Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society.
It is held on various days in many parts of the world all throughout the year, often in the months of March, May and June. The most popular date worldwide is the third Sunday of June, with all manner of gifts and symbols of love given to dads.
Thus the launch in Kenya of the new look Glenfiddich Scotch whisky was perfectly timed to coincide with the celebration on June 21.
Glenfiddich has retained its distinctive triangular bottle, the first whisky bottle with this shape. The company was also the first to package its bottles in gift tubes, making them handsome gifts for Father’s Day.
Kenya’s brand ambassador for Glenfiddich, Mulunda Kombo, who is also a chef and food curator, said on Father’s Day he will probably be taking his whisky neat or with a splash of water.
On having whisky with a meal, he says, “There are a lot of similarities between whisky and food such as complexity, craftsmanship and flavour layering, to name a few.”
For those planning a Father’s Day lunch, Kombo recommends pairing the Original 12 whisky with a light seafood and the Solera 15 whisky with a fruit-based dessert like an apple pie.
Four of their single malt whiskies have undergone a redesign which are now being introduced in Africa. A first glance at the new 12-year bottle and the look is more stylish and contemporary. The colour of the bottle has been enriched to a more regal green.
The bottle is chiselled with a prominent V-shape on the front that evokes the origins of the drink.
The golden logo of a stag antelope with impressive antlers has been enlarged and moved up into the valley cut.
Mulunda explained the reason for the new look was to “modernise the brand and connect with potentially new customers”. But the beverage quality and taste have not been altered.
Kenya is the first African country to launch the rebranded whisky following earlier events in the European markets in 2019.
However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 social restrictions, Glenfiddich held a virtual tasting event hosted by Mulunda.
In terms of character, the first aromas I got from the golden coloured Glenfiddich 12-year old were of fresh fruit. Some people notice a hint of pear or honey.
A taste of the whisky revealed more fruity flavours as well as vanilla and oak, having been matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks.
The finish was smooth and mellow, and the soft taste is ideal for connoisseurs and those starting off on single malts.
That could explain why Glenfiddich has won countless accolades including the “World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky”. Glenfiddich is also banking on its fresh and distinctive new look to attract the attention of women who like whisky.
The 15-year Glenfiddich has been retained in a clear bottle, which reveals the rich golden-red colour. Kombo explained that the spirit is matured in sherry, bourbon and new oak casks.
Only half the whisky is extracted from cask for bottling and the remaining beverage is married with a fresh batch in a process repeated since 1998. Consequently, when you take the Solera 15 it has deeper and more complex flavours, with florals, ginger, vanilla and spices among other tastes.
As an aperitif Glenfiddich makes a good lowball whisky sour or a classic, ruby-coloured Boulevardier where the Campari and sweet vermouth merge bittersweet flavours.
I tried a Speyside Sandcastle cocktail, which had cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth and passion fruit juice. It was a sweet and fruity take on a whisky cocktail.
Glenfiddich means ‘Valley of the Deer’ a name which “draws on inspiration from the special place where it is produced, Speyside in Scotland,” says Kombo.
This article was first published on June 20, 2020 in The EastAfrican newspaper edition of June 20-26.