I saw this on the shelf, at my local liquor store, and thought it was time to revisit it. Fifteen years ago, I was a big fan of this single malt. It was a nuanced honey, barley, golden cereal type of flavor profile that exhibited impressive complexity. It was totally in my wheelhouse: a classic Speysider on the lighter honey based flavor map. Back then, Glenfiddich 15 Solera had a place on my shelf alongside other malts with similar flavor profiles like Cragganmore 12 and Glenmorangie 12 Nectar d'Or.
So, while the security cameras watched my every move in the liquor store, as I hefted the bottle in its tube, I decided to pull the trigger, and approached the cashier. $99! Times have changed. Used to be much cheaper. But, I thought this is a fifteen year old single malt and given that age statement, $99 in Canada is fair. My friends south of the Canadian border are probably getting it for $70 or so. Still fair I think at first glance.
So, I get this bottle home, sit out on the back deck, pull the cork, pour a dram and just let it sit for about 10 minutes or so. Let it breathe. I do this because sometimes the first dram poured too soon tastes a little tight or hot with some single malts. Highland Park 18 comes to mind. Best to open the bottle, have a dram after twenty minutes, and it will taste even more mellow a week from then because of oxidation.
Imagine rows of barrels or casks, stacked five or so levels high, all connected by pipes, and sherry drained from the ground level casks is the oldest, and the empty space in the cask is replaced with sherry from the cask of the row above. Meanwhile, as the oldest sherry is bottled by draining the floor level barrels, more young sherry, is poured into top row barrels. This is the purported Solera system, but from what I have read, the term is used very loosely meaning the actual aging and blending of spirit may not be adhering to Spanish tradition outlined above.