Glenfiddich reveals Grand Yozakura; the first single malt finished in exceptionally rare Japanese ex-Awamori casks

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Glenfiddich has created the first single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in exceptionally rare Japanese ex-Awamori casks, the latest release within the renowned Grand Series. It is a limited-edition fusion, celebrating the finest flavours from Scotland and Japan.

The Grand Series are extraordinary single malts characterised by innovative and experimental cask finishing.  The new 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, producing a finish unlike any other.

Awamori is made using long grain indica rice that is 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.

Grand 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’. Reflecting its namesake and the temporal nature of beauty, only a limited number of Grand Yozakura bottles are available globally.

“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,” Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, commented. “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.

“Awamori is much like whisky, with a diverse range of flavours. Since embarking on this fusion, it’s been fascinating to focus on the oak and how it has been changed and adapted by contact with another spirit. The six-month finish in exceptionally rare ex-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.”

“The Grand Series underpins Glenfiddich’s spirit of innovation and Grand Yozakura is no exception,” Claudia Falcone, Glenfiddich Global Brand Director, said. “It is perhaps the most ground-breaking expression to sit alongside the series so far, whilst also being the first limited edition release. Bringing together two scarce components accentuates the anticipation and sense of occasion, paying homage to the brand’s innovative nature when it comes to creating dynamic whiskies of the highest quality.”

The packaging of Grand Yozakura brings this meeting of cultures to life with a signature illustration, created by Japanese artist June who crafts visions, incorporating Japanese culture and landscapes. The packaging includes a bespoke topper and traditional poem printed onto each specially designed outer.

An online ballot will guarantee 24 winners the chance to be amongst the first in the world to purchase this limited-edition Glenfiddich, shipped directly from the Glenfiddich Distillery. Available to enter until the 4th of April, successful entrants will be contacted on the 5th of April. To register and for further information please visit the Glenfiddich website.

Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is available for purchase now from Harrods and other selected retailers across UK at a recommended retailer price of £1,500.