Friday, October 02, 2009

it's too whisky-y for crows

The exact rules governing my whisky-buying habits have yet to be formalised, as the whole process is still in its infancy, and I reserve the right to make them up as I go along anyway. Two rules I do broadly adhere to though are:
  • It's got to be on special offer for me to seriously contemplate buying it, the more money off the better of course
  • If it's a proper single malt I like the look of and it's under £20, then I'll almost certainly snap it up.
Having applied these rules to the whisky section in Sainsbury's on the way home from work this evening (it being Friday probably helped) I ended up walking out with a bottle of Glenfiddich Caoran Reserve at the bargain price of £19.49 (it's normally about £28). Not to be confused with Kia-Ora, though of course that was "Reserve" in a sense as well, in that it was just for me and my dawg.

If Dr. Whisky is to be believed (and I'm sure he is) this stuff differs from the standard 12-year-old Glenfiddich by being finished in casks that previously held Islay whisky, which adds a bit of dark smokiness to what's normally a pretty light and citrusy whisky. It's almost certain that the first single malt I ever sampled was a Glenfiddich 12yo, as it happens, as my parents' drinks cupboard used to have a bottle in it (which I suspect may have originally belonged to my grandfather), and I'm pretty sure I would have tried it on one of our occasional raiding trips while Mum & Dad were out.

Anyway, taste-wise it's lightly smoky and less sweet than you might imagine from sniffing it. You know that fruit cake you make by soaking the fruit in cold tea? It's a bit like that. In terms of the previous ones in this series, if you were to mix equal quantities of Highland Park and Glenmorangie together you'd get something not unlike this, without being quite as nice as either one individually.

It's easy to be all sniffy about Glenfiddich, as they make and sell an absolutely insane quantity of whisky worldwide, far more than any other single malt manufacturer, but the whisky itself is perfectly fine. You could argue that there's an inevitable all-things-to-all-men blandness to the product to avoid offending their enormous market's sensibilities that the smaller distilleries don't have to worry about, and you might be right, but, you know, some days you want a bit of Napalm Death, and some days you just want to listen to Rumours. And it was Glenfiddich who pioneered the sale of single malt whisky as a premium product, so all the other distilleries owe them a high five. And the triangular bottles are pretty cool.

And if I hadn't put "glenfiddich" into the YouTube search box I would never have found this hilarious series of videos of two guys enjoying whisky and cigars together. Just, you know, two regular guys....