Thanks to /u/EvilAFI for this sample.
So I’m at this food and wine expo, years ago, back when going to an expo didn’t give me uncomfortable feelings. Well before the pandemic.
There’s a whisky section, and even at that point, I wasn’t stoked to visit the section. Don’t get me wrong: They had samples, they had information, and it was all quite nice. I had already drunk and reviewed the whisky before and nothing was very new. It’s not for me. That’s okay. There’s a lot of things not for me out there.
But my wife wanted to see it, so we walked around, I had a whisky, and took in the sites from the periphery (to avoid having anyone try to talk to me about whisky). She came back with some drinks and announced she had signed her dreams for the future on an empty cask. Supposedly this cask was touring the country and was then going to be used as a finish for a new whisky.
That whisky? Glenfiddich Canadian Cask of Dreams, a special release for Canada. Now some people may have had the American release, which had its own cask, with American dreams, and probably some bullet holes that needed to be patched up.
That’s what this is: A 14-year-old Glenfiddich that was then finished in multiple Virgin oak “casks of dreams”. I debated buying a bottle: My wife had signed the cask, after all. She’s more positive than I am.
On the other hand, it’s not exactly cask strength and was quite pricey. Also she’d prefer some wine. So I got her wine.
Down the line I ended up with a sample. This seems like a marketing gimmick, right? But who knows until we try it, and we’re about to try it.
Thinking about it now, I have one hope and/or dream… that this tastes good!
Price: $540 CAD (at a recent auction)
Cask Type: Ex-American oak, then finished for 3 months in a signed Virgin oak “casks of dreams”
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: A ton of peach, simple syrup, cereal, mineral, butter
That’s a strong Glenfiddich. The ink from the cask is really helping.
I joke, I joke, I just wasn’t prepared for a strong aroma off a Glenfiddich. The last four had been quite light, even when they were peated. This is a strong, very fruity and sweet note. I’ve had virgin casks like this before with stronger stone fruit notes.
Taste: Anise, peach, banana, simple syrup, nougat
Spice, more fruit (tropical and stone), and a good amount of sugar. Nothing that will turn off Glenfiddich fans, but also not in line with similar Glenfiddich whiskies.
They really should use virgin oak finishes more often.
Finish: Green banana, honey, nutmeg, mint, vanilla pudding
Long finish, very rich, sweet, floral, and a bit of virgin oak mint/strong vanilla. Like a completely different distillery.
Conclusion: A really interesting, flavourful, and unique Glenfiddich. Too bad it required getting a hand signed virgin oak cask to make it. I really enjoyed this. It reminds me of Snow Phoenix to some extent. It differs from previous releases with the rich aspects. Some people may find it too sweet.
Also let’s be honest, there’s heavy moments of unbalanced aspects. The nose is a ton of peaches. There’s strong sugar notes going on. But wow, does this do something different from Glenfiddich. It’s just too bad that you need extra money just to try it in the best form.
Scotch review #1555, Speyside review #443, Whisky Network review #2276