A dram for Xmas (Glenfiddich 14 Rich Oak)

In the build up to Santa time, I’m going to taste some whiskies that are going to be well received as presents or enjoyed as a wee dram after the olympic sport that is eating Christmas dinner.

The first whisky I have chosen is Glenfiddich 14 year old Rich Oak. Matured in ex bourbon casks for a period of 13 years. The batch will be split at this point and a percentage will be finished in New American oak and a percentage will be finished in New Spanish Red oak.It will be then vatted back together and bottled.

I think as a gift, it fits very nicely for someone who is interested in whisky, and wants to continue their interest. The in depth information on the box about maturation is a positive step for whisky companies. They have recognised the customers thirst for knowledge. If I received this as a Christmas pressie, I would be reading the box to find out more about how they made it (whilst having a dram). For those beginning their interest in whisky, this encourages investigation into maturation (where is the oak from? How often it has been used?)

Glenfiddich 14 Rich Oak
over 13 years in ex bourbon casks
finished in new Spanish and new American oak
40% Abv
Buy a bottle of it here

Nose: Creaminess, pralines, green apples, pears and cooking apples. The new oak comes through, and there are some similarities to that of a Bourbon. This is balanced by the apples and pears that show off the Scottish and Glenfiddich style.

Palate: Pears, aniseed, cinnamon, plums. A very fruity, tasty dram. The Spanish Red oak comes through with a delightful Christmas cake taste. It is a very easy drinking whisky, but it does have some complexity to it. I would love to try some of the cask samples. I think it would be amazing to try the components of this whisky at every stage of maturation. Is that a bit geeky? Probably.

Finish: Short and sweet.

It’s a really good dram. I would love to try it at cask strength, since I almost feel it holds back slightly. For my own taste buds, at cask strength it would be excellent rather than really good. I’ve bought a bottle though, which I feel is the highest praise I can give. Actions speak louder than words.




  1. Hi guys,

    Im with you 100% on the cask strength for this, it left me a little underwhelmed as it seemed to thin out a little but nonetheless a good dram. Im in Edinburgh for Christmas, any recommendations?

  2. Hi Chris,

    Glad you enjoyed the Rich Oak. I think I still have some leftover cask samples from deconstruction masterclasses which we could go through some time in the new year:
    - 14 year from refill wood
    - new American finish (~3/4 months)
    - new Spanish finish (only ~4/6 weeks!)

    I don’t have a cask strength version of the final marriage, sorry…


  3. To James: I personally think the Scotch Malt is an amazing place to go at Christmas. Open fires and cask strength whisky. Perfect.

    To Jamie: Sounds awesome mate. I’ll be in touch in the new year. We could even make it a video blog.

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