The newest Glenfiddich release was created through a remarkably rare process.
Grand Yozakura claims to be the first single malt Scotch to finish in Japanese Awamori casks, according to an emailed press release. The 29-year-old whisky is the first release in the luxury brand’s Grand series, which highlights exceptionally unique spirits and innovative cask finishes.
Grand Yozakura was matured at Glenfiddich’s Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland in oak casks that formerly housed Awamori — a spirit made from Indica rice. Awamori is known to be the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit in Japan.
This rare release is 45.1 percent ABV and retails for a suggested $1,999.
“Glenfiddich’s Grand Yozakura expression celebrates Hanami, the cherry blossom festival when Japan appreciates the temporal beauty of nature through the sakura (cherry blossoms),” the release states. “This fleeting moment captures a pause when nature is honored, and at the same time, this marriage of rare liquid — once gone, will never be replicated.”
The expression is contained in a glass bottle with Hanko engraving, encased in fabric with a printed poem about cherry blossoms. It’s nestled within a Grand Range box decorated with cherry blossoms and an illustration by Japanese artist June.
“We are always looking to experiment with new finishes, so when the chance arose to acquire rare Awamori casks, we saw an opportunity to push the boundaries and experiment with this highly unusual spirit,” malt master Brian Kinsman states in the release. “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 trialed a very small number of casks at a younger age.”
Consumers can purchase this exclusive spirit through a ballot process on Glenfiddich’s website, which runs from March 21–April 20.