Anyway, happy world wrestling day or whatever. For this week’s review, Dan has brought us his wedding party gift for some upcoming nuptials, the Glenfiddich 14y Rich Oak Single Malt Speyside whisky. We’ve had a few Glenfiddichs at this point, and it’s always interesting to see an odd (in this case even) aging. Although, 14 is not *that* uncommon an age – there’s a Benriach or Benromach or GlenDronach (cannot recall which) that’s 14y, and the popular Oban is 14y as well. Maybe there was a tax hike at 15y at some point.
I wonder what the distribution of ages is, actually. If we use iScotch as the data set, we had no 1y or 2y (not technically whisky in most locales that young). Staring at 3y, then:
Age – Quantity
3y – 1 (Corsican)
4y – 1 (Traverse City)
5y – 3 (The two South Africans & Glen Grant)
6y – 2 (Both bourbons, Fighting Cock & Jim Beam Black)
7y – 2 (both bourbons again, Widow Jane & Baker’s)
8y – 5 (bourbons, scotches and scotch blends)
9y – 2 (Canadian Club & Knob Creek)
10y – 18!!
11y – 0?
12y – 33!!!!
13y – 0
14y – 1
15y – 7
16y – 2
17y – 1
18y – 6
19y – 0
20y – 0
21y – 1
And that’s it because we’re broke-asses. And that broke-assedness certainly lends itself to selection bias and constraint, BUT: setting aside selection issues, it feels close to impossible that for a given selection of whiskies where 1/3 was ready at 10y and 2/3 were ready at 12y, from a sample set of over 50, not a single example of one ready at 11y exists in the data.
My guess is this. Whisky buyers view a 10y year as one quality, and assume a 12y is a higher quality, for the most part (why else would we pay more for it). Some people buying 12y whiskies are doing so to simply not buy the 10y whisky. Whisky makers/marketers know this. An 11y whisky would eat into the 12y sales without substantially lowering production costs. It’s not that no whisky was ever good after 11 years, it’s that they want to sell you a 12y for more.
Seem to have gone off on a tangent, we do have a review for you this week. The Glenfiddich 14y Rich Oak, here’s what we thought:
Dan – fennel, cherry, vanilla & corn syrup
Simon – smoke, apple, horse barn, forest, peppercorn steak
Dan – bitter oak & spice, walnut skin
Simon – candy, toffee, honey, wood
Dan – long, burning
Simon – long, light burn
Dan – 7/10
Simon – 7.1/10
Try it? Yes. Buy it? Split decision.