Bottled in 2010 and released in 2011 (original retail about $86), the Snow Phoenix was made from casks that were exposed to the severe Scottish winter when the roof of one of Glenfiddich's warehouses collapsed under the weight of snow during one of Scotland's severest winters.
The nose is sweet and fruity, like fruit flavored hard candy. The palate follows suit. It comes on strong like strawberry candy, which yields to traditional Glenfiddich maltiness. The fruit turns cherry like in the finish with a bit of sherry influence.
I'm a pretty big fan of Glenfiddich 12. It's no revelatory malt, but I always enjoy it. Snow Phoenix tastes like the 12 bumped up in intensity, basically, so I dig it even more. Fruity (apples, pears), malty, honey-vanilla 'Fiddich at cask strength, with some added depth that probably comes from the higher sherry barrel content.
n: malt, oaky vanilla cream, and full of golden raisins and more golden fruit (pineapple and pear). A nice, very Glenfiddich profile.
t: follows suit, very cohesive and tasty. Baked green apple, more of the caramel malt, and richness that goes beyond typical OB releases. Finish is candied ginger and honey. Makes for a delicious after meal scotch. If anything it's too balanced and cohesive - it's actually one of the better Glenfiddich releases in recent times.
I got this when it came out, kept it for a long time and sampled. It doesn't live up to the hype that followed though. [solid B]