DE will most certainly appeal to new whisky drinkers and that's most likely the idea behind it. But it doesn't convince me. It's all a bit plain & without any "Wow" moments. The P/Q ratio is okay if you can get it at around US$ 50.


Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 24, 2019

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2019

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