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Hello! First off, my name is Jay, I'm from a tiny town in Ohio, and I'm only one month into my single malt journey. I have 13 bottles currently, and by far my favorite is Glenfiddich 15 year Solera. Based on Internet reviews my next purchase this week will be either Glenfiddich 18 or Macallan 18 sherry. I love the butterscotch taste I get from the Glenfiddich 15 and was wanting some other real world opinions before I make my purchase. My taste hasn't developed enough to enjoy the heavy peat malts, so I have narrowed it down to those two. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Jay, and welcome to the forum!As for your question... my recommendation depends on what you want from your next purchase.I also like both Glenfiddich 15 Solera and 18 - but actually they are very different in taste.While the 15 y.o. has lots of Sherry influence, Honey, dark fruits and the butterscotch taste you mentioned, the 18 is kind of lighter: Vanilla, rich ripe apples, hints of toffee.Macallan 18 on the other hand has lots of sherry influence, too - but definitely more oak influence than Fiddich 15 and also dry sherry notes. It also is considerably more expensive - don't know how important this aspect ist for you.You might like to try some middle aged Glengoyne (e.g. 17 y.o.) or some Balvenie sherry cask whisky if you're looking for something similar to the Glenfiddich 15 y.o. Solera - or go ahead and see if you like the other expressions as well - I definitely do (but that's only me...:wink
My local shop had Macallan 18 Sherry vintage 1995 on the shelf for $200, so I picked it up. Your assessment was spot on, many of the same flavors as the Glenfiddich 15 Solera, but much more fruit and oak. It is going to take a novice like me quite a while to find all the flavors it has.
I just finished a 1996 Macallan 18 tasting and for what it's worth, here are my tasting notes:Macallan 18 yr. 1996 VIntage (Sherry Oak Casks) 43% ABVI have to admit, the very notion of engaging and documenting a TRUE tasting of this dram has been (and still is in some respects) very intimidating to me. Why you may ask? Simply because the reputation of the Macallan 18 precedes itself; especially throughout the circles of master tasters and connoisseurs alike. For me, a novice taster, this is one of the first, true “Gold Standards” that I have chosen to taste and believe me when I say that every recommendation, award, glowing review, chant of praise and ratings stars that have been heaped upon this product are completely and utterly incontrovertibly earned and proven.To make a long introduction short…tasting this dram was simply…wondrous.On the Nose: Amidst the ever-present fingerprints of a Highland expression I discovered a traditional sweetness; layers of orange creme and vanilla, honey, a note of spiciness, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, a hint of lemon zest. A deeper and more conscious nosing also revealed whispers of dried red fruits and a blossom of floral bouquet.Tasting - Neat: Full and intense with a mouth puckering tartness from the Sherry Oak Casks, accompanied by the familiar spiciness from those 18 years of maturation in the sherry wood. Incredibly sweet on the tip of the tongue yet so finely balanced as not to linger as the spirit washed over the tongue. Further tastings revealed quite a greater and more robust palate with vibrant notes of vanilla, caramel, sweet golden raisins, ginger, and a hint of aged and aromatic leather. The subdued quality of the 43% ABV allows the dram to exercise its true flavor complexity with the roundness and balance of the finest traditions of the Macallan and Highland profile. Finish: Clean yet surprisingly long and fulfilling; a tapering complexity that the dryness of the sherry influence exercises upon the palate. Round and robust and superbly balanced so that no one single note is overpowering. A truly brilliant finish that creates a certain longing and inspires and entices a second pouring.In Conclusion: As a self-proclaimed champion and passionate enthusiast for most of the Islay distilleries - especially Ardbeg and Laphroaig, this Macallan 18 yr Sherry Oak whisky at 43% ABV has probably come the closest to making me re-evaluate what I expect from a Scotch Single Malt whisky. The execution is nearly flawless with what I feel is an almost perfect offering of aroma, color, taste and quality. There is an almost eerie smoothness to the spirt and, because it is so “un-aggressive” throughout the tasting, you can completely immerse your palate in the experience of the flavor profile complexity without the traditional “expectations” of whisky being unmercifully strong, or only for the truly stalwart and stoic palates. Now...I truly believe that there is no “perfect” whisky as certain profiles naturally gravitate towards certain palates and tasting audiences. However, this Macallan 18 is quite possibly one of the best whiskys I have tasted and has earned its place amongst my choice of “top shelf” drams. I was fortunate enough to conduct my tasting from a 3 cl sample that I purchased from Drinks By The Dram - because I full 750 mL bottle is quite expensive and this is not your “everyday dram”; the kind you traditionally enjoy after a difficult day of work or to share among friends. This is the kind of dram that you SAVOR, that you cherish because it is worth taking the time to slowly sip and “experience” instead of ingest. This is the kind of product that defines the true artistry and craftsmanship of whisky distilling and illustrates the sheer commitment to excellence for which the Macallan brand is perpetually known.Highly recommended!!! 95/100Sláinte (good health)
I love The Macallan 18 yr Sherry Cask. It is expensive but I think it is worth the premium.Funny thing is that I personally prefer Glenfiddich 15 than Glenfiddich 18, just personal option. If I have not bought the Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique recently (happened to be the last bottle in the liquor store), I would have bought The Macallan 18yr Sherry Cask (there were 4 bottles on the shelf). So I will save up and Macallan18 will be definitely my next purchase... cheers!
"116520" wrote:Funny thing is that I personally prefer Glenfiddich 15 than Glenfiddich 18, just personal option.
Not to be contradictory, but you should keep in mind that Glenfiddich 15 (Soleray) and 18 are fundamentally different by the casks used... if you compare quality by age the lines of Macallan 12/18, Glendronach 12/15/18/21 or Glefarclas 10/12/15/18... might be more comparable.If comparing older and younger Glenfiddichs the best ones to comapre to the 18 yrs might be the 12 yrs and the 15 yrs. Distillery Edition - in which case (in my view) both the 15 and the 18 yrs score significantly better than the 12 yrs. - as always solely from my personal point of view!
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