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Glenfiddich 21 vs Blue Label: Which Wins?

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

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: Glenlivet 21, Macallan 18

Taste:

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

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

You also get some pleasant spiciness of chili pepper along a tad of walnuts.

The finish is short, with more tropical notes notes to it and very little warmth to it.

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 short of being stellar.

Very little value for the money when you can buy the Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask 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 selected 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.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

johnnie-walker-blue-label
  • Nose: Oak, dried fruits, berries, citrus
  • Palate: Caramel, smoke, chocolate, malt
  • Finish: Medium, light smoke, dried fruit
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Highland Park 18, Macallan 15

According to Johnnie Walker only 1 in 10,000 casks is selected to be part of the blend.

It makes me think that Johnnie Walker must have a zillion casks in storage as the Blue Label is everywhere to be found as every duty free store in the world carries a generous stock.

Taste:

The nose offers oak at first, followed by a light smoky note. There are hints of berries and citrus coming behind.

On the palate, the JW Blue Label feels creamy, rich in caramel up-front, followed by a malty flavor and a hint of chocolate. There is a bit of smoke making it incredibly rewarding.

The finish has a solid length, light in oak and smoke with a rich dried fruit note.

Is it good?

I would summarize the Johnnie Blue by saying “smooth, smoky and delicious”.

This whisky is incredibly smooth yet quite flavorful with more peat than I was expecting but still just a hint and nothing off-putting for those who are not into peaty whisky.

The Blue Label is remarkably gentle on the palate, very smooth, slightly sweet with smoky cigar-like aftertaste. It does not burn as it goes down easy and nicely.

It lacks in proof, though, as 40% ABV for a whisky at this price doesn’t feel right, but the flavor makes up for it entirely.

Blue Label facts:

  • Johnnie Walker is a blend of grain whiskies and a blend of malt whiskies from different distilleries; this is not a single malt Scotch.
  • Blue Label has no age statement. Johnnie Walker does not disclose the minimum aging of the whiskies that comprise the blend.
  • Each bottle of Blue Label is offered in a silk-lined box with a certificate of authenticity and a serial number. It makes a good token!

What’s the difference between the Glenfiddich 21 and the Blue Label?

The main difference between these whiskies is the Glenfiddich 21 being a Single Malt whisky crafted exclusively from malted barley at a single distillery.

The Blue Label is a blend from an undisclosed number of whiskies coming from various distilleries across Scotland.

It must be noted that the Blue Label does not provide an age statement.

Glenfiddich 21 vs Blue Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Glenfiddich 21$210
Johnnie Walker Blue Label$185

Glenfiddich 21 vs Johnnie Walker Blue Label: Which is better?

The Blue Label is a better deal

WhiskeyGlenfiddich 21Blue Label
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Blue Label has several shortcomings such as being a blend with no age statement, underproofed and artificially coloured.
  • Despite that this whisky is delicious and something well worth tasting at least once in a lifetime.
  • It delivers the goods making a very enjoyable whisky.
  • The Glenfiddich 21 is good, super smooth and sweet packed with rum-like notes but there are better deals such as the Balvenie 14 or even the super affordable Glenlivet Caribbean which is supremely smooth and not that different.