1997 Hector Macbeth (Glenfiddich) 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1380534

Price: $109.99

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Tasting Notes

There's just no way to describe the feeling of coming across a splendid old cask of Wardhead (trade name for teaspooned Glenfiddich) like this one. You'd expect with the incredible value that these casks offer we'd see more of this type of whisky on the market, but I think suppliers are scared to work with something labelled as a blended malt whisky even when they know it's actually only blended on paper. This magical cask bottled as "Hector Macbeth" was actually distilled at the famous Glenfiddich distillery in Spring of 1997. It was filled into a used hoggie and left to sit in the warehouses for nearly two decades before being "downgraded" to a blended malt and sold off to the Laing Brothers. To be honest, it's not entirely clear how the process actually works. Do the Laings have contracts to fill under the blended malt label or does the distillery open up stocks to the open market when space or cash is needed? Considering how difficult is to find spirit from this particular distillery above 18 years old, these older teaspoons are becoming more definitive in our understanding of how this malt matures in its naked form. Very few whiskies on the shelf are going to offer more.

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    12/4/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    For being the best-selling single malt in the world, Glenfiddich gets a bit of a bad rap. While the distillery is widely known for its ubiquitous 12 year offering, it is occasionally offering exciting cask finishes and special releases. These are sought-after, but a lot of the regular malt drinkers seem to poo poo them. While I consider the 12 year a benchmark that serves as a good middle ground to compare other malts — a centering malt — also, an easy way to seem like you know what you're talking about is to shit on easy targets. But one thing very few malt drinkers can say they've actually tasted is Fiddich in a single cask. I do believe that experience will change many staunch detractors' minds about Dufftown's most active distillery. The nose is a gorgeous mixture of clean minerals and pale malt. With the tiniest drop of water is begins to expand. Vibrant freshly cut Granny Smiths, the deep minerality of a grand cru Alsatian Riesling, chamomile tea, citrus peel. On the palate, the gorgeous orchard aromas are pointed with a subtle cracked pepper. With a bit more air, gorgeous yellow floral and stone fruit aromas start to creep out. There's no question that Fiddich is producing one of the finest malts in Scotland and if they let it go for 20+ years and bottle it at full strength it can be absolutely superlative. A polished gem that should be in every serious malt nut's cabinet.
  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    11/24/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    There is a lot of life in this bottle for a whisky that is old enough to drink itself. Orange blossom and pleasant salinity on the nose make for a gracious, friendly introduction. There is also a subtle whiff of nutmeg and marmalade. Honeyed biscuits, creamy orange and a touch of cocoa envelop the palate in an exquisite texture that lingers indefinitely. With a few drops of water, the aromas explode from the glass, and the heat from spices surprisingly increases on the tongue, though is offset by sweet cereal and fresh mandarin. This packs a lot of delicate flavor into every drop without ever sacrificing balance or lift. Easily the best expression of Glenfiddich malt I've ever tasted.
  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    11/18/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    Smells like it rained scotch all over my mom's nice flower patch. Read-- delicious! The nose on this beauty is packed with soft flowers, sweet, wet earth. I'm reminded of the rich smell of a garden nursery-- soft leathery smells marrying flower petal and earth aromas. On the palate, this is a creamy delight, with notes of soft caramel candy and saltwater taffy.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    11/16/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    From what I have tasted so far,the single malt casks that the team from K&L purchased this year in Scotland are not only high quality and tasty but also offer a broad range of flavors and styles. The Hector Macbeth is a lighter single malt with a nose that is sweet with a subtle savory note. In the mouth it is soft and light and just rolls on the tongue with delicate malt and honey flavors. In addition, there is nice concentration to balance out this package out.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    11/15/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    The nose is all soft vanilla chews, coconut pastry, lavender floral notes, and a nice briny quality. The vanilla continues on the palate along with cocoa powder and salted nuts. In time, light flavors of leather and subtle medicinality come out. Skip your next doctor's visit for this lil cookie.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    11/15/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    Teaspooned casks offer some of the best deals in Scotland. Invariably it is the biggest and most prestigious names in Scotch that don't want to see their whisky on the independent market trading on their hard earned reputation. This famous Glen full of deer is elegance defined. It's gentle and fruity, supple from 21 long years in a refilled hogshead barrel. Vanilla and creme brulee layer on top of cooked grains and fresh malty wort. A little bit of saline keeps it from feeling sweet. It's balanced and endlessly approachable. A stunning value in it's own right, a downright steal considering it's heritage.

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