Glenfiddich is the number one selling single malt whisky in the world. And while the green, 12-year-old expression is a fixture at bars and liquor cabinets around the world, the Highlands distillery makes some exemplary — and very rare — old whiskys, as well. We got a look at some of these special bottlings firsthand, courtesy of brand ambassador Mitch Bechard.
Glenfiddich 21 Years Old – Tasted Cask Selection 26. Unique finish on this one: Polished off in rum casks of three different types and then blended together. Those rums change with every edition, but it’s always a threesome. Surprisingly light, with a gentle smokiness. The rum character is obvious in the body, with citrus and molasses on the finish. Really amazing character, smooth and lovely. 80 proof. A / $120
Glenfiddich 30 Years Old – 30 percent finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Darker in color, with caramel notes on the nose, plus incense and cigar box character. The body is very rich and decadent, with sherry fruit and a marshmallow/nougat sweetness. Maybe too rich, even, but certainly a special whisky. 86 proof. A- / $400
Glenfiddich 40 Years Old (6th Edition) – The story of how Glenfiddich 40 is made is alone fascinating enough to hold your interest before you even taste it. Glenfiddich 40 has been produced since 2000, every couple of years, and it’s done in a “remnant vatting” style, similar to the solera style of spirit bottling. The first two editions in 2000 and 2002 contained whiskys from 1925, 1937, 1939, and 1960. In 2004, the whisky was made with the leftovers from the first two vattings, plus a cask of 1963. In 2007, the leftovers from the first three years were added to more casks… and so on, until 2009, which is remnant casks, plus a cask of 1968. All told there are whiskys from 14 years’ worth of in the blend, the oldest distilled on July 3, 1925. The results are astounding, with rich sherry character balanced by a bit of smokiness, rich toffee notes, and a surprising touch of salty sea air — though Glenfiddich is not a coastal distillery. I guess 75 years or so of sitting in a cask in Scotland will do that to your Scotch. 600 bottles produced. 91.6 proof. A / $2,800