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Glenfiddich Unveils Grand Yozakura, a 29-Year-Old Scotch With an Unheard-of Japanese Influence

Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura

Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is the first single malt scotch whisky to be finished in Japanese Awamori casks.

On Tuesday, scotch whisky producer Glenfiddich announced its latest release: Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura.

Aged 29 years, Grand Yozakura is the first single malt scotch whisky to be finished in casks that previously held Awamori, the oldest distilled spirit in Japan. The whisky spent six months in Awamori casks.

“We are always looking to experiment with new finishes, so when the chance arose to acquire rare Awamori casks, we saw an opportunity to push the boundaries and experiment with this highly unusual spirit,” Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman said in a news release. “This is the first time that single malt Scotch whisky has been finished in these rare casks. We always learn something new when we lead with innovation, so taking a risk is worth it, and in the case of Awamori, we trialed a very small number of casks at a younger age.”

Awamori is a uniquely Japanese spirit distilled from long-grain indica rice and traditionally stored in clay pots. Awamori is most often presented between 60 and 86 proof but can range down to 50 proof and up to 120 proof.

“Awamori is the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit in Japan, and its diverse range of flavors run deep, like Scotch whisky,” said Lorne Cousin, U.S. national ambassador, Glenfiddich. “Finishing in Awamori Casks for the last six months, this process elevates the liquid with rich oak notes complimenting Glenfiddich’s signature smooth taste.”

Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is the latest and oldest release in the producer’s Grand Series, joining the 21-year-old Gran Reserva, finished in Caribbean Rum Casks; the 23-year-old Grand Cru, finished in French Cuvee Casks; and the 26-year-old Grande Couronne, finished in French Cognac casks.

“Bringing together two carefully crafted spirits with such great heritage pays homage to Glenfiddich’s history of creating dynamic whiskies through innovation.” Glenfiddich U.S. Ambassador David Allardice said: “This fusion is unlike any other project we have seen before at Glenfiddich; Grand Yozakura is arguably the most ground-breaking expression in our Grand Series so far.”

Grand Yozakura is the first of a collection of limited-edition Grand Series expressions that are finished in rare casks from around the world, honoring a cultural celebration from various countries. Glenfiddich says that Grand Yozakura celebrates Hanami, Japan’s cherry blossom festival that appreciates the “temporal beauty of nature” through the sakura cherry blossoms.

Bottled at 45.1% ABV, Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura is available in limited quantities in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $1,999. In California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, bottles will be sold through a ballot process on The ballot closes April 20.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.