I remember the first time I laid eyes on a bottle of Glenfiddich 30. It was in a long lineup of Glenfiddichs at Pro∀bition in Riversaide, CA. It sat at the end of the line that started from the 12 year. It tempted me so, but I opted for the 19 year “Age of Discovery” instead. The 30 haunted my dreams!
Finally I returned with a single mission. I had the 30 in my sights. I ordered it with some trepidation as older does not always mean better, but it does always mean more expensive.
As the pale bronze liquid filled my glass, I knew I was in for a rare treat.
Everything about the experience was delicate and sublime. A slow jazz jam where all the parts somehow create a connected experience without being contrived.
Swirling the dram gently released the subtle maple and orange sweetness, a harbinger of the things to come.
As soon as it hit my tongue, I was confronted by a drink that is complex yet delicate. There is a lot of flavor to savor, but it doesn’t shout at you. Rather, the delicate tones of smooth and buttery oak and orange whisper, forcing you to relax and pay attention.
Give it a little time to open up and you will be rewarded with a more fruity and winey body.
It finishes like it starts, a smooth approach of flavor. Glenfiddich does not peat its spirits, but after three decades in charred oak, a hint of smoke is inevitable and leaves you with its memory as cinnamon and orange linger before bowing out.
I was at a Glenfiddich tasting event conducted by Mitch from Glenfiddich where, unfortunately, the 30 was not on the menu. I had a chance to talk to him afterwards at let him know of my love for this expression. He let me know with some sadness that they had discontinued the expression. I was in shock. I stammered that I thought I had seen it still for sale at my local retailer. He put a hand on my shoulder and looked me square in the eyes. “Buy it.”
Never argue with a man in a kilt.
86 proof; $400-$500/bottle (discontinued)