Spirit Forward: Glenfiddich’s Time Re: Imagined Collection

Only time can tell.

Spirit Forward is a series documenting the latest releases in the world of drinks. In this edition, we check out the latest offerings from Glenfiddich in their Time Re: Imagined Collection.

Glenfiddich left us in awe with its Time Re: Imagined collection. The wonder of whisky, after all, lies in its craftsmanship and how each bottle encapsulates the essence of time. The single-malt Scotch maestro put a remarkable series of whiskies before us, aged 30, 40, and 50 years. Glowing in lights, the varied shades of amber are eye-catching but equally mesmerising is the packaging designed to showcase the fruits of time inside out. 

“While the ingredients for whisky: yeast, barley, water, and oak—seem ordinary, time transforms them into something extraordinary. The Time Re: Imagined series celebrates those special casks that have aged much longer than anticipated, for reasons only time can explain,” shares Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich Malt Master. The age statement is indisputably one of if not the most coveted label on whisky. The length of the maturation process contributes to its richness in not just taste and flavours, but also its colours. The Time Re: Imagined series, however, has more than that to offer.

Glenfiddich 50 Year Old: Simultaneous Time

There are many reasons why the Glenfiddich 50 Year Old is the Maverick, and being half a century old is merely the threshold. Each bottle is a snapshot of dedication, from being distilled to being laid down in oak. On the nose, the rich mix of citrus and saccharine dessert scent—good ol’ Madeira cake—is hard to miss. 

Leaving a lingering sweetness, it brings to mind the enticing smell of sun-basked vanilla. With only 220 bottles produced in its first release, this 50-year-old expression is a rare story to be told as whisky is only considered worthy of further ageing once it reaches 21 years old. That said, only a humble amount of three casks (out of thousands) reached its fifty-year mark.

Woven into the concept of Simultaneous Time, the bottle is presented in a half-wrapped 3D sleeve. From afar, it mimics a tapestry with sharp and structural creases. Derived from 50 years’ worth of climatic data, computational architect Manuel Jimenez Gracia looked into and mapped out the humidity, temperature and air pressure of the Dufftown area—where the whisky was distilled and aged. Like a cask itself, the cylindrical sculpture enveloped the precious collectible like a guardian of time. 

Glenfiddich 40 Year Old: Cumulative Time

The highlight of the Glenfiddich 40 Year Old is the mastery of “remnant vatting”, which creates a multifaceted expression that is one of its kind. Remnant vatting is a renowned process where single malt from selected casks marries with the 40-year-old vatting. As Glenfiddich poetically describes, “cask after cask, season after season.” The whisky will absorb the flavours of the passing years, witnessing and carrying forward not just the rich flavours but also stories of decades, hence aptly named the Cumulative Time

Housing the crystal decanter is a dramatically carved jesmonite cast. Known for its durability and pliability, the incised stone-like surface imitates intertwining veins. The cast creates windows for lights to flow through the dark mahogany liquid. The complexity of this expression is reflected in its overlapping layer of dried fruits, dark chocolate, ripe cherries and roasted coffee smell, completed with a subtle tang of smoky wood and polished leather. On the palate, the intense note of sumptuously rich fruity hit a home run, sprinkled with a tang of dark chocolate—think Christmas treats. 

The Glenfiddich 30 Year Old: Suspended Time

Finally, the artistry of Suspended Time. The 30 Year Old is a result of frozen time, capturing the craftmanship from varnishing as time slips by. The bottle is secured in a capsule with cut-outs that reveal the bronze liquid glistening through the decanter. The dynamic linear designs too, created an illusion where the bottle is floating in mid-air, depicting timelessness quite literally. 

Highlighting the core of Glenfiddich’s single malt tradition, each bottle is a testament to the precision of balancing flavours. It’s safe to say that the 30 Year Old is the gateway to the Glenfiddich realm as it portrays the distillery’s character in its purest form. Its woody scent seeps through our senses, interlacing with a delicate trace of floral accents. Despite being the “youngest” among all in this collection, the intensity is nothing short of impressive. The woody notes are abundant yet do not overshadow the sherry flavours remaining abreast, finishing with hay-like aromas akin to fresh-cut grass.