Before I start, let me just say that walking through the heart of the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s version of skid row (no, not the Sebastian Bach kind…well, sort of), on route to Glenfiddich’s tasting on the 15th floor of a fairly lux hotel definitely added a bit of perspective, not to mention a fragrant surreal quality, to the evening.
Right, so last night at the Clift Hotel in a fairly impressive space called the Spanish Suite, Glenfiddich’s engaging and affable host, Mitch Bechard, brought the brand’s latest campaign*, “Cask of Dreams” to San Francisco. For a few weeks in April, Mitch and other Glenfiddich ambassadors will be rolling 12 new American oak casks around major US cities (thirsty work, to be sure), encouraging people to write their hopes and dreams on these casks, which will then make their way to the distillery in Dufftown and filled with a special malt, slated to be released in Spring of 2012.
The expression, probably around 6000 bottles worth, will be a selection of mostly 14 – 16 year old whiskies, aged in both bourbon & sherry casks and then finished for several months in these new casks. At the tasting we were presented with a sample that approximated what this future release will be like and I have to say it was darn good stuff. The sample had a great, rich nose and a brisk, baking spice and oak filled palate that reminded me a bit of the Snow Phoenix with perhaps a bit less depth and age. Again, this was just test batch, but, like I said…eye-brow raising. Something to look forward to in 2012…
*Good ideas and marketing campaigns like this are always made better when they also go out of their way to help someone else. In the Cask of Dreams’ case, for every dream “shared” on the website, $1 will be donated to the National Geographic Explorers Program, helping scientists, conservationists, and explorers around the world.