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Glenfiddich 18 vs Glenfiddich 21: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Glenfiddich 18 vs Glenfiddich 21 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Glenfiddich 18

  • Nose: Apple, citrus, cinnamon, oak
  • Palate: Nuts, ripe fruit, honey, baking spice
  • Finish: Short, sherry, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Glenlivet 18, Macallan 18


Glenfiddich 18 smells like apple juice at first, followed by hints of citrus, cinnamon and oak.

On the palate is rich in fruity sweetness, with a completely inoffensive mouthfeel, a hint of roasted apple and honey.

The finish is quite easy although a bit too short and dry with a faint oaky note and a touch of sherry.

Is it good?

This Scotch accomplished a good balance of barrel wood and sweetness that sometimes gets lost when a whisky is aged for this long.

There is nothing neither remarkable nor off-putting, this is a smooth and sweet sherried whisky aged in Oloroso Sherry Casks and bourbon barrels free of controversies, layered flavors or complexity.

Let’s call it a “plain vanilla” whisky.

No alcohol burn, smoke, peat, or any complicated note making a good choice for those in the mood for a sweet and easy dram and are not willing to break the bank.

Glenfiddich 18 facts:

  • Aged in both Oloroso Sherry Casks and Bourbon casks.
  • Earned Gold at the 2014 International Spirits Challenge.
  • Gold at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  • Glenfiddich has been in business since Christmas Day 1887 when William Grant founded the distillery.
  • Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt across the globe and second in the US after Glenlivet.

Glenfiddich 21 Reserva Rum Cask Finish

glenfiddich -21
  • Nose: Honey, caramel, pineapple, coconut, almond
  • Palate: Raisins, pineapple, mango, honey, walnut, chili pepper
  • Finish: Mango, pineapple, honey
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Macallan 18, Glenlivet 21


The nose is sweet and smooth with hints of honey at first, followed by tropical notes of pineapple and coconut, along almond coming behind.

On the palate, the Glenfiddich 21 feels a bit watery lacking in texture. First sip is sweet hitting with raisins at first, followed by rum-like notes of pineapple, mango and coconut.

You also get some pleasant chili pepper spiciness making it lively, along a tad of roasted walnuts.

The finish is short-lived, with more tropical notes notes to it and very little heat to it making an overly smooth and sweet sip.

Is it good?

The Glenfiddich 21 is a smooth and sweet easy drinker that tastes more like a rum than a Scotch.

A bit thin as it lacks texture providing a mediocre mouthfeel with a short and unremarkable finish and shy of being stellar.

Not the best in terms of value when you can buy the Balvenie 14 Caribbean at a deep discount while offering a more robust profile, along Balvenie’s signature smoothness making a better deal for your hard-earned money.

Glenfiddich 21 facts:

  • Originally known as the Havana Reserve but changed name due to the US embargo against Cuba.
  • Aged for 21 years in used bourbon barrels, followed by four months in hand-picked rum barrels from the Caribbean.
  • Glenfiddich is owned by William Grant & Sons along Balvenie although they are crafted at different distilleries within the same Scottish region of Speyside.

Glenfiddich 18 vs Glenfiddich 21: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenfiddich 18$100
Glenfiddich 21$210

Glenfiddich 18 vs Glenfiddich 21: Which is better?

The 18 YO is a better deal

WhiskyGlenfiddich 18Glenfiddich 21
  • The Glenfiddich 18 provides better value for the money as it makes one of the best whiskies under $100 you can buy.
  • Not the most complex but super smooth providing a solid 18 YO sherried whisky that drinks free of controversies.
  • The 21 YO is not bad, just that a little too pricey for what it offers when you can buy better rum-barrel aged whiskies for a fraction of the price.