Glenfiddich Vintage Cask Collection Peated

”Wasted Time”

Whisky Review # 898

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenfiddich Vintage Cask Collection - Peated Single Malt
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: European Sherry Wood & Bourbon casks married in Solera Vat # 3
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 100-130 (December 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎Too expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😐 The Peat is nice but it's way too Thin on the Palate.


Amber with shades of Orange (Artificially Colored)


Nice balance between Peat, Sherry Wood and Bourbon casks. It's a bit on the Thin side caused of course by the low ABV. The good thing is that the Alcohol is hardly noticeable on the Nose. Main Drivers are Smoke, (Dried) Fruit and Earthy notes. All in all quite pleasant.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Pear, Apple, Straw and Grass, Orange Marmalade, Dairy and Cinnamon.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Forest Floor, Dried Herbs, Fruit Cake, Yeast, Leather, Pork on the BBQ, Milk Chocolate, Dried Apricot and Pepper.


A big disappointment after the agreeable Nose. It's way too Thin on the Palate and all the good work of the distillery in creating this Single Malt goes to waste. The subtle Smoke and Peat work well with the Fruity Glenfiddich Spirit but with this ABV it tastes more like a peated Fruit Juice than a Single Malt Whisky. I really hope that Glenfiddich will continue to experiment with peated Whisky but I urge them to give these special Single Malts a more adequate ABV of around 46% and a bit more of well-aged Whisky. Then we're really talking! I almost forgot to mention that it's mainly Sweet on the Palate. Flavor-wise it basically follows the Nose.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Apple, Pear, Orange Marmalade, Cinnamon, Ginger, Charred Oak and Floral notes.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apricots, Milk Chocolate, Lemon, Yeast, Pork on the BBQ, Pepper, Leather, Tobacco and Dried Herbs.


Middle-Long & mainly Sweet with a light Bitterness towards the end. It's quite Thin and the raw Alcohol is noticeable at this point. It's Medium-Dry in the aftertaste and I find a light Metallic off-note. I find Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Apple, Pear, Banana, Smoke, Earthy Peat, Floral notes, Yeast, Leather, Tobacco, Roasted Marshmallows, Honey, Cocoa, Pepper, Cinnamon, Licorice, Ginger and Charred Oak.

Drinking Advice:

No Need to add Water to this Glenfiddich. It's Thin enough as it is.

Rating: 84.5

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Good Nose but too Thin on the Palate

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Smooth and Very Nice.


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 and Duty Free shops as well and the chance is huge that Glenfiddich was your first Single Malt. It was mine! 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.

Following the success of the innovative Solera Vatting for the 15 Yr Solera Reserve, Glenfiddich has created three new Solera Vats. The Vintage Cask is the 3rd release in this series and all three are sold exclusively in Global Travel Retail. This vatting contains whiskies aged in either European Spanish sherry - or 1st fill Bourbon casks  using heavily peated whisky (25 ppm). That comprises around 50% of the vatting and as it is blended with other whiskies it's brought down to about 10-15 ppm in the glass. Glenfiddich Vintage Cask harks to the past, when the distillery's output was partly peated.

Sometimes it's not easy to be a Whisky fan these days. Take this Glenfiddich for example. You know this could be a great Single Malt if longer-matured Whisky and a more appropriate ABV would be applied. The price would suggest something like that to be possible. Instead we get a relatively Young, not fully-matured Whisky that is bottled at the absolute legal minimum of 40%. Does that make sense? No! You're just paying way too much for a Young, Thin Whisky that comes in a nice bottle and fancy box. It's such a pity, the more so as the Glenfiddich Spirit and Peat combine well as can be ascertained on the Nose. So I would really like to ask the distillery to consider making a fully-matured peated Single Malt bottled at 46%. I am sure it would please many Whisky fans all around the world! As it is today I can't recommend this Single Malt at this price level.


Jan van den Ende                                                                 December 30, 2020

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2019


I would like to Wish all my readers and whisky fans all over the world a better, healthier and more recognizable 2021. Because 2020 really sucked! Big Time! Stay Healthy and enjoy your Whisky in a safe way! Cheers, Jan.


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