Friday, 26 August 2011

Glenfiddich - The Guilty Pleasure

We all have guilty pleasures. Some are quite standard such as liking the X-Factor, the Spice Girls and Lambrini. Whereas others are down-right weird, like making a culinary cocktail of baked beans, pickle and spray-on cheese. Guilty pleasures are those secrets we keep to ourselves and it is this secrecy that makes the object of our pleasure all the more delicious. They are something that clashes with the image we project to others. They are dark, dirty and dangerous. Yet somehow, no matter how much we may try to ignore them, to strive to watch BBC4 and not E4, they always come back to haunt us, and we crumble before them. I have a few, and I cannot forgive myself for them. They include Waterloo Road, Ronan Keating and Glenfiddich. Waterloo Road just captivates me with its plot holes and poor story planning. I can’t help but enjoy Ronan Keating’s songs, and as much as I want to reject Glenfiddich’s big brand image, I can’t help it, I love this accessible pub whisky. So when I got the chance to taste the limited release of the Snow Phoenix I was very excited indeed.

The Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix has a story I quite like, and if you have read my Shackleton Whisky review you will know by now that I am partial to a good story. These whiskies could easily be described as gimmicky or simply a marketing ploy, and don't get me wrong I am well aware that these whiskies are largely a sales push. But I don't think that has to be a negative point. A story gives the whisky a sense of place and time. It helps make the whisky more than just a drink. The key is to match a good story with a good whisky. Having tried the Shackleton again, the glow has worn off somewhat. So when I tried the Snow Phoenix I was much more wary. So anyway back to the story...

In January 2010 after extremely heavy snowfall, the roof of a warehouse at Glenfiddich collapsed showering the casks waiting in sombre maturation in snow and ice, leaving a phoenix shaped (although I think angel-like) hole in the roof. Glenfiddich, not one to miss an opportunity, bottled a selection of the casks (aged between thirteen and thirty years) to create the Snow Phoenix, a commemoration of an event in Glenfiddich's rich history that could have been a disaster. I genuinely love this whisky and find it incredibly hard to stop drinking.

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix
47.6% - No Age Statement (13-30 years) - Bottled 2010
Nose: Toffee and pear instantly grapple with the nose with cherries and dry sherry lend a more complex charm, offset wit soft notes of cox apples and rosewater.
Palate: A busy mix of blackcurrants, caramel and apple with an underlying spiciness. Full-bodied and mouth coating it has an almost grainy dry texture that is somewhat moreish.
Finish: Apple pie with cream drizzled on top that doesn't rush to end.
Overall: Weirdly reminds me of the Shackleton despite their obvious differences, maybe it's the snow-laden story of the two. An absolutely brilliant whisky, I think I may be too smitten to offer a more impartial summary. Normal service resumed next time!

1 comment:

  1. This is truly a remarkable dram! Thanks again for recommending it!

    True Glenfiddich flavour with extra depths of character and flavour.

    P.S. Glenfiddich has become a large corporate image for a reason I believe, it is marvellous.