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Friday, 15 April 2011

Off The Map...

Airport shopping is often a dangerous thing, in that you’re away from home, (and probably any responsible adults) a little bit gung ho and will most likely have some crisp notes/newly liberated Visa card(s) plumping up your wallet, which are strictly there to be converted into a foreign currency. Then you pass Sunglasses Hut see a pair of Red Rayban’s that really only look good on Jensen Button. The gland controlling hormone secretions to your sensibility momentarily shuts down and before you know it, you’re heading to the gate thinking you look like a racing driver, whilst actually looking like Louis Spence.

Folks, we’ve all been there, I’m a pathologically bad airport shopper and I vowed recently that I have to get things under control, before I begin to get mistaken for any more camp contemporary dance icons. Tricky thing is that most of the major UK airports also have a tremendously alluring branch of World Of Whiskies, which is usually conveniently placed next to Messrs. Lunettes de Soleil & Co.

Travel retail exclusives have become all the rage for most distilleries. Highland Park have capitalised well on airport wallet liberation and we’ve documented some of the best bottlings to go for a few times on Caskstrength. Glenrothes also offer a very sturdy Robur Reserve as a reasonably priced travel retail exclusive.

Glenfiddich are the latest distillery to enter the frame with their brand new release -Age Of Discovery. Aptly named for the international traveller, this exclusive 19yo Madeira cask finish bottling was available from World Of Whiskies from last week and seeing as we were passing through Gatwick we had an opportunity to give it a go. As packages go, the Discovery looks wonderful- a mixture of Gulliver's Travels, ancient cartography and a definite sense of 'adventure'. But will the liquid itself inspire wild voyages to the promised land, or head off the map, where be monsters lie?

Glenfiddich - Age Of Discovery - Travel Retail Exclusive- 19yo- Madeira Cask Finish - 40%

Nose: Floral soap, soft brown sugar, sultanas, diced green apple and fudge. with a touch of water a pleasant honey comb note develops.

Palate: A little soapy initially, leading into heather honey, menthol notes, java coffee, roasted malt and a hint of cocoa. Water gives a touch of damsons on the back palate.

Finish: lingering notes of malt extract and a touch of dried figs.

Overall: An interesting take on a vintage Glenfiddich. It wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped it to be, but fits neatly in where the 18yo and the 15yo sit within the Glenfiddich family.