Whisky Focus - Glenfiddich 19 Age Of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish Review

Glenfiddich 19 Age Of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish Review

21st March 2012

The Glenfiddich 19 year old Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish is the first release in a new "Age of Discovery" range from Glenfiddich which ties in with the Glenfiddich Explorers web site theme.

Not only is this the first release in the new range it is also the first ever 19 year old Glenfiddich release as well as being the first ever Glenfiddich to be finished in Madeira casks.

On top of that the whisky is the first creation of Glenfiddich’s Malt Master Brian Kinsman who is only the sixth Malt Master the distillery has had since its foundation in 1886.

Brian took up the position of Glenfiddich Malt Master in December 2010 after serving an eight year apprenticeship under the previous Malt Master, the legendary David Stewart.

The Glenfiddich 19 year old Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish may not be new to some of you as it has spent the past year exclusively available in travel retail only. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of a bottle when it was released last year but as it has just been released in the general domestic market at the beginning of this month I thought I would have another look at it.

This first release in the Age of Discovery range celebrates the pioneering spirit of Portuguese explorers in the 15th Century.

Pioneering the sea routes from Europe to Thailand and Malaysia in search for the sea passage to India, Portuguese explorers established the city of Macao, in China, gave Taiwan the name ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island) and discovered the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira, revolutionising our understanding of the world.

Madeira is an intensely sweet fortified wine from the island of the same name, which is situated off the west coast of Africa. The majority of the Madeira casks used for this expression came from the warehouses of Henrique & Henrique who are widely considered one of the island's top producers.

The whisky boasts some striking packaging which definitely makes it stand out on the shelf. The black glass bottle is embellished with a red cartouche compass and encased in an outer display box, adorned with creative illustrations, mapping out the travels of Portuguese explorers.

Bottled at 40% ABV and available from whisky specialist shops, RRP £90.

Glenfiddich Age Of Discovery Tasting Notes

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose:  A hint of moss, fresh juicy pears, tangy orange. A touch of sweet Madeira wine and fruitcake in the back ground.

Taste: Light bodied, rich, sweet, fresh and spicy. Stem ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, orange zest, peppery, mossy and touch of drying oak.

Finish: A medium length finish. Slightly drying spicy oak, cinnamon, nutty.

Comment: This is the first ever Glenfiddich Madeira cask finish and it does work very well, it adds to the whisky without making it overly sweet at all as Madeira cask finishes can sometimes do. I think the finishing time was spot on, probably no more than 3 or 4 months i would guess. It has added a new dimension to the whisky giving us a deliciously rich, sweet, fresh and spicy Glenfiddich whisky.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A deep earthy aroma of sweet ripe figs and orange marmalade form a backdrop to bright notes of fresh gooseberries and grapes ripening on the vine

Palate: Rich and spicy, cinnamon and crushed black pepper rest on a base of deep earthy notes, caramelised fruits, crystallised ginger, raisins and hints of dry oak. The texture is satisfying, silky smooth.

Finish: Pleasingly dry with warmth that fades into a lingering sweet marmalade finish.

Coming Soon!

Here is one to watch for in the future, the Glenfiddich 19 Age of Discovery Bourbon will be the 2nd release in the Glenfiddich Age of Discovery range.

This rich and delicious nineteen year old Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been matured exclusively in bourbon casks.

When I get some more details I will let you know.


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