Picture this. A return to the home country after a pandemic-induced long wait. You pick up the king of the duty-free selection — a bottle of the latest offering of Glenfiddich – available at the homecoming duty-free — the Grand Couronne for the grand night that awaits you when you finally reach home.
This is not a drink-to-go. This is a spirit that speaks of opulence, and of festivities. It’s a drink of leisure, one to open the night with and to make people sit up and take note of the long way that you have come. A conversation starter. Glenfiddich’s new 26-year-old French cognac finished Grand Couronne is a drink that takes hold of the conversation, in whichever room that it is present. Nothing subtle about its dominating presence in the liquor cabinet. It’s festive ready in gold, the liquid inside the colour of an antique gold, to match the glamour of the end of the year celebrations.
For the first time, rare cognac casks have been brought to the forefront for a scotch like this. The makers claim that the new Glenfiddich Grande Couronne, is a 26-year-old Scotch single malt whisky that was initially matured in American and European oak casks in the distillery warehouses of Dufftown, Scotland. It took another two years to finish this whiskey in special French Cognac casks before being bottled at 43.8% ABV.
A French sojourn
This is truly a marriage between the Irish brand and French cognac, which renders it its extraordinary flavour notes. An extended finish in rare French cognac casks adds lavish layers of sweet toasted oak and velvety aromas of café crème, brown sugar and soft spice – everything that is a part of the wintry month of December, when it happens to be arriving in Indian markets. Sold exclusively as airport retail, this is going to be a gift or keepsake for homecoming for the holidays.
Its very name, meaning crown in French, is the promise of the pleasure to come, the highlight of a festive night’s revelry. After 26 years at The Glenfiddich Distillery, it is refined and elegant. But its crowning glory is definitely the extra touch of the CognacTM cask. The icing on the cake is being finished for at least two years in rare and meticulously selected French CognacTM casks. These rare casks can only be sourced in limited quantities, according to the brand. Grande Couronne is the malt of choice for those who want to spend that night indulging and celebrating with others. It is made for the landmark events in life. For those who want to stand out from the crowd with a night to remember – the Grande Couronne is made to impress and set the spirit soaring.
Continuing the tradition
Glenfiddich is currently the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky brand since 2000, having won accolades at prestigious competitions such as the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the International Spirits Challenge. They are well-known for creatively experimenting with aged whiskeys, and creating something entirely different as an experience.
This particular offering is perfect for the festive season. The tasting notes in this edition can be described as vibrant and lively with an abundance of toasty oak sweetness. Imagine a freshly baked Tarte Tatin and buttery choux pastry at a French patisserie. Who doesn’t love the sophistication offered in French pastry?
It is deep, velvety smooth and indulgently sweet on the tongue. The finish at the end is of very long-lasting sweet oak. Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, responsible for the Glenfiddich Grande Couronne, states of the expression, “It’s the only Glenfiddich single malt that has matured in American and European oak casks and finished in rare French Cognac casks. The length of the finish, two years, is highly unusual and adds extra layers of sweet toasted oak and velvety aromas of café crème, brown sugar and soft spice.”
Redefining modern luxury
For those who like bottles as the best decoration for their home bar, the packaging for this offering is exclusive and speaks of luxury from every inch. The packaging is deluxe, and creative, and aligns with the Grand Series portfolio and brand world. It has also taken luxury cues by borrowing semiotic cues from the cognac category even in the teal-coloured packaging, and makes it a perfect gift for friends and family. The stag, an epitome of the brand’s identity, seamlessly integrated into its location and tradition, finds centre stage on the bottle. The filigree work is imagined as growing out of the stag’s antlers, in a metaphor for the brand growing roots and defining newer meanings of luxury, a promise of things to come once you take the stopper off.
Expect to experience the modern meaning of luxury, with a surprise element. Intriguing and engaging, the packaging represents the drink in so far as its elements of playfulness and modernity, while retaining the classical touch.
The bottle is covered in intricate gold filigree work, which decorates a larger part of it. The shape of the bottle is retained from the Clear Grand Series. It’s golden stopper has a 26-sided gold closure. At the bottom, one can find a small gold foot label. Proprietary decorative gold filigree design foiling can be found in the packaging as well. A dramatic feature of the packaging includes a rotating box structure that reveals the bottle. A gold pillow embossed with the stag icon of the brand, and a fresco artwork printed on the inside of the bottle together combine to make it a work of art. A small leaflet is present in the foot area.
Everything about the packaging underscores the celebration aspect of the drink, a much needed ray of sunshine to cut through the past couple of years. It is time to grab the glass, eh?
Tasting Notes: Opulent patisserie sweetness
Colour: Antique gold.
Nose: Vibrant and lively with an abundance of toasty oak sweetness. Reminiscent of a French pâtisserie, freshly-baked Tarte Tatin and buttery choux pastry.
Taste: Deep, velvety smooth and indulgently sweet. Café crème with soft brown sugar and a hint of spice.
Finish: Very long-lasting sweet oak.
43.8% ABV (domestic) 45.8% ABV (GTR)