The Glenfiddich Gallery Experience

On the night of the 10th of December, I attended The Glenfiddich Gallery experience at The Refinery in Singapore. It was a bespoke event which was meant to showcase the various nuances of Glenfiddich as a whisky to the wider public.

Initially, the event was open only to members of Dram Full – Singapore but it has now been made available to the public and is open till the 31st of December.

The event was made known to Dram Full – Singapore members by Mr Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, who is the Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich in South-East Asia and he strongly urged us to attend as it gave us a chance to explore the brand in depth.

I then approached a mate of mine and asked if he was interested in attending the event. We then agreed to attend on the evening 10th of December (which incidentally was his birthday and so I thought it was rather fitting).

Our timeslot for the night was from 9.30 to 11.30pm and I arrived slightly earlier and waited for my mate to arrive. As he was running late, I headed up to the venue and registered myself.

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The Glenfiddich registration desk, which sported the iconic deer head that is symbolic of the brand.

Upon registration, I met up with Matthew and we chatted for a short while. It was my first time meeting him in person (even though we had interacted via Facebook and had been friends beforehand) and he informed me that the bar was serving the core range (Glenfiddich 12, 15 & 18) free flow during the event.

I then went to the bar and placed an order for the Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Solera Reserve expression, which is my favourite offering from the distillery.

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One of the bespoke coasters which were produced for the event. I took this one home to add to my collection. =D

I then proceeded to take a look around the room and took some pictures of the items on display.

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The table upon which lay a number of iPads which allowed people to select certain whiskies, design their own bespoke packaging and even include a message and their names.
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Some of the bespoke Glenfiddich bottlings and packages which customers had selected from the online website and paid for.

 

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The Glenfiddich core range.

As some of the guests were also running late, Matthew decided to wait till 10pm before kicking things off. My mate arrived just after 10pm as Matthew welcomed us to the event and spoke briefly about it before informing us that the objective of the event was to approch the table in front of us, nose the various items and mark our preference on a card.

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The table which comprised the items we were meant to nose in order to make our choices.

I didn’t manage to take a picture of the card, but what it showed was 4 stations which comprised 2 items apiece. The objective was to nose each item in each station and mark our preference on a scale.

The four stations were as follows:

  • Rich vs Floral
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Rich vs Floral (Red Wine vs White Wine)
  • Succulent vs Zesty
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Succulent vs Zesty (Peaches vs Oranges)
  • Intense Spiciness vs Subtle Spiciness
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Intense Spiciness vs Subtle Spiciness (Two different types of chili)
  • Savoury vs Sweet
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Savoury vs Sweet (Cheese vs Creme Brulee)

Matthew informed us that our choices would determine which whisky we’d be allocated to taste from the Glenfiddich range, which included a range from 1974 all the way to 1993 and matured in a variety of casks.

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The array of bottlings that were up for tasting, ranging from the oldest (1974, 40 Years Old) to the youngest (1993, 21 Years Old).

I went through the stations and marked my preferences before making my way back to the bar. The bartender took a look at my preferences and proceeded to pick a bottle from the selection and pour a glass of it.

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My selected dram: Glenfiddich 1984 30 Years Old, drawn from a sherry butt.

My selected dram was a Glenfiddich 1984 30 Years Old which was drawn from a sherry butt. Based on the intense mahogany colour of the dram, I deduced that it was a first fill sherry butt and the aroma pretty much confirmed it.

As I savoured it, Matthew made his way to the bar and ordered a glass of the oldest bottle in stock, the Glenfiddich 1974 40 Years Old which was drawn from a refill hogshead.

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Glenfiddich 1974 40 Years Old, drawn from a refill hogshead and only available to those who managed to accurately pick it (and Matthew of course).

He told us that as it was rather difficult to acquire and that the distillery had only sent a small number of bottles, he was unable to offer a tasting of it. He did however mention that we were able to taste the rest of the range.

I conversed with the bartender, who offered me a glass of the Glenfiddich 1982 32 Years Old which was drawn from a virgin oak cask.

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Glenfiddich 1982 32 Years Old, drawn from a virgin oak cask.

For such an old whisky, it retained a fresh barley scent which I could immediately associate with the scent of the maltings rooms at both Bowmore and Laphroaig.

I then proceeded to try a few more expressions, including the 1991 23 Years Old Refill Hogshead expression and a 1993 21 Years Old Refill Hogshead expression.

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Glenfiddich 1991 23 Years Old Refill Hogshead

My mate and I managed to speak to Matthew and another attendee, Vivian, at length about a variety of issues including alcohol, the haze, politics and so on.

Matthew also informed us that we were entitled to a free dram of the Glenfiddich 21 Years Old Gran Reserva expression from the core range as a ‘Thank You’ for attending the event (on top of all the free drams we had already savoured).

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Glenfiddich 21 Years Old Gran Reserva, finished in rum casks.

We were also invited to have a look at the postcard wall which had been set up next to the entrance and were told to pick out favourite coloured postcard and label, which was then to be passed to a staff member who was manning an old school typewriter which would then be used to type a message of choice onto the label.

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The wall which comprised the different coloured postcards and labels that we were supposed to choose from.

The label was then supposed to be attached to the postcard and it was to be given to us as a memento to remember the event by. I thought that it was a fantastic idea and was very keen on getting one done to add to my collection of interesting whisky-related items.

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Yup. That’s an honest-to-God, fully functioning typewriter.

I then selected my preferred postcard and label colours and proceeded to the staff member at the typewriter to get it customised. As I was keen on taking something away with a link to the blog, I decided to just put ‘WhiskyMate’ on the label which was to be affixed to the postcard.

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And I did. =D

Overall, it was a brilliant event which showcased the various types of whiskies from Glenfiddich and also allowed outsiders to have a better understanding of the various types of casks used in the maturation process.

I admit, I was staggered by just how good the 1984 30 Years Old Sherry Butt matured Glenfiddich was and even went back for a 2nd and 3rd glass. Knowing that it is available for purchase in the form of a 700ml bottle from the Glenfiddich Gallery website, I just might be tempted to do so!

I will look to review in depth the whiskies that I sampled during the event in the very near future (very possibly the next review after this), so stay tuned for that as it is a cracker!

Until the next time, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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