If summer bodies are made in winter, then Glenfiddich's limited edition Winter Storm, finished in Canadian ice wine casks, is being pitched as the toast of the summer.
With a luxury price tag of $350 per bottle, Winter Storm is best served in a frozen glass with a chilled grape if you fancy, but it can also add it to a cocktail if you're willing to give it a go.
The premium drop gets it reputation as a summer sizzler thanks to the lush tropical fruit and lychee notes passed on via fruit laden wine casks – naturally forcing the 21-year-old-aged whisky to sweeten up a little. This is where the speakeasy tipple steps away from the dancehall of yesteryear and goes LA poolside for a few hours.
It was during a trip to Canada in the winter of 2016 that Glenfiddich's Malt Master Brian Kinsman, had the idea to create Winter Storm. He visited the renowned Peller Estate in Niagara where they picked grapes in sub zero temperatures to create the best ice-wine. After six months of experimenting, he found that rare single malts aged for 21 years were better able to cope with the Ice wine's intensity. He bottled them in small batches of ice wine casks and Winter Storm was born.
Also riding the seasonal wave is Johnnie Walker's collaboration with HBO's Game of Thrones via a new bottle in time for Season Eight dubbed White Walker.
The brooding spirit gets a light and fruity makeover that's intended to be sipped and kept in the freezer for optimal companionship. With notes of vanilla and fresh fruit, the collaboration is proof you needn't save your whisky for winter, with summer being the right time to front your battle.
The rise of the whisky cocktail is deserving of the hype according to Glenfiddich ambassador Luke Sanderson. He points to award winning bars such as The Everleigh's speakeasy and whisky focus and Eau de Vie's proof that you can smoke, fire and ice it for a premium cocktail experience.
"The second golden age of the cocktail is in full swing," says Sanderson.
"We have more creative bartenders looking for a new way to portrait themselves in the glass and on the stage with less limitations and more expertise. Bartenders are working closer with kitchens, diversifying the range of flavour available to paint the picture for whisky and Winter Storm is an example of that," he adds.
Cocktails to cool off
By Matthew Bax, Grau Projekt
- 40mls Pine Pine Scotch (infused with pineapple)
- 10mls Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao
- 25mls Fresh Lemon juice
- 10mls Heaps Good Gum Syrup
- Two Dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Shake ingredients well with ice
- Single strain over a single ice cube
- Garnish with a blueberry on ice and lemon rind garnish
Pine Pine Scotch method
- Place 300gm dried pineapple in a 700ml Johnnie Walker Black Scotch Whisky.
- Allow a sit a few days before use.
Heaps Good Gum
- Combine 40 ml of brewed T2 Adelaide breakfast tea with 40 grams of white sugar. Allow 10ml per cocktail you're making.
2. Orchard Street Collins
By Glenfiddich ambassador Luke Sanderson
- 50ml Glenfiddich Winter Storm
- 20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 15ml Simple Syrup (1:1 caster sugar to water)
- 10ml Apricot Brandy
- One orange wedge
- One mint sprig
- Soda water
- Add all ingredients (except soda) to a shaker
- Fill with ice and shake vigorously
- Strain into a tall glass.
- Fill with ice and top with soda water
- Garnish with Orange wedge and Mint sprig
3. Whisky Mac - Nikka Whisky cocktail
By Kevin Griffin, Nikka ambassador
- 40mls Taketsuru
- 15mls Cocchi Americano
- 15mls Ginger Umeshu
- 10mls Benedictine
- 7.5mls Mandarin Sherbet
- Two dashes of Orange Bitters
- Add the ingredients to a chilled mixing glass .
- Stir over ice for 15-20 seconds
- Strain over a large block of ice
- Garnish with a emon peel