Glenfiddich has released a range of three luxury single malts, themed around time. The Time Re:Imagined collection includes 30-year-old, 40-year-old and 50-year-old expressions, priced from £900 up to £35,000.
The whiskies have been matured in Speyside. Each one is presented in packaging designed to interpret different concepts of time.
‘In whisky production, we often talk about the role of malt masters and it is our responsibility to find the delicate balance between the taste of the whisky and the intensity of the oak cask. But we don’t always acknowledge how each cask, each bottle, is absolutely unique because of the time it has spent maturing,’ said Brian Kinsman, malt master at Glenfiddich.
‘Both nature and time play huge roles in making whisky taste like it does… Glenfiddich’s Time Re:Imagined pays homage to this process and the exquisite liquid it helps to create.’
The youngest expression is Glenfiddich 30 Year Old Suspended Time (Alcohol 43%, £930/70cl, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop). It depicts the moment when the master distiller decides the whisky is ready to be bottled, the point at which maturation is suspended. The packaging reflects this with a design of moving ribbons that form cut-out windows, showing the decanter suspended inside. The palate is described as: ‘Deep, woody flavours interlaced with delicate floral accents, in a complex combination.’
Glenfiddich 40 Year Old Cumulative Time (Alc 44.6%, £3,500/70cl) is inspired by the process of remnant vatting. In this technique the remains of the previous batch of whisky are carried over and married with the new casks selected for a subsequent release. The sculptural packaging design is inspired by geological metamorphosis and made from jesmonite, giving a stone-like appearance.
The taste is described as: ‘Luxuriously full and silky smooth… with memories of past releases in every nuanced note. Evolving from deep dried fruit notes to rich fruitcake, dates, raisins and stewed apples, before giving way to dry oaky notes, with subtle hints of bitter chocolate and peat.’
The rarest expression is Glenfiddich 50 Year Old Simultaneous Time (Alc 43.8%, £35,000/70cl). It’s a blend of whiskies from three different American oak casks matured in the same warehouse, blended and then finished in American oak for two years. This creates a complex whisky with lingering sweetness on the palate, that ‘softens into deep, silky smooth oak tannin and sun-dried vanilla’. Only 220 bottles have been produced.
The 50-year-old and its packaging are inspired by the simultaneous factors that affect maturation in cask, including climatic conditions such as air pressure, temperature and humidity. The packaging was created by leading computational designer, Manuel Jiménez García, who decrypted meteorological data from the past 50 years into an algorithm. He used this to generate a physical design representing the specific climatic conditions of that time span.
Glenfiddich Time Re:Imagined is the latest release from distiller William Grant & Sons, owned by the Gordon family. Earlier this summer it unveiled the House of Hazelwood collection of rare whiskies, drawn from stocks laid down for almost a century and named after the family home in Dufftown.