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Glenfiddich 21 vs Macallan 18: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Glenfiddich 21 vs Macallan 18 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt 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: JW Blue Label, Glenlivet 21

Taste:

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.

Macallan 18 Double Cask

macallan-18 double-cask
  • Nose: Dried fruit, nuts, orange, ginger
  • Palate: Sherry, honey, vanilla, oak
  • Finish: Medium, oak, sherry
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Macallan 18 Sherry Oak, Balvenie 21

Taste:

The nose is incredibly pleasing, full of dried fruit, roasted nuts, orange and a tad of ginger.

On the palate, Macallan 18 Double Cask offers a good mouthfeel as it has a good texture. Flavor is rich in sherry and honey at first, followed by vanilla and pleasant oak.

The finish is moderately long, with oak to it and more sherry and just a pleasant warming note coming late to the party.

Is it good?

Macallan 18 is a super smooth and yet complex malt with lots of depth. A subtle sherried flavor well balanced against oak and vanilla notes.

It has a creamy body and a soft mouthfeel, with no harshness or alcohol burn making it incredibly easy to sip.

This is a whisky to drink neat as it does not have any off-putting note, such as peat, smoke, medicinal notes or any complicated flavor; this is just a smooth whisky that goes down nicely.

Macallan 18 Double Cask facts:

  • Aged for 18 years in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks.
  • Macallan whiskies are free of artificial caramel-coloring.
  • Macallan is owned by the Scotland-based Edrington Group along the Highland Park Whisky.

Glenfiddich 21 vs Macallan 18: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Glenfiddich 21$210
Macallan 18 Double Cask$370

Glenfiddich 21 vs Macallan 18: Which is better?

Macallan is a way better dram

WhiskyGlenfiddich 21Macallan 18
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Macallan releases always come on top of those from Glenfiddich are they are more robust, much more complex and deep while being remarkably smooth.
  • They also come at a much higher price tag which is a major bummer.
  • If looking for a sweet whisky finished in Caribbean casks look into the Balvenie 14 which is a great deal.
  • If you are not willing to pay the Macallan 18 steep price looking into the Macallan 12 Sherry Oak which is incredibly good and one of the best 12 year whiskies and at a still reasonable price.