This is a 21 Year Old single malt that was finished in French Oak icewine casks, rumoured to be from Peller Estates. Malt Master Brian Kinsman believed that an older whisky was needed to stand up to the tannins from French Oak and the sweetness of the ice wine. I've always had a soft spot for Glenfiddich, so I owe a debt of gratitude to brand ambassador John MacPherson for providing me with a sample. Tasting notes and opinions are my own.
Tasted neat from a Glencairn glass
- Nose: pears in syrup, fruit cocktail, toffee, tropical fruits, mandarins or clementines (the little oranges you can get at Christmas time) perhaps some maraschino cherries (the good ones), green (white?) grapes, after a rest in the glass there are some oak tannins coming through and perhaps the faintest hint of rosewater. Lovely. This is not a whisky that will assault your nose yet there's a lot of complexity and subtlety under the first impression of sticky sweetness.
- Palate: very rich upon arrival, thick with toffee, brown sugar, citrus (oranges and lemons), pears, and some cinnamon
- Finish: long, candy-sweet, with pears, tropical fruits (mango and pineapple), some oak tannins, vanilla fudge, and orange zest
- Thoughts: Winter Storm is unmistakeably Glenfiddich. If you enjoy Glenfiddich whiskies (and I do), you will enjoy Winter Storm. The icewine casks seem to make their contribution most pronounced on the nose, whereas their influence on the palate and finish are more subtle. Brian Kinsman executed this whisky brilliantly. A sweet icewine could easily overwhelm the malt, but that's not the case here. The balance is just right. If this wasn't so far out of my price range, I would definitely purchase a full bottle.