The Glenfiddich Distillery, built by hand by William Grant and his nine children and completed in 1887, is one of only a few single malt whisky distilleries that are still family owned and run. The first drops of whisky flowed from the still on Christmas day in 1887 and the Grant’s Blended Scotch Whisky brand was released in 1892.
Today Glenfiddich whisky is available in more than 180 countries and has won countless awards, but it didn’t arrive at this point by happenstance. Glenfiddich has been blessed with savvy leadership in each of the five generations that have steered the company. When the founder’s grandson Grant Gordon joined the firm in 1923, he went against the grain by increasing whisky production in the middle of Prohibition. The brilliant move set Glenfiddich up to be in prime position when the 21st Amendment was repealed in 1933, ending Prohibition. One of only six surviving distilleries still operating in Scotland by that time, Glenfiddich was sitting on stocks of fine, aged whisky and ready to meet the explosion in demand. By the mid-1930s, Grant’s Blended Scotch Whisky was being poured wherever fine Scotch was served in America.
Before the 1960s, essentially all of the whisky exported from Scotland was blended. Brothers Sandy and Charles Grant Gor don, great grandsons of William Grant, launched the Glenfiddich brand of single malt Scotch in 1963. Packaged in the now iconic triangular bottle and labeled as ‘straight malt’ rather than ‘blended Scotch whisky,’ the company ran clever ads in the US, Europe, and Africa. One such ad instructed drinkers to “Sit when you drink Glenfiddich, you may never stand for a blended Scotch again.” The whisky became the first globally promoted single malt Scotch, a move that cemented Glenfiddich as the market leader in the newly formed category of single malt Scotch.
Maturing and finishing Scotch in sherry casks is nothing new. In fact, it’s quite common in the Speyside region, where Glenfiddich is produced. Almost all of the sherry casks used for maturing and finishing these whiskies are oloroso or Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, but in mid-2022 Glenfiddich released this Amontillado cask finished special edition. Amontillado sherry is a unique style with a distinct nuttiness that comes across vividly on the nose of the Glenfiddich 12 Amontillado Cask Finish.
To many smokers the Espinosa line is known for bold flavored and fuller bodied cigars but the Espinosa Laranja Reserva is an ultra-smooth and creamy smoke that sits in stark contrast to what many expect from the brand. The Glenfiddich 12 Amontillado, with its candied dried fruit, nuts, and spice notes, wonderfully complements the cigar’s cedar, nuts, and cinnamon. A perfectly complementary pairing.
Photography by: Andy Astencio
Location: Empire Social Lounge Dadeland