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Last week, Glenfiddich hosted a tasting of its newest gem, a 26-year aged single malt Scotch whisky, at Christie’s auction house in New York. Whiskey enthusiasts and emerging art collectors alike came together to sip, smell, and see – both the matured scotch and an exhibition of photographs by Simon Butterworth.
While waiting to taste the 26, we whetted our palates with a taste of the 12, 18, and 21 while nibbling on passed hors d’oeuvres and checking out Butterworth’s photographs of Glenfiddich’s oak barrel-aging process (there are 26 in total, for symmetry’s sake).
“Imagine a whisky with all the depth and complexity of 26 long years in oak barrels resting in the Scottish highlands,” suggested Struan Grant Ralph, the well-spoken (and well-groomed, might we add) brand ambassador who led the tasting. From him we learned that the aged whisky’s flavor and color is owed greatly to the American oak bourbon casks Glenfiddich imports. It is so key to the development of the Scotch whisky that the 128-year old brand commissioned Butterworth to capture the life of an oak cask, from a sapling in Kentucky, to the Speyside, Scotland distillery, to glass.
“Then consider the sweet, vanilla perfume, and the delicate floral notes and quickly realize that this Glenfiddich is something very special indeed. A dram that rested for so long it’s a shame to rush it, take your time let the bouquet open up and immerse yourself in layers of subtle flavors,” continued Ralph. The 26 appeared lighter in color than its younger counterparts, with a more noticeably botanic scent, and a sweeter taste.
The Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old will launch in stores this fall.