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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Norwegian Wood (Part 2) : Glenfiddich Cask fo Dreams 2012 Nordic Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Until about 3 months ago, I think I was the scourge of any travelling party I was with. For those of you that don’t know, I’m one just a handful (in global terms) of people who have a Norwegian passport and until recently had a ten year old edition of the document which, to be frank, was kinda just that... a handwritten paper document without the ability to scan. 

Norwegian Wood, literally.
This lack of technology was something which seemed to confuse almost every passport control office in the known world, particularly those of American persuasion.

In a bid to bury the rubber-glove treatment so liberally handed out to people with a passport as "unusual" (not my words, but the words of Chuck from the Chicago branch of Homeland Security) as mine, I recently upgraded to a posh new passport with retina scanning and everything! Exactly what you’d want from a country as LOADED as Norway. 

Cheers, chaps! Now send me my barrels of oil, please!

Anyone who has been to Norway will have experience the unrivalled natural beauty of the place; it truly is stunning. And the one thing Norway has is trees. Lots and lots of trees.

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for someone to whip up some casks from these trees, to mature whisky in. Which is exactly what the folk over at William Grant & Sons have done, maturing some of their flagship single malt, Glenfiddich, in Nordic oak. 

The final spirit, released as the Cask of Dreams, yeilded just 3,600 1 litre bottles which have been made available in the Nordics, with 1,008 bottles being seeded in to Viking Line ferries.

As a tribute to my Norwegian friends, the tasting notes shall be in my mother tongue:

Glenfiddich – Cask Of Dreams 2012 – Nordic Oak – 3,600 bottles – 48.8% - RRP 110euro

Nose: Krokan, honning, furu, vanilje, tre krydder og kanel.

Palate: God smak, hint av vanilje, mynte, kardemomme, jord og lavendel.

Finish: Stor tre smak, tørr og lang med en krydret finish som varer lenge.

Overall: A brave move, as the additional heat and power that new wood gives to whisky can often be too much, but this has worked well and the earthy tones it develops are very pleasing indeed.

Other Cask of Dreams releases have been done before, with one popping up in the USA in June, which was matured in American Oak and finished in virgin American Oak, priced at $99 and limited to 6,600 bottles.

It’ll be interest to see if a Cask of Dreams makes its way to the exclusive market of South East London. Perhaps they’ll step up to the local community and mature it in ex-Tennents casks...