Glen Fohdry Aiteal an Òir 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Review

Have you heard of the Spirits Direct program at Total Wine & More? If you’re unfamiliar with that, it is the marriage of an independent bottler and something else I can’t describe. You can find many house brands and a few well-known national brands, such as Angel’s Envy, under the Spirits Direct program.


One of the issues with the Spirits Direct program is that you rarely have access to key facts about the whiskeys in the program. You can ask, and they’ll tell you, “This is the same thing as [name brand].On a side note, please don’t fall for that bullshit because that’s all it is. Some Spirits Direct items score well with me. Others don’t. To be perfectly fair, few brands produce only winners.


Today, we dive deep into Glen Fohdry Aiteal an Òir 12. It is labeled as a Speyside Single Malt Scotch. Not much else is disclosed. I did some detective work to discover that The Glen Grant owns Quality Spirits International, which owns The Glen Fohdry Malt Company. The Glen Grant is a Speyside distillery, and the company is the third-largest producer of Scotch whiskies behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard.


As with all single malt Scotches, Glen Fohdry is distilled from 100% malted barley. The distillery and type of cooperage used are undisclosed. It aged at least a dozen years and is packaged at 47.1% ABV (94.2°). Interestingly, it is non-chill filtered. There’s no word on if it is naturally colored. A 750ml bottle will set you back $52.99. It is marketed as a limited-edition whisky.


I picked up a 50ml taster for $3.99. I love 50ml bottles. I habitually grab them when I see something I’ve never tried before. They provide a perfect opportunity to #DrinkCurious with minor risk. Plus, you’re only out a few bucks if you hate something. You can open your pocketbook for a standard bottle if it passes muster.


On a side note, Aiteal an Òir is Gaelic for The Color of Gold. Now that we have the background let’s explore how this turned out.


Appearance: I poured this whisky into my Glencairn glass to sip neat. The bright gold-colored Scotch produced a medium rim that discharged thick, crooked legs.


Nose: A dense, fragrant aroma filled the room with vanilla and honey. After allowing it to breathe, I smelled peaches, apples, and mustiness. Once I pulled the vapor into my mouth, I encountered malt.


Palate: Glen Fohdry’s texture was slightly creamy. Then, a shocker: peat! Peat isn’t unheard of for Speysides; however, it is pretty unusual. Alongside the peat were vanilla and malt. As it moved to the middle, I found Honeycrisp apples. The back tasted of oak, cinnamon spice, and earth.


Finish: The short-leaning-to-medium finish included flavors of smoked oak, earth, black pepper, and apples.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The most remarkable thing about Glen Fohdry Aiteal an Òir 12 is its peat content. It is relatively mild yet unmistakable. Beyond that, it was unbalanced and strange from the middle to the finish.


That peat content gave Glen Fohdry the potential to be so much more than a mediocre Speyside whisky. Factor in the price, and that's expensive for what many lovely blends can eclipse for less. It would be challenging for me to recommend grabbing one off the shelf. On one hand, I could say, "Hey, there's a 50ml. You can try what a peated Speyside tastes like." On the other hand, Glen Fohdry 12 is not representative of what good peated Speysides are. 

You can try it if you're really that curious, but for me, it is a hard pass and takes my Bust rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.