September Scotch: Glenfiddich’s French Cuvée Cask-Finished Grand Cru

A refined 23-year-old tipple from one of the biggest names in single malt scotch

To celebrate an accolade, anniversary or really any occasion of merit, some people pop a bottle of Champagne while others pour a wee dram of their best Scotch. Bridging the gap between liquid French refinement and spiritous Scottish prestige, the Glenfiddich have introduced Grand Cru, a permanent addition to their portfolio. As the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch, Glenfiddich has exercised their ability to get experimental in recent years, turning out some clever collaborations along the way. Grand Cru is nothing short of a pinnacle product, however. The 23-year-old liquid has been finished for up to six months in French cuvée casks from the Champagne region. The result, which we probe further for our September Scotch series, does not disappoint.

Dark gold in color, the 80 proof whisky coats the mouth with lavish creaminess. That rich mouthfeel accentuates the tipple’s buttery, vanilla notes. While those notes pertain to maturation in American oak, some of the liquid’s time in European oak yields a complementary sandalwood accent. Beneath it all one finds the pear-reminiscent heart of the Glenfiddich itself. A sweetness to the long finish prevents any bite. It’s smooth from start to end and imparts only elegance along the way.

Housing the Speyside spirit, a sophisticated black glass bottle with golden lettering is the result of a partnership with award-winning East London design firm HERE. Similarly, its black box features a sparkling golden firework design. This visual effervescence alludes to the finishing barrels—cuvée, for further clarification, reflects the first fermentation of the Champagne region’s sparkling wine. (It’s not Champagne yet, that happens after the second, in-bottle fermentation—but it’s pretty close.)

Grand Cru sales began this month and the brand expects it to be widely available soon. The suggest retail price is $300.

Images courtesy of Elliott Clark for the Glenfiddich