Monday 19 November 2012

Tasted #2: Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1975 (Cathay Pacific)

As promised, this is the first in my series of Glenfiddich "Tasted" posts.

A few years after starting to collect Glenfiddich, I was flying to Hong Kong for work and noticed the in-flight magazine had an interesting bottle of Glenfiddich - a 1975 Private Vintage (no age listed), bottled from a single cask exclusively for Cathay Pacific.

Being a fan of Glenfiddich and interesting/rare spirits in general, I decided it would make a nice addition to the collection and ordered a bottle for my return flight. It was also significantly cheaper than other Private Vintage Glenfiddich releases (like this 31yo 1975 release for $600), at around $220AUD.

The bottle didn't list an age (nor did any of the documentation), and while it was obviously  "old", I was curious how old. I sent off an e-mail and got a reply a week or so later from Ian Millar (Glenfiddich's global brand ambassador), confirming it was bottled in 2007, making it a 32 year old Glenfiddich.

So on with the tasting...

Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1975 - Specially selected for Cathay Pacific (50.7% ABV, 700mL, 32yo)
Surprisingly sweet on both nosing and first taste. The first whiff confirms it's clearly a higher ABV than regular (12, 15, 18 etc..) Glenfiddich, and the taste confirms it. At 50.7%, it's almost bang on-par with Glenfiddich's cask strength 15yo Distillery Edition. This isn't a subtle whisky.

The sweet start turns into a complex, nutty taste, that sticks around for an incredibly long finish. I tasted this alongside a Glenfiddich 18yo (itself a great drop - tasting to be posted shortly) and what really struck me was just how long the 1975 lingered compared to the 18. The thing is - long after finishing the last sip, the main thing I remember is the alcohol strength, rather than any subtleties of flavour.

So, is it a good drop? Yes, absolutely. Is it an interesting, well-presented Glenfiddich you'd be happy to display? Yep again. Is it the best Glenfiddich I've ever tasted? No, to be honest I think I prefer the Age of Discovery 19yo Madeira finish (tasting to be posted shortly).

Rating: 91/100


 - Martin.

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