September 3 2019  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Glenfiddich goes upscale with Grand Cru 23yo single malt

By Mary Jane Pittilla


To create a point of difference for travelers, a 75cl 43%abv exclusive Grand Cru variant has been created for DFS, while a 70cl 43%abv exclusive variant will be available through other operators

Glenfiddich has released its latest aged single malt - Grand Cru – as it seeks to move upmarket into the US$100-plus Scotch whisky price bracket.

Matured for 23 years and finished in rare French cuvée oak casks, Grand Cru blends the finest flavors from Scotland and France, to create a true taste of luxury, according to brand owner William Grant & Sons.

The offer includes two exclusive variants for travel retail that will be supported by “sensorial engagement and digital activation in-store that exemplify a new luxury direction for William Grant & Sons”, it said.

Grand Cru is the only Glenfiddich single malt to undergo this finishing in French cuvée casks. The rich whisky, intense in flavor thanks to long maturation in American and European oak casks, is bolstered with extra intensity from these rare French cuvée casks.

Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, said: “Breaking category conventions once more, this unusual collaboration presented an exciting opportunity to create a spirit that further elevated our unique Glenfiddich style. We experimented with the maturation time and hand-selected the right balance of 23yo Glenfiddich casks out of our unique collection of old age malts. The further influence from the oak of the French cuvée casks added an extra layer of complexity thanks to the liquid they once held. Marrying the best of both worlds, the final liquid presents an exceptional finesse and is a special tribute to each cuvée cask the malts were finished in.”

The sleek black glass bottle with its gold Grand Cru print and evocative golden closure are presented in an opulent black box featuring a sparkling golden firework design, created to evoke a spirit of celebration.

In recognition of the travel retail sector’s importance – and the strength of the Asia Pacific region – William Grant & Sons is partnering with DFS and Changi Airport Group for a one-month travel retail exclusive Singapore Changi Airport-first launch of Grand Cru on September 5.

Created for “non-conformists”, interactive elements will inform shoppers about the whisky. Also included in activation will be photo-sharing opportunities, chances to personalize the Grand Cru bottles, and complimentary gifts.

Ms Teo Chew Hoon, Group Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions, Changi Airport Group, enthused: “Changi Airport Group is thrilled to partner Glenfiddich and DFS in this global launch of the Grand Cru whisky. This elegant outpost combines the rich flavor of whisky with enhanced technology to give passengers an experience like no other right here at Changi Airport.”

Brooke Supernaw, Senior Vice President Spirits, Wines, Tobacco, Food and Gifts, DFS Group, said: “We are honored to partner with William Grant in unveiling a world first and travel retail exclusive from Glenfiddich to our discerning customers – whose palates and tastes are constantly evolving and expanding. We hope to redefine moments of celebration with this very special bottle of Glenfiddich Grand Cru, whilst simultaneously appealing to an emerging generation of budding spirit aficionados.”

The new whisky will be available at all other airports from October 1. To create a point of difference for travelers, a 75cl 43%abv exclusive variant has been created for DFS, while a 70cl 43%abv exclusive variant will be available through its other travel retail partners.

Cues taken from fashion and beauty

Said William Grant & Sons Global Travel Retail Managing Director Ed Cottrell: “In Global Travel Retail we are continually striving to keep the offer innovative, fresh, exciting and qualitative. Grand Cru presents a superb opportunity for us and our retail partners to tap into the US$100-plus luxury spirits segment with a single malt. Its link to premium French sparkling wines helps us to create a compelling story that will appeal to and recruit a new generation of premium spirits drinkers into the category.

“By offering exclusive variants for global travel retail, we continue to meet our customers’ needs for differentiation to domestic markets. The higher strength 43%abv, compared to the 40%abv on the domestic market, creates a slightly different offering and enables a price point that better suits the channel.

“But where the industry will see a difference is with the activational support which is unlike anything done before by William Grant & Sons. We’ve taken cues from the fashion and beauty industry to develop concepts that combine an amazing sensorial experience for consumers with interactive features that exude luxury and create a true sense of celebration and occasion in keeping with the DNA of Grand Cru.

“We will be working closely with our retail partners throughout the last quarter to bring this to life through experiential and interactive video and feature walls, destination bars and pop-up stores, and whisky fair participation, with our plans for Changi beyond anything that has ever been done before.”

Alongside Changi, the global campaign includes activations across key international airports including Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Tokyo, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Delhi, Dubai, London, Paris, Edinburgh and New York.

Tasting notes

Dark gold in color, Grand Cru offers an intense aroma of apple blossom, freshly baked bread and candied lemon on the nose, followed by layers of rich vanilla oak, sweet brioche, sandalwood, pear sorbet and white grape. The finish is described as long, opulent and sweet.

The packaging was created by award-winning East London Design Company HERE design.

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