Glenfiddich has released the first expression in a new series of high-end single malts – a 23-year-old whisky finished in French oak cuvée casks.The new whisky, called Glenfiddich Grand Cru, is first aged in American and European oak casks before being “further bolstered with extra intensity” from cuvée casks that have been used by producers for the first fermentation of wine that will traditionally go on to become Champagne after a second fermentation in bottles. Created to tap into “celebratory moments”, Grand Cru is the first release in the new Grand range. The next whisky in the series will launch in late 2020. Bottle at 40% abv, the Glenfiddich Grand Cru has notes of apple blossom, freshly baked bread and candied lemon on the nose. The palate has hints of rich vanilla oak, sweet brioche, sandalwood, pear sorbet and white grape. 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 23-year-old 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 individual cuvée cask the malts were finished in.” Struan Grant Ralph, Glenfiddich’s global brand ambassador, added: “This new whisky exemplifies the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries, looking beyond the world of whisky to create exquisitely flavoured liquids. “Our aim was to create a fresh, new drinking moment for Glenfiddich and for the wider whisky category, by crafting an expression that plays on the liquid synonymous with celebration but that brings the substance and smoothness of single malt to the moment. “The result is Grand Cru – a liquid that bears the hallmark of quality and innovation associated with the brand and is a true testament to our innate maverick spirit.” Glenfiddich Grand Cru is presented in a sheer black glass bottle and a black box featuring a golden firework design. The expression is available to buy today from London-based department store Harrods exclusively for two weeks and direct from the Glenfiddich website for £220 (US$299.99). It will also be available to buy from luxury whisky retail outlets and high-end venues from 18 September. Last year, Glenﬁddich extended its Experimental Series with the launch of Fire & Cane – a smoky single malt Scotch ﬁnished in rum casks. Glenﬁddich Fire & Cane joined fellow Experimental Series expressions Glenﬁddich IPA Experiment and Glenﬁddich Project XX, which both launched in 2016, and Glenﬁddich Winter Storm, which was released in 2017. Winter Storm has been finished in French oak icewine casks from the Peller Estate winery in Niagara.