Review #164: r/scotch Wardhead 2019

I’ve been a fan of Glenfiddich since I first started drinking scotch but between getting into high proof bourbon and trying several cask strength scotches, Glenfiddich stolen from the queen included, I was largely ruined for the low proofers we tend to get here in the states.

While Glenfiddich appears to have no interest in exporting higher proof scotches, Ian Millar told me they already have the 102 proof travel exclusive 15 year and no plans to do more than that, I learned that cask strength indie teaspooned Glenfiddich was out there and was called Wardhead. I spent about 6 months this year unsuccessfully searching for a remotely reasonably priced bottle of Wardhead with no success until I saw the r/scotch selection post by u/t8ke announcing they had selected a 22 year old Wardhead! Needless to say, I was very excited and even hassled him a bit in discord about how to get a chance to buy a bottle. He assured me they wouldn’t sell out right away. Thankfully they didn’t and I was able to get a bottle. Let’s see if it lived up to all my hype.

r/scotch Wardhead 2019

Age: 22 years

Abv: 109.4 proof

Price: 99.20 EUR

Neat

Nose: Sweet pear, honey, malt and vanilla notes.

Taste: Rich honeyed apple and pear notes with a faint but warm spice towards the end. Thick and luscious mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and dry with malt, vanilla and pear notes lingering for some time.

Conclusion

This is fantastic, lived up to my hopes and it’s right up there with this year’s Spirit of Speyside festival bottle for my favorite bottle of scotch that I own. I will definitely be doing a video of a blind tasting with this bottle, the festival bottle and the distillery exclusive bottle on Instagram.

This dram flawlessly nails the notes of a great, unsherried Speyside single malt but lacks just a little something extra to push it up to a perfect 10. I could see a variation of this that was partially aged in something other than a refill cask(port pipe perhaps?) to give a little more complexity being a 10/10 for me. As it stands I am very happy with this bottle and am sorely tempted to order another one but the holidays and bourbon release season are putting a hurt on my whiskey budget. Maybe it will still be there in January?

TL;DR: I love, could use a little more complexity to get to a perfect 10.

9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf

Great - A great deal, I’d buy it again

Scale

Scale

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You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

Quality

10 - an all time favorite, must buy/hunt - Old Rip Van Winkle

9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf - Jack Daniel’s Heritage Barrel

8 - an excellent bottle I’d like to have at home - Blanton’s

7 - a great whiskey I’d order at a bar - Rare Breed

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink - 1792 Small Batch

5 - a whiskey with notable strengths but also held back by some flaws - High West Campfire

4 - a fine whiskey that does not standout in either direction - Evan Williams Black Label

3 - Better than not drinking whiskey but just barely - Crown Royal Deluxe

2 - Mixer only - Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye

1 - Pouring out the bottle, Coke Zero deserves better

Value

Great - A great deal, I’d buy it again - Eagle Rare, 1792 Small Batch

Fair - Worth the money, happy with my purchase - Rare Breed, A Mid Winter Night’s Dram

Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money - Kentucky Owl Confiscated, Heaven’s Door 10 year