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Sunday 23 November 2014

Glenfiddich explores red wine cask finish

22nd January, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Glenfiddich has released its first ever whisky with a red wine cask finish, inspired by Charles Darwin’s exploration of the South American coast.

Glenfiddich "Age of Discovery" Red Wine Cask Finish

Glenfiddich “Age of Discovery” Red Wine Cask Finish

Launched this week, the whisky forms the third part of the Scottish distillery’s “Age of Discovery” series, introduced in 2011, which already includes Madeira and Bourbon cask-finished styles.

The 19-year old, 40% abv whisky was finished in 200 litre South American red wine casks and will be available exclusively in global travel retail with an RRP of £75.

Drawing a “pioneering spirit” link between this latest project and the South American explorations of 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin, Glenfiddich malt master, Brian Kinsman outlined its character, saying: “After years of maturation, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have combined with the oak to deliver exceptional smoothness, complemented by warm spicy notes with sweet berry flavours lending a velvety sweetness.”

Although wine’s use in the whisky industry is more commonly restricted to Sherry, Port and Madeira casks, a number of other distilleries have previously offered a red wine cask finish.

Auchentoshan used to produce a 17-year old expression finished in casks from St Julien in Bordeaux, while Bruichladdich once made a 16-year old whisky matured in casks formerly containing wine from Bordeaux first growth Château Haut Brion. However, both these whiskies are understood to have been discontinued.

Are any other distilleries currently producing a whisky finished in unfortified wine casks? Let us know.

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