Glenfiddich presents Grand Yozakura

The first single malt Scotch whisky from ex-Awamori casks


Glenfiddich expands its exclusive Grand Series with the Grand Yozakura, an exceptional single malt whisky: The 29-year-old Glenfiddich is the first single malt Scotch whisky finished in ex-Awamori casks.

Awamori is a Japanese spirit that has been traditionally produced for over 500 years on Okinawa, a 100km-long chain of islands in the far south of Japan, from long-grain indica rice. The aroma is sweet and soft, reminiscent of vanilla and caramel. Awamori is predominantly matured in clay pots, but a small part is aged in oak barrels, explains a recent Glenfiddich press release.

Due to the finish in these rare casks, the Grand Yozakura is an ideal addition to the Grand Series, in which Glenfiddich presents exceptional single malts that are characterised by innovative and experimental cask maturations.

A tribute to Japanese culture

With the Grand Yozakura, Glenfiddich celebrates "Hanami" - the cherry blossom festival, with which the beauty of nature is honoured by the sakura (cherry blossoms) in Japan from the end of March to the beginning of May. A special experience is "Yozakura" or "Night Sakura" (cherry blossoms at night), we learn from the press release.

Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura offers the opportunity to experience a fusion of cultures and tastes. The packaging of the Grand Yozakura was illustrated by the award-winning Japanese artist June. A traditional poem is also printed on it.

The recommended retail price for the Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is £1.500.

A frontier expansion

Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich's Malt Master, says: “We are always looking to experiment with new finishes so when the chance arose to acquire rare ex-Awamori casks we saw an opportunity to push the boundaries and experiment with this highly unusual spirit. This is the first time that single malt Scotch whisky has been finished in these rare casks.” Continuing, Kinsman explained that before taking the leap, “we trialled a very small number of casks at a younger age first.”

He described Awamori as being “much like whisky, with a diverse range of flavours” and added that “it’s been fascinating to focus on the oak and how it has been changed and adapted by contact with another spirit.” The six month finish in ex-Awamori Casks compliments the smooth Glenfiddich taste profile, elevating the finish and lifting the flavour to a new level, accentuating the mouthfeel characters and zingy herbal notes unlike any in the series, or anything I have tasted before.”

Producer`s tasting notes for Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura


Nose: Zesty, ripe fruits and caramelized almonds. Lovely rich oak notes with hints of cinnamon and a distinctive zing.

Taste: Indulgent layers of toasted oak, creamy vanilla toffee and silky tannin. Sporadic bursts of spice and sherbet lemons with crunchy green apple and warming earthy notes.

Finish: Long lasting oak.

The previous single malts of the Grand Series

  • Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21 years, matured in European and American oak casks with a finish in Caribbean rum casks
  • Glenfiddich Gran Cortes 22 years, matured in traditional sherry oak casks with a finish in Palo Cortado sherry casks
  • Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23 years, matured in American and European oak casks with a finish in French cuvée oak casks
  • Glenfiddich Grande Couronne 26 years, matured in American and European oak casks with a finish in French cognac casks for up to two years

Images: Glenfiddich