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Glenfiddich Gives Bourbon Its Due

Jack Bettridge
Posted: January 10, 2014

(continued from page 1)

NOSE: Elegant aroma of honey and flowers. Hints of sharp cheese.

PALATE: Hard candy with honey, fruit and butterscotch start the experience. Subtler and more nuanced notes follow, with herbs, spice and toffee, as well as a modicum of the cheddar from the nose.

FINISH: A sense of bread dough joins the honey and fruit of the palate on the finish. Bits of caramel chime in at the very end, recalling its Bourbon wood roots.

CIGAR PAIRING: Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo Belicoso (6 inches by 52 ring gauge, $8.50, 87 Points, Cigar Insider, November 19, 2013) Perfumey and woody in character, this box-pressed torpedo smokes evenly, delivering some toasty notes with a dry woody finish. The slight caramel on this cigar picks up on like qualities in the whisky and runs with them, emphasizing the American origins of the barrels. Bread dough notes also get larger, and the whisky makes the Fonseca rounder, heartier and chewier.

San Lotano Oval Connecticut By A.J. Fernandez (6 1/2 inches by 60 ring gauge, $9.95, 87 Points, Cigar Insider, November 5, 2013). Though quite thick, this oddly-pressed cigar sits comfortably in the mouth and draws easily, delivering nutty notes and a bit of spice with intermittent grassiness. The whisky is the star in this pairing, leaving the San Lotano much bolder in its wake. The doughy character of the Glenfiddich creates a toffee note in the cigar and distinct sweetness. For its part, the smoke gives the whisky added vibrance.

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Comments   2 comment(s)

hanging chad January 10, 2014 2:24pm ET

Is Glenmorangie Original 10-Year aged entirely in Bourbon casks?
What other Scotches age, or "finish" in Bourbon casks?

JACK BETTRIDGE — NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES,  —  January 10, 2014 4:14pm ET

Yes, Glenmorangie Original is all from first- and second-fill American oak. Glenfiddich's entry level, a 12-year-old, is a mix of American and Sherry wood. Because of the wide availability of Bourbon barrels, just about every Scotch maker uses them in part. The anomaly for Age of Discovery is that it is the distillery only whisky exclusively aged in American wood. In the cases of finishes, the whisky is first aged in former Bourbon wood and then treated to a finish in something else like Port, Sherry, wine or even rum casks--not the other way around. Glenmorangie is credited with originating the process.

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