Do you ever find yourself fantasizing about blowing your kid’s college fund on a heavily aged whiskey to the tune of 50 years? (No, of course not, us neither). But let’s say you happened to scrounge up some extra change and could afford to spend serious cash on a special spirit. An attractive choice would be Glenfiddich‘s newly unveiled 50-year-old scotch. It arrives as the elder statesmen in a trio of single malt releases the legendary Dufftown distillery is dubbing the “Time Re:Imagined Collection” and comes at a pearl-clutching price tag of $50,000 a bottle.
It’s the brand’s first-ever ultra-premium range. So, what can you expect from a liquid that costs more than a mid-sized sedan? A sturdy nose of citrus, to start. The fruity bouquet is followed on the palate by a mellifluous wave of vanilla and burnt caramel that sustains itself as a lingering sweetness in the finish. These dynamic notes are the result of a meticulous maturation process: three different American Oak casks—all pulled from the same warehouse—were married together and finished in a separate American oak refill cask for an additional two years.
This added aging invigorates the juice with a punchiness often lacking in a half-century-old spirit. It also imparts “much more distillery character than you might otherwise get,” according to Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. In fact, Kinsman is one of three malt masters who have stewarded these casks dating back to the 1960s. “It is our responsibility to find the delicate balance between the taste of the whisky and the intensity of the oak cask.”
Mission accomplished here, as this particular offering is graceful and limber; never dominated by its cooperage. Underscoring its rarity, only three casks out of 1,000 reach the 50-year-mark inside the Glenfiddich barrelhouses. Just 220 decanters of this release will be available globally. Each one is quite easy on the eyes, too. Golden malt rests inside hand-blown bespoke crystal, faceted with stark angles meant to evoke the brand’s eponymous valley in Speyside.
If the 50-Year-Old is a tad too steep, you can always fall back on its younger siblings: the 40-Year-Old is priced at $4,600 while the 30-Year-Old sits on shelves at a modest sum of $1,299. All three are now available in (extremely) limited quantities across the U.S.