Mitch Bechard is a Glenfiddich ambassador and a friend, and I don’t just say that because he drops by the house with goodies like this from time to time, I swear.
This very special whisky is a vatting of just a handful of barrels from 1974, selected by Bechard and the other Glenfiddich ambassadors in conjunction with the company’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.
One taste and you’ll see why. This 36-year-old, green-tinted whisky hints at its age by looks alone, but once you tuck into it the proof is right there in the spirit. Up front the character is a bit madeirized, with notes of banana, wood, and salty iodine. Let it open up for a few minutes so those more acidic notes can blow off, and layers and layers of character reveal themselves. Graham crackers, strawberries, classic nougat notes, and vanilla sugar cookies all come through, and that light saltiness really balances things out, the way sea salt in a good dessert really ups the flavor. (Think salted caramels.)
It’s a deep and lasting experience with an incredibly long and soothing finish. At 93.6 proof, it isn’t even remotely hot, but rather a dead-solid-perfect expression of how a properly cared-for old whisky should taste. I wouldn’t dream of adding water, but Bechard says it opens things up even more.
1000 bottles produced, 35 on sale in the U.S. (I’m told all 35 are sold out but you can find them at some specialist shops on the west coast.) Reviewed from bottle #964.
A+ / $800 / glenfiddich.com