Paying homage to Japanese culture, Glenfiddich has unveiled the Grand Yozakura, its first Single Malt Scotch Whisky that’s finished in rare Japanese ex-Awamori casks. This limited-edition fusion brings together the finest flavours from Scotland and Japan.
Grand Yozakura is a 29-Year-Old Whisky matured at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown and finished in oak casks that previously matured the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit in Japan, Awamori. The end result of this meticulous process is a finish unlike any other.
Glenfiddich’s the Grand Series is a series of extraordinary single malts that is characterised by innovative and experimental cask finishing. Grand Yozakura is the latest addition to the series, which includes Glenfiddich Grand Cru, aged for 23 years in American and European oak casks and then finessed in French Cuvée oak casks. The series also features the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva, which is patiently mellowed for 21 years in European and American Oak casks before a final flourish in Caribbean Rum casks.
Now, the Grand Yozakura is the latest example of this creative innovation as it utilises a spirit that has deep ties with Japanese culture.
Awamori is made using long grain indica rice and traditionally stored in clay pots and matured in oak casks. It is said that the technique for making the spirit has not been altered in over 500 years. Only a small proportion of Awamori is aged in oak casks making them exceptionally rare.
Grande Yozakura celebrates Hanami – the “cherry blossom festival”, where Japan appreciates the temporal beauty of nature through the sakura. A time for renewal and optimism, the festival is best experienced illuminated after dark where it is known as the Yozakura or ‘night sakura’.
This fleeting moment captures a time where nature is honoured and this marriage of rare liquids, once gone, will never be replicated presenting a transient chance to experience a beautiful collision of cultures and flavours.
“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,” explains Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman. “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.”
Kinsman explains that Awamori is much like whisky, with a diverse range of flavours. However in fusing these flavours together, they discovered how oak is able to change and adapt when in contact with another spirit. The six-month finish in ex-Awamori Casks complements 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.
A Homage To Japanese Culture
The packaging of Grand Yozakura brings this meeting of cultures to life with a signature illustration, created by Japanese artist June who creates visions incorporating Japanese culture and landscapes. The packaging includes a bespoke topper and traditional poem printed onto each specially designed outer.
Changi airport in Singapore is the first in Asia- Pacific to activate and launch Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura. Travellers at the airport can enjoy an interactive brand experience via an Oculus VR headset. Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura has a recommended retail price of SGD$2,430.