Well it is finally here…the culmination of last year’s Cask of Dreams campaign has been bottled and is available for purchase. If you are not familiar with the Cask of Dreams, it was a nationwide campaign where 11 individual casks were brought to different cities where individuals memorialized their dreams and aspirations by writing them onto the casks. We attended the San Francisco event last year so it was great to see this project come full circle and sample some of the whisky from the Cask of Dreams. I had the fortune of sitting down with Glendfiddich’s West Coast Ambassador Mitch Bechard to talk about and taste this expression. If you ever get the opportunity to attend a Glenfiddich event make sure that you do – Mitch’s knowledge and more importantly his passion for whisky make for a great experience.
The Cask of Dreams is a limited release of 3500 bottles and is only available in the United States. The whisky that composes this expression consists of American oak casks ranging from 14 to 16 years old. These casks were vatted and then transferred to the 11 virgin American oak Cask(s) of Dreams that made the trip from the US. Because these casks never held whisky before it was important to carefully monitor them – Brian Kinsman sampled them every few weeks – so that they do not over cook the whisky inside. After 3 months, it was decided that the perfect balance had been achieved.
Before getting intoxicated (pun only partially intended) by the fumes of the marketing and advertising machine, we have to keep grounded and remember it is about the juice inside the bottle. A grandiose story doesn’t make up for shit whisky. So putting by best efforts to forget the story behind it, I gave the whisky a taste…
Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams NAS $99
14 – 16 year American Oak
Finished 3 months in virgin American Oak
Bottled at 48.8% ABV
The color was surprisingly dark and of an almost chestnut hue. I wasn’t expecting that from the age of the component whiskies and from all American oak. The nose was reminiscent of dried red fruit and spices. The vanilla was hanging around in the background as well. The palate initially hit with a firm spiciness then with a layer of vanilla and sweetness but underneath was the familiar yet subtle apple and malty notes that I tend to get from Glenfiddich 12. There was also a chewy full mouth feel to it. At the suggestion of Mitch, I added some water. This took some of the spicy new oak edge off of it and made for a more composed whisky. I got a little dustiness after letting it breath for awhile.
It is not a heart stopping powerful whisky but it does make for a well composed “round” whisky with an added touch of excitement. The spice from the new oak along with the higher ABV make for a very user friendly whisky in that you can control the flavor settings with water. All in all this is a tasty whisky that I did enjoy.