As you may or may not know, Glenfiddich, was founded in 1887 by William Grant and family run to this day, is perhaps the most famous of all of Scotland’s single malts and is equally famous for the rarity of its single cask bottling’s. Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, is always looking for some a bit different, some sort of ingenious innovation in scotch whisky. In past we’ve seen two other expressions from the Experiments range, this is number 3 – the Glenfiddich Winter Storm.
This time, Brian, travelled to Canada and made a point of visiting a winemaker at a renowned winery in Niagara. Despite the freezing temperatures of January, Brian made a tour of the vineyards, where he discovered how the grapes had to be picked my moonlight at -10 degrees celsius – when they were as hard as pebbles. The unique qualities of the intense sweet icewine were inspirational in creating experiment no. 3. This new expression of Glenfiddich is aged for 21-years and finished in small batches of icewine casks from said winery.
On the nose: you’ll experience initial notes of fresh cranberries, candy apple, strawberries, vanilla and golden syrup. This is closely followed by peaches, a hint of lemon zest, some subtle spices and a touch of mint. The nose is nicely rounded off with butterscotch, brown sugar, salty caramel, pears drops, sherbet and a waft of hazelnuts. On the palate: are those fresh but sharp cranberries, alongside some lemon cheesecake, vanilla and brown sugar. These are followed by notes of Turkish delight, candy apple and pear drops. There are also some undertones of tobacco, leather, cinnamon and star anise. Completing the palate are notes of butterscotch, hazelnuts and a slight menthol note. The finish: is long, bittersweet, with lingering herbs and spices.
The verdict: Suffice to say, I’ve tasted my fair share of Glenfiddich but some how I’m always left slightly disappointed with their 21yo expressions. This experiment no.3 does have a little more intrigue. It is nicely balanced and offers a lot more than expected but could perhaps do with a little more punch in my humble opinion. Bottled at ABV 43% in a 70cl bottle this is a dram that doesn’t require any water, in my opinion – though if you do need to then only add a very small amount.
Glenfiddich Winter Storm 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch when originally release was £199. However, because it was limited all have been sold and your best bet obtaining a bottle is either at auction or privately.
For more information on this Winter Storm 21 year-old expression, visit the official Glenfiddich website.