Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Glenfiddich. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
A classic in taste and style, Glenfiddich whisky out of Scotland is highly regarded and, in my own experience, a home run holiday gift for the father-in-law. First developed in 1887, the distillery has withstood years of competition, rising to the top through steady and consistent output. Glenfiddich was one of the few distilleries that increased production through Prohibition, as it was a reliable supplier of quality aged whisky while the US struggled with demand and finding ways around strictly applied laws.
In recent years Glenfiddich has amped up their premium offerings with the Grand Series, including past bottlings Grand Cu and Gran Reserva. The newest in the series and an absolutely divine expression, Glenfiddich Grande Couronne, is a single malt whisky aged 26 years in American and European oak casks, and finished in Cognac casks. The distillery warehouse is located in Dufftown, Scotland, and managed by the fifth-generation descendants of William Grant.
Brand Director Michael Giardina says of this newest expression, “Grande Couronne is created with opulence in mind at every step, from its conception to bottling.” And what a perfect way to describe the process and result. As always, Glenfiddich is offering a bottling that looks good and tastes amazing.
Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, responsible for the Glenfiddich Grande Couronne, states of the expression, “It’s the only Glenfiddich single malt that has matured in American and European oak casks and finished in rare French Cognac casks. The length of the finish, two years, is highly unusual and adds extra layers of sweet toasted oak and velvety aromas of café crème, brown sugar and soft spice.”
The extended finish in the French Cognac casks is what propels the Grande Couronne onto another level. The depth and complexity of the Cognac cask resonates through the expression, lending to a decadent and truly unique tasting. This special whisky may be difficult to find, and if you do it will cost you, but, with its gorgeous glass bottle wrapped in gold print, I can truly say that Glenfiddich Grande Couronne would be a proud addition to any collection.
Tasting Notes: Glenfiddich Grande Couronne
Vital Stats: ABV 43.8%. Aged 26 years plus a two-year finish in French Cognac casks. Priced at around $600.
Appearance: Clean, pure gold.
Nose: The whisky is fruit forward, with essence of persimmon, apple, cherry, and sweet spice.
Palate: It’s almost impossibly smooth, with a mild nuttiness and a moderate heat that hits in all the right places. The slightest essence of fennel comes through, with the fruit of the nose taking a backseat to succulent brown sugar and spice. The long finish really accentuates the Cognac cask.
I don’t think it’s a secret by now that I was thoroughly impressed with this tasting. I was given a small amount, but I’ll be savoring every sip. It’s on the higher end of a pretty penny, but I believe this will be a conversation starter at any dinner party–if you like your friends enough to share.
User Review3.45 (55 votes)
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Jerry Jenae Sampson
Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.