Whisky Advocate

Glenfiddich launches 50 year old

December 1st, 2009

I actually received a pre-release sample back in August and reviewed it here. The official launch begins today in the U.S., along with an auction where you can bid on one of the bottles later this week. Details are below in the press release.

Now you know what to ask Santa to put under your tree. Let’s hope he has a bigger line of credit than I do.

Glenfiddich Unveils its Masterpiece
Rare and precious 50 Year Old Single Malt Makes Long-Anticipated American Debut

NEW YORK, December 1, 2009 – Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, today announced the U.S. launch of its much-heralded Glenfiddich 50 Year Old expression.  One of the rarest and most precious expressions of authentic Single Malt Whisky ever released by Scotland’s most distinguished distillery, Glenfiddich 50 Year Old will be available in extremely limited supply, with only a handful of bottles available in the U.S.

4303_hi_glenfiddich_50yo_bottle_and_box (2)Beginning in December, Glenfiddich 50 Year Old will be available exclusively at three U.S. hotels, with one additional bottle scheduled to be sold at a charity auction on December 7, making this one of the most sought-after expressions of Glenfiddich ever released.

For half a century, two casks of whisky have aged gently in Glenfiddich’s Warehouse 8, under the watchful eye of the industry’s longest-serving and most experienced Malt Master, David Stewart.  As a consequence of this care and attention, Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is imbued with a unique preciousness that only time can bring, and remains remarkably light and elegant on the palate. The nose is beautifully harmonious with an uplifting, vibrant and complex aroma. The taste is initially sweet with a zesty orange marmalade and vanilla toffee, which then cascades through a wonderful series of layers: aromatic herbs, floral and soft fruits, silky oak tannin and hints of gentle smoke. The finish is exceptionally long with a touch of dry oak and the merest trace of peat.

“Time and tradition, and a small, significant measure of the unknown have contributed to making every drop of this beautifully-matured fifty year old whisky, some of the most precious Glenfiddich has to offer,” said David Stewart.   “It is some of our finest whisky, nurtured over many years by generations of dedicated and distinguished long-serving craftsmen using techniques lost to most other distilleries. Only an independent, family-owned distillery can remain true to its founding principles and continually pioneer in its pursuit of excellence.”

In addition to this, the packaging, rich with authenticity and heritage, also reflects the excellence of the whisky: Design cues have been painstakingly taken from archives that record the distillery’s 120 year history; the hand-blown bottles are individually numbered and presented in beautifully hand-stitched, leather-bound cases, which were inspired by William Grant’s personal ledgers.

“As the world’s most awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glenfiddich has a long tradition of innovation and setting the benchmark for quality” said Caspar MacRae, Category Director – Scotches, William Grant & Sons USA.  “The introduction of Glenfiddich 50 is a testament to the quality and pioneering spirit that has gone into the production of Glenfiddich for more than 120 years.”

American buyers will have the opportunity to bid for the sole bottle available for home purchase in the U.S. at a charity auction event, held simultaneously at New York’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, Miami’s Fontainebleau hotel and the Peninsula hotel in Los Angeles on December 7.  These hotels will also be the only places where the whisky will be available by the glass, until the next batch is released in 2010. 

Proceeds of the auction, which will be conducted by Christie’s Head of North American Wine Sales Charles Curtis MW, will go to Friends of Scotland, the charity founded by Sir Sean Connery, dedicated to advancing contemporary Scottish causes in the United States via educational scholarships, and to benefit veterans of foreign wars. In addition, Sir Sean has agreed to provide the winning bidder with a personal letter. Interested bidders should contact 646-356-8350 for the opportunity to take part in the auction.

9 Responses to “Glenfiddich launches 50 year old”

  1. Steve says:

    John,

    At least this one has a few bottles reserved for the American market. Doubtful I’ll see it and more doubtful I can afford it, but Glenfiddich is batting .333 on this one.

    Still, I look at this as another in a long line of offerings, including space tourism, the new Bugatti, and personal helicopters: yes they exist, but they have no impact on my world. I’ll just limp along with my Glenfiddich 15yo and put the 50yo out of mind.

    This whisky isn’t the only thing getting old.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  2. Louis says:

    Steve,

    Hey, at least the Glenfiddich Distillery Edition has just been released for the rest of us. 15 years old, 102 proof, and Binny’s has it for $45.

    Slainte.

    Louis

  3. John Hansell says:

    Louis, that’s a fair price indeed!

    Steve, it’s my job to review all whiskies, regardless of price. Some people are actually curious to know about the whiskeys that they, unfortunately, can’t afford. I know I am.

  4. Steve says:

    John,

    I think I just had a bad day and I agree you should review anything and everything you can. I didn’t mean for my comments to sound like criticism of you. Terribly sorry if the came across as such. Maybe I’m just a bit sensitive to the topic following the Diageo thread a while back, but it seems every distillery is finding a 30, 40, 50, 60, 100 year old barrel of something and putting it out with release notes describing it as the most wonderful dram to ever make its way to market. Today you passed along to us news of three more from two distilleries.

    I suppose I’ll just read the releases, dream a bit, and pour my 15yo Glenfiddich or 18yo Highland Park for the evening.

    Since we’ve just passed Thanksgiving, I think it appropriate to thank you for your reviews, comments, blog, and magazine. All are much appreciated.

    Regards,
    Steve

  5. John Hansell says:

    Steve, you are right to speak your mind. I’m a big boy. I can take it.

    I understand exactly how you feel. It’s frustrating to read about whiskies you can’t afford. Hey, I’m feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to taste these whiskies, but they are just wee samples. By the time my reviews are done, there’s usually nothing left (or very little). So, at the end of the day, we’re in the same boat. My price for the privilege of tasting a rare whiskey: a responsibility to be as fair as I can to all of you (and accept your criticism, whether deserved or not.)

  6. B.J. Reed says:

    OK, I am jealous that John gets to taste these – Lets face it, I wished I was John, well at least in his opportunity to sample all these whiskies :)

    I do appreciate the reviews because it gives me a sense of what is in the bottle that I likely won’t taste. Although being here in Omaha with the Dell I do get to taste very expensive bottlings more than most –

    I remember Martin bringing the 40 YO Highland Park out for us to sample several months ago and that was a treat.

    Still will never own a bottle.

  7. Neil Fusillo says:

    Again… gorgeous bottle. All I can really say on that one. I’m liking these new bottles. Wish they’d show up on something other than whiskies I’ll never be able to afford. Would be nice if they’d show up on whiskies that had a large enough distribution that I’d actually see the bottles, too. :)

  8. John Hansell says:

    Incidentally, the bottle of 50 year old Glenfiddich that was auctioned off for charity went for $38,000.

  9. Andi Boyle says:

    I am looking to buy the 50 yo bottle. Know where I can get it?

© Copyright 2014. Whisky Advocate. All rights reserved.