Glenfiddich The Original

By Neil Brotherston Tuesday 1st Mar, 2016

It’s a well trodden path in the drinks industry for brands to produce limited edition expressions to celebrate the original drinks that put them on the map – that drink that everything else was built upon.

Moat of the time, these backstory’s are fairly weak, with no real story behind them, making it just an excuse to repackage a familiar blend and sell it for a slightly higher price than normal, with slightly more fanfare than normal.

However, very occasionally and I mean very occasionally, a special brand really does have something to celebrate. A story that deserves to be told and deserves to be heard. In fact needs to be heard.

The Glenfiddich story is exactly that – a story that needs to be told. A story that has led to the Grant family being commonly known as “The Maverick Whisky makers of Dufftown.”

Glenfiddich, founded in 1887, has long been held in incredibly high esteem for the quality single malts that it so expertly produces. However, up until the 1960’s that was firmly a reputation that was held in Scotland, where Single Malt Whisky was something of a well-kept secret.

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A well-kept secret that was, up until 1963, when Sandy Grant Gordon, the Great Grandson of the original founder William Grant, made the maverick decision to promote this fine Scotch Single Malt Whisky outside of the Celtic nation’s borders – namely to the foreign land of America, where blended whiskey was firmly established as the tipple of choice.

It was a decision that changed the whisky market forever, with Single Malt whisky gaining a worldwide reputation as some of the finest whisky available. And for that we are very thankful.

And just in case we haven’t done the story justice, take a look at this little video entitled “The Case of Dreams”.

It is this spirit of the Maverick that ‘Glenfiddich The Original’ aims to celebrate. Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman has painstakingly delved deep into the Glenfiddich collection of aged whiskies to ascertain what the prominent flavours were in the 1960’s expressions, as an homage to that moment in 1963, when Scotch Single Malt Whisky went global.

The resulting whisky is fantastically different to the other Glenfiddich whiskies that we have tasted. For a start, Glenfiddich The Original is matured in a Sherry Cask, popular on the sixties. This gives the Whisky a wonderfully fruity aroma, with dried fruits prominent on both the nose and the palate.

There is a slight dryness in the mouth, which is emphasised by a wonderful caramel biscuit taste, with a slight hint of zesty pear – a defining feature of many Glenfiddich expressions.

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It is smooth and delicate with an ever so faint smokiness emerging from the sherry cask. All in all, it is a very pleasant and enjoyable whisky to drink. A whisky that accurately reflects the original expression that was introduced to the world in 1963 – a simple, smooth and incredibly high quality whisky that set the benchmark from which the single malt whisky market has exploded.

And for that we will be forever thankful. A world without single malt whisky would be a horrible place to live.

So, if you do one thing this week, raise a glass of Glenfiddich The Original and say thanks to the pioneer that is Sandy Grant Gordon and his 1963 Single Malt.

Glenfiddich The Original is available for a price of £84.95 from The Whisky Exchange.