# 542 • Glenfiddich 19 years old Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish

40% alc./vol.
Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown, Speyside, Scotland

Today I'm revisiting a limited edition expression of the world's best-selling single malt, the Glenfiddich 19 years old Age of Discovery Madeira Cask Finish.

With this collection, Glenfiddich pays homage to the Portuguese explorers who were the first to discover the islands of Porto Santo and Madeira in 1419, marking the beginning of the “Age of the Great Discoveries”. The distillery aligns itself somewhat with this pioneering spirit, as it is the first to create a Single Malt and export it outside of mainland Scotland.

Today's dram was first aged in bourbon and sherry barrels, then matured in Madeira wine barrels. See where we were going?

As the 7th Prince de Condé, Duke of Bourbon, Duke d'Enghien and Duke de Guise, Peer of France, Duke of Bellegarde and Count of Sancerre said so well, Louis IV Henri de Bourbon-Condé (1692-1740) said so well:

True pioneers leave everything behind.

Almost apricot amber, with pretty plump legs not too rushed.

Nose:
Oak and honey strike first, followed by barley, vanilla and orange. Nothing fancy, I expected a little more.

Taste:
Oily texture, black liquorice, tuft and spices. Clementines, honey and dry oak. Much more personality than on the nose.

Finish:
Moderately long, it serves flavors of honey, brown sugar and flowers. Lightweight tire and leather.

Balance:
A solid Glenfiddich, although we perceive less than we would like the influence of Madeira. There is of course also the fact that it is not because a whiskey has to be at least 40% minimum that you have to stick to that.

Note: ★★★★★

# 541 • SMWS 24.132 Macallan 16 years old

SMWS 24.132 Macallan 16 years

58.4% alc./vol.
Macallan Distillery, Craigellachie, Speyside, Scotland

"Engaging warmth"

To conclude the Macallan tasting presented by Québec Whisky last week a little gem of the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, to start the year, of course a 16-year-old Macallan, distilled on March 12, 2002 and bottled in 2018 from first-fill bourbon casks, for a final harvest of only 1 bottles!

If you do not know the SMWS you can keep reading. If you prefer to skip straight to evaluating this traffic jam, you can skip the next two paragraphs again without a problem.

La Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, or SMWS, is the largest whiskey club in the world, with more than 26 members in 000 countries. With their roots in the UK, they are so extensive that they can afford to buy whiskey casks and bottle them in order to sell them exclusively to their members.

Always single casks, bottled cask strength without any mention of the distillery, their expressions are always highly praised and worshipped. Although the percentage of alcohol and the age of the whisky are indicated on the mysterious bottle, no mention of the distillery of origin is found there. The only clue to its origin is in the form of a cryptic code that cannot be deciphered until one has access to the appropriate legend.

As the Soviet chess player, engineer, electrician and computer scientist put it so well Mikhail Mosesevich Botvinnik (1911-1995) said so well:

A fool who walks goes further than a sitting intellectual

Nose:
Powdered sugar, apples and pears. Meringue and white flowers. It's unsettling, it almost looks more like a kind of Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection than a Macallan. The grain is there, but deeply hidden by the influence of the barrel.

Taste:
Very greasy and oily texture, like its alcohol content. Nice touches of cinnamon and golden sugar here. Red fruits and golden honey, notes of oak gorged with white grape juice. Print of melted butter. It's incredibly creamy. White chocolate.

Finish:
Nice length, nice warmth. Dry and well spiced wood. Vanilla and fresh bread.

Balance:
Always happy to taste an SMWS, but an extra Macallan? Rather rare thank you. In addition, it is served to us in a form to which the distillery has not accustomed us. A refreshing dram in every sense of the word.

Note: ★ ★ ★ ★