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Glenfiddich, a Single Malt for Everyone

by The Drink Nation on Feb 1, 2012 in Liquor

The stereotype attached to Scotch is full of cigars, leather chairs and brusque tartan, but that shouldn’t keep women from enjoy the nuances of this rich distilled spirit. In fact, the oldest living female in Scotland, Janet Roberts, is the granddaughter of William Grant, the creator of Glenfiddich whisky. She has been known to say she owes her long life to hard work, moderation and her daily dram of whisky.

We recently had a chance to meet one of the world’s only female Scotch experts, Glenfiddich ambassador Heather Greene, who gave us a few insights about the range of single malts the company offers. Glenfiddich is the most popular Scotch brand in the world, sold in over 150 different countries, yet the distillery is still owned by the same family as when it was founded in 1886.

Malted barley is the base for the spirit, which is then fermented with yeast and distilled through copper pot stills. The alcohol is then aged in casks, which imparts the recognizable deep, woody flavor. The Glenfiddich Distillery maintains its own cooperage, where artisans construct the oak containers by hand, often from Spanish sherry or American bourbon barrels that have been used only once.

The youngest Glenfiddich single malt available is aged 12 years, and a whole range of single malts are offered, including a 15-, 18-, 21- and even 30-year product. Most often sipped neat, even the lightest of these liquors has intense flavor. When served straight up, drinkers will often add just a few drops of water to tone down the heat and make the taste easier to savor. Recently, Scotch has also found its way into mixed drinks, adding smoky undertones to elegant cocktails.

Perhaps the most valuable piece of information we gleaned was how the brand name is properly is pronounced: glen-fid-ick, with a hard “k” at the end (it’s a Gaelic word, meaning “valley of the deer,” hence the antlered deer in the logo). With that tidbit, you now have the tools to act the true Scotch connoisseur, whether you’re a man or a woman.

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