Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich unveils the Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO, an exclusive variant for global travel retail that’s finished in rare French cuvée oak casks and first released at DFS in Changi Airport.
The world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich has announced the release of the Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO. This exclusive expression is first matured for 23 years in American and European oak casks, and then further finished for an undisclosed amount of time in rare French oak casks that once held the liquid that would go on to become some of the world’s most extraordinary sparkling wines.
While Glenfiddich won’t reveal exactly what French sparkling wine was previously held in those rare oak casks – likely due to French wine appellation laws – but it would undoubtably be from Champagne. After all while other parts of France do make sparkling wines, the Grand Cru tag here likely refers to the highly prestigious 17 Grand Crus of Champagne (Alsace too also has Grand Cru plots and makes the sparkling Crémant d’Alsace, but low production levels of the former makes this unlikely to refer to casks from this region).
“We experimented with the maturation time and hand-selected the right balance of 23 year old Glenfiddich casks out of our unique collection of old age malts. The further influence from the oak of the French cuvée casks added an extra layer of complexity thanks to the liquid they once held,” shares Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman. “Marrying the best of both worlds, the final liquid presents an exceptional finesse and is a special tribute to each cuvée cask the malts were finished in.”
“This new whisky exemplifies the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries, looking beyond the world of whisky to create exquisitely flavoured liquids,” adds Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador, Struan Grant Ralph.
The Glenfiddich Grand Cru comes in a sleek black glass bottle with its gold Grand Cru print and evocative golden closure are presented in an opulent black box featuring a sparkling golden firework design, created by London’s award-winning HERE Design to emanate the spirit of celebration and the true taste of luxury contained within.
It is not clear what flavours are exactly imparted by ex-champagne casks to whisky; whiskies that were made around the same way are rare and few between. There was only a limited single cask release from The Arran Malt – specifically finished in a cask that previously held Grand Cru Champagne from Henri Giraud in Aÿ – back in 2005, and most recently a similarly limited edition 30YO by Bunnahabhain specially released for Feis Ile 2019.
Exclusive launch at DFS in Changi Airport
Glenfiddich brand owner William Grant & Sons will be partnering DFS and Changi Airport to officially launch the Glenfiddich Grand Cru at Changi Airport on 5 September 2019, with a full month-long airside marketing activation complete with photo-sharing opportunities and chances for travellers to personalise their own Grand Cru bottles.
“We are honoured to partner with William Grant in unveiling a world first and travel retail exclusive from Glenfiddich to our discerning customers – whose palates and tastes are constantly evolving and expanding. We hope to redefine moments of celebration with this very special bottle of Glenfiddich Grand Cru, whilst simultaneously appealing to an emerging generation of budding spirit aficionados,” says Brooke Supernaw, Senior Vice President Spirits, Wines, Tobacco, Food and Gifts, DFS Group.
Interestingly this partnership comes after DFS announced last month that it would not continue its travel retail concessions for liquor and tobacco at Changi Airport and will close all its stores there in mid-2020.
Alongside Changi, the global campaign includes activations across key international airport locations including Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Tokyo, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Delhi, Dubai, London, Paris, Edinburgh and New York. The new whisky goes live through all other airports from 1 October 2019.
There are two different variants of the Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO – DFS would be offering an exclusive variant that comes in at 75cl 43% ABV, while other global travel retail partner gets a 70cl 43% ABV version.
Recommended selling price of the Glenfiddich Grand Cru is S$350.
Official Tasting Notes – Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO
colour Dark gold
nose An intense aroma of apple blossom, freshly baked bread and candied lemon
Taste Layers of rich vanilla oak, sweet brioche, sandalwood, pear sorbet and white grape
finish Long, opulent and sweet