Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com

Not since it was built in 1887 had the Glenfiddich distillery seen a winter like that of 2009–2010. Four feet of snow fell on the distillery’s 47 warehouses, with cold so intense the snow froze solid. Then it snowed again, increasing the weight, and causing four of the warehouse roofs to collapse. When malt master Brian Kinsman was able to enter one of the warehouses, he discovered that miraculously none of the casks had been damaged. Looking up, he saw a Phoenix-shaped hole in the roof where the frozen snow had crashed through. To commemorate this event, Kinsman selected the best of the casks, aged between 13 and 30 years, and had them vatted into a special Snow Phoenix bottling, of which only 12,000 have been produced, featuring an actual photograph of the “Snow Phoenix” hole on the label. Non–chill filtered and at 95.2 proof, the flavor is a composite of the best Glenfiddich characteristics: honeyed pears, rich fruits, and almonds. Needless to say, you don’t need to add ice to this flavorful dram. ($90)

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