The liquid is always the same, it is a time held tradition
at the Glenfiddich distillery to always work with the same cut
point that William Grant installed. So that only really allows some
room during the fermentation stage (yeast strain) or ageing.
I personally feel that the beauty of Japanese whiskies for example is
the willingness to experiment with the liquid, having several still designs
and run types under one roof. This gives them a huge range of flavours
to play with. Maintaining the house style is important, however a little
experimentation down this path might be a worthy consideration.
We are seeing global growth in both blend and
single malt whiskies and much of this from the emerging
markets such as China, India and South Korea.
Everyone knows Glenfiddich. Drinking what is considered
to be a well-established brand gives consumers confidence that it is
going to taste good. The Glenfiddich whisky making process is a truly
unique approach which helps us deliver consistent high quality.
When I do tastings the core variants tend to split in to two camps.
There are those who like the 12/18 and 30 year old, probably because
they are produced in a similar way and show a great progression in
taste and flavour. The 15 and 21 year olds are different again, which
is what is great about Glenfiddich as there is so much variety.
What I normally find is that there is quite an obvious split (not
equal) with those who like the 15 year old, will invariably like the 21.
However when I bring the 18 year old out, they often find it a little
challenging. The opposite is normally true for fans of the 12yo who
rave about the 18yo, and 30yo. I think this is fantastic because it
means we are not just catering to one style of whisky drinker.
Glenfiddich is well established in the minds of whisky drinkers
worldwide, but it`s not until consumers taste it for themselves that they
finally understand why, every one of our expressions are great but also
very different from one another, so there is something for everyone.
Glenfiddich has an easy flavour that reaches out to most whisky consumers,
it`s also very reliable and consistency is important to consumers.
What is your preference for drinking whisky?
Depends, ice and a little water at the moment if
it’s young i.e. 12yo. Neat if it’s an older variant.
My 12 year old with a little water or one piece of ice, (depends
on the ambient temperature), my 15 as it comes or with a little
ice in warm climates, my 18 with two drops of water, 21 as it
comes, 30 with two drops of water, 40 and 50 with deep joy.
How whisky has changed over the years?
The production is constantly improving.
• Barley strains are always being researched to obtain better
yield, lower nitrogen levels and lower dormancy rates.
• We look towards the German brewing industry to
constantly improve extraction from the mash.
• At Glenfiddich we conduct yeast strain tests to
improve character and alcoholic yield.
• We are constantly pushing the boundaries on the understanding
of what we get from the wood, and rejuvenation.
Whisky is a generic word for all things whisky: bourbon, Irish,
Japanese, blend, single malt. Twenty years ago single malt had 1 per cent
of the whisky category, now single malt whisky accounts for 9 per cent
so we’ve seen significant growth. Sixty years ago, 90 per cent of whisky
was matured in European oak, (ex sherry casks) but that has progressively
changed to American oak over time. Currently 80 to 90 per cent of all
whisky is matured in ex bourbon casks, I think this is a good thing as the
ex bourbon casks showcase better flavour of each single distillery. Cask
finishes have also significantly increased the amount of different distillery
offerings and this has driven more consumers to the single malt category.
Glenfiddich global brand ambassadors Barry
Chalmers and Ian Millar share their whisky
knowledge unveiling global trends, their drinking
preferences and Glenfiddich’s peculiarities.
Glenfiddich is distributed by William Grant & Sons. For more info on the launch
of the new Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak check our Drinks Arrivals section.
L-R: Brian Kinsman and Ian Millar