The latest Glenfiddich arrived quietly and took me a bit by surprise, the brand dropping a 26 year old whisky aged in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks which was finished for up to two years in “meticulously sourced” French Cognac casks. Grande Couronne, French for “great crown,” is part of the Grand Series, which includes the delightful Glenfiddich Grand Cru and Glenfiddich Gran Reserva, this is an ultra-luxe whisky complete with the highest level of attention to bottle design and packaging.
As for what’s in the bottle, it’s exceptional stuff.
The nose is rich and surprisingly spicy, some gentle barrel char notes driven by the primary casking giving way to notes of fresh apple, orange peel, and substantial, evocative Christmas spice character. Aromatically honeyed and sweet, the whisky is instantly inviting — and the palate doesn’t disappoint. Notes of caramel meld beautifully with the fruity apple core, brown sugar tempering the impact of toasty oak, which keeps the whisky from sliding into dessert territory. Intense notes of clover honey, orange blossoms, milk chocolate, and (more) baked apples keep things light and fruity, while the slightly floral finish concludes the experience with an appropriate nod to the garden. Gorgeous.
A / $600 / glenfiddich.com