Part of Glenfiddich’s ongoing Grand Series of avant garde experimental cask-finished releases, the recently unveiled Grand Yozakura is probably the most boundary-pushing yet.
With a name referencing the fleeting grandeur of viewing sakura blooms under moonlight, the Grand Yozakura is a 29 year-old single malt Scotch that has been finished in awamori casks for 6 months.
Awamori, a spirit native to Okinawa prefecture in Japan, is made using long grain indica rice from Thailand. While many of today’s awamori are aged in clay vessels, some continue being aged in wooden barrels.
Wooden casks are very rare today however, as many of Okinawa’s awamori distilleries and barrels were destroyed during the events of World War 2. It is thus highly unique for there to be an awamori cask finished whisky like the Grand Yozakura.
“We are always looking to experiment with new finishes so when the chance arose to acquire rare ex-awamori casks, we saw an opportunity to push the boundaries and experiment with this highly unusual spirit,” states Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master.
“This is the first time that single malt Scotch whisky has been finished in these rare casks. We always learn something new when we lead with innovation so taking a risk is worth it, and in the case of awamori, we trialled a very small number of casks at a younger age first.”
Today’s awamori typically boasts mushroomy, earthy notes, and may offer hints of green herbaceousness and sweet vanilla. According to Kinsman, this diversity of flavour complements the complexity of whisky, creating a single malt that is a first of its kind.
He explains: “The 6-month finish in awamori casks compliments the smooth Glenfiddich taste profile, elevating the finish and lifting the flavour to a new level, accentuating the mouthfeel characters and zingy herbal notes unlike any in the series, or anything I have tasted before.”
Other bottlings in the Grand Series include the 21 year-old Glenfiddich Gran Reserva that has been finished in Caribbean rum casks, and the 26 year-old Glenfiddich Grande Couronne that has been finished in French cognac casks, among others.
The Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is now available at duty free stores in Changi Airport as well as at domestic retailers islandwide.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.