Glenfiddich is to celebrate the golden anniversary of its distillery visitor centre with the release of 200 limited edition commemorative bottles – Rare Collection Cask No. 20050.
The visitor centre was the first of its kind for the Scotch whisky industry and helped to kick start the boom in whisky tourism.
The Valley of The Deer in Speyside, Scotland, is where William Grant, Glenfiddich’s visionary founder, turned his dreams into reality in 1887 by hand-building the distillery with the help of his seven sons and two daughters in a single year.
In the summer of 1969, under the stewardship of Charles and Sandy Gordon, William’s great grandsons, Glenfiddich opened the doors of its visitor centre.
Now in 2019, the centre attracts visitors from all over the world inviting them to walk through 131 years of family history and distilling expertise, and remains a key driver in global whisky tourism.
In fact, new stats released by Scotch Whisky Association show the industry is booming like never before, with over 2 million visits in 2018 to whisky distilleries in Scotland – a record figure, an increase of 6.1% on 2017 and 56% more than in 2010.
David Grant, a cousin of Sandy and Charles, was present when the visitor centre was opened this week 50 years ago. It was also the day David was appointed as a Glenfiddich Brand Manager.
He said: ‘Today, people can’t conceive how difficult it was in the 1960s to launch not just a malt whisky to the world, but the whole concept of single malt whisky. And our visitor centre was at the forefront of our effort and our most successful weapon.
‘The decision to create it and invest our resources in people and money, was a stroke of brilliance. This visitor centre and the team running it were our most important and effective marketing weapon in the creation of the global brand which Glenfiddich has become.’
Glenfiddich is commemorating its heritage on this golden occasion with a luxury offering to match. This rare whisky was hand selected by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman as a limited edition single cask release to mark this special 50th anniversary.
The release comprises of just 200 numbered bottles, laid down on Christmas Day 1987, Glenfiddich’s centenary year, and matured in American Oak Hogsheads.
Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman said: ‘This whisky, is inspired by the 1969 bottling gifted to VIP guests at the original visitor centre opening. 30 years old, it is a true connoisseur’s choice with a host of seductive flavours and subtle aromas.
‘Walnut in colour, on the nose, you’ll discover rich Christmas cake, woody spice and warm dried fruits, hints of cinnamon, antique leather and coffee grinds with a subtle citrus note enveloped in vanilla sweetness. Then to taste, a beautiful silky smooth texture, rich and fruity with a sweet spicy flavour and an incredible deep darkness.
‘The oak tannin creates an intriguing balance of sweet and dry with a luxurious mouth coating oiliness. All culminate in a long lasting, sweet oakiness – a rare and golden whisky experience to share and enjoy.’
Available now exclusively at the Distillery Visitor Centre gift shop and online, Glenfiddich Rare Collection Cask No. 20050 has a recommended retail price of £1600.