Angels' Share: Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now this is one I really wanted to pick up before it becomes like gold dust and I've finally managed to do that. But what makes Glenfiddich's Snow Phoenix so special? A huge thumbs up by Jim Murray and some lavish packaging, combined with a great yarn makes a strong and distinctive malt.
For those outwith Scotland, you'll probably be unaware that the winters of 2009 and 2010 were particularly harsh. Relatives in the Highlands couldn't believe the conditions we were enduring in the Central Belt of Scotland during December 2010. I've lived here for decades and never seen anything like it. Arctic currents kept temperatures around -15 degrees and unlike many Scandinavian countries or Canada, Scotland just isn't prepared for such a climate and the problems it brings.
Such a turbulent period also had a massive effect on distilleries with a mixture of old and new warehouses under intense pressure from snow that refused to budge. For Glenfiddich a defining moment arrived in January 2010 when several warehouses collapsed. Staff worked for as long as they could in the freezing cold to rescue the surviving stock. It's a 'whisky galore' moment with the local workforce coming out to rescue whisky. To define this event Glenfiddich took stock of what they had and what the exposure to the cold elements may have done to the casks.
Rising from the ashes, or rubble in this case, Glenfiddich took these casks (ranging in ages from 13-30 years old and cask finishes) and created the Snow Phoenix. I'm not sure on numbers but 1600 seems to be the general figure tossed around making it more limited than some of the recent Highland Park releases. It's also meant to be a very special dram, something that turns a moment of real disaster into a special dram.

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