Yes, tonight is Christmas! For this occasion, and all the more so in France, this evening is an opportunity to enjoy a good champagne with your family.
Well ok, my site is more focused on whisky. Also, we are going to taste for the occasion the top-of-the-range 2019 creation of the great house GLENFIDDICH: the 23 YEARS GRAND CRU!
Let's get inside the head of Brian Kinsman, the master distiller of the brand. He is locked up in his Dufftown laboratory with a request, to create a top-of-the-range GLENFIDDICH whisky that is different as always from other brands. The beer finish had already been tested, the finish in the Nordic countries as well... and the barrels of great French wine? No!
Also, why not finish an ageing in a French cuvée cask? This is how Brian decided to test the ageing of several more or less old vintages in French wine barrels. After half a year of complementary ageing his nose advised him towards a whisky of more than 20 years old. The GRAND CRU is born! It will be a 23 year old.
To sum up, this whisky spent 23 years in oak casks, some of which had previously contained Bourbon and some of which had contained sherry, and was then immersed for 4 to 6 months in an oak cask that had contained French wine!
So what will this finish do to this Speyside generally known for its woody and orchard fruit aromas?
Once out of its beautiful box (glitter fireworks version) and its very classy dark bottle with its 12 antlers golden deer (you have to recognize it), the liquid is quite dark (with a shot of sherry certainly). It has a golden color (like the glitter on the box!).
When the nose plunges into the glass, there is no aggression of alcohol (it is only 40%). The first aromas are light, floral. The second passage leaves more room for citrus fruits but with sweeter notes than on a "normal" GLENFIDDICH (the addition of sherry here). The third passage reveals a hint of tostage (a bit like the smell of a fresh brioche on Christmas morning with the children rushing for presents!) and vanilla. It is overall fresh and light.
In the mouth, sweetness is also in order. Barely in the mouth it literally but very stealthily wraps it in vanilla whisky. Very quickly a woody note takes the place is. Then comes a sweet taste of the sweet brioche previously felt. We then find again the light grape flavor (the influence of the oak wood of the wine may be present). Because of its sweetness, it can stay quite long in the mouth and take you on a trip to a French vineyard, the forests of Scotland and even India with a few spicy notes.
The finish is also soft and pleasant, with sweet grape aromas that remain in the throat for quite a long time.
This GLENFIDDICH is a great success even if it aims at the top of the range (at more than 250 € the bottle anyway)! Good ok go tonight it's Christmas !