The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2013

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Page 86 of 164

ADVENTURES Ian Millar, Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador, pours a dram of The Glenfiddich 30 Year Old for Mahesh Patel, organizer of the event and CEO of the Universal Whisky Experience – The Nth, as Mitch Bechard, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, USA checks the color. Grand Sips in the Grand Canyon O story and photos by Richard Carleton Hacker n Wednesday, February 27, as the late afternoon sun enriched the already-vibrant red rock hues and deep purple shadows of the Grand Canyon, something occurred at the South Rim that will probably never be repeated in malt whisky history. Four helicopters containing 28 whisky connoisseurs descended into the canyon. The only thing missing was the James Bond theme. On board were Ian Millar, Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador; Mitch Bechard, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, USA; Lorne Cousin, The Balvenie Ambassador, Western USA; and the man who made this adventure possible, Mahesh Patel, CEO of the Universal Whisky Experience – the Nth, an annual Las Vegas event for aficionados to sample the finest single malts available. But this was a bonus, because we were tasting whiskies that were not available, anywhere, for any price. Specifically, The Glenfiddich 30, 42, and 50 Year Olds, siphoned straight from the distillery's casks by Millar and hand carried by him from Scotland to Arizona. As we disembarked from the copters, Bottled in 1964, the Glenfiddich 42 Year Bechard greeted the group by saying, Old was paired "Welcome to the Grand Canyon," adding, with a selection of with a smile, "I've always wanted to say that." The 30 Year Old was surprisingly vibrant, fresh vegetables to help ward off the with notes of dried citrus and notably little Canyon's chill. wood. The sherry casked 42 Year Old, at 104 proof, held a mesmerizing perfumed countenance, full of earthy chocolate, while the 50 Year Old, bottled in 1991, was slightly peated, having been distilled in the late 1930s, when, as Millar reminded us, Scottish coal was being used for the war effort, leaving the distilleries with only peat to dry their barley. Befitting these rarities, Patel had convinced the National Park Service to let him bring crystal tasting glasses into the Grand Canyon, noting, "We're not drinking 50 year old whisky out of paper cups!" 86  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2013 The Glenfiddich 50 Year Old was presented complete with its presentation case and parchment.

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