A 40-year-old Scotch whisky – placed in barrels to age when Jimmy Carter was president and bottled 40 years later – is now available at an Indianapolis restaurant.
St. Elmo Steak House has secured a bottle of 40-year-old Glenfiddich, one of only 600 available worldwide, said general manager Richard Edwards.
“It’s the only one in the state,” said Edwards. “If you’re a Scotch lover, this is something that you need to experience.”
St. Elmo debuted the bottle at a special tasting dinner that also featured 14-, 18-, 20-, 21- and 26-year-old Glenfiddich. The dinner ended with a small sample of the 40-year-old Scotch, which is now on the St. Elmo menu.
The bottle itself costs thousands.
“It’s definitely not a cheap bottle, and it’s very, very hard to find,” said Keira Maurer, portfolio marketing manager for William Grant & Sons, who worked with Edwards to secure the bottle for St. Elmo.
Such bottles often end up on a collector’s shelf, she said, rather than available to consumers at a restaurant or bar.
“So that’s why it is a really unique and great experience to be able to open this for people to be able to come and taste it,” Maurer said. “And now it’s going to be on St Elmo’s menu, so if it’s your birthday or you want to spend a little extra on a drink, this is something you’ll probably never be able to find again – or not for a very long time in Indy.”
Of course, even a one-ounce pour will cost more than just a little extra. Edwards said he hadn’t run the numbers yet to be able to set a menu price.
“I’m assuming this is going to be in the $200 to $300 range,” Maurer said. “But, say, if you go to New York City, it’s going to be double or triple that. So it’s a bargain having it in Indiana for sure.”
St. Elmo also has available the 14- through 26-year old marques that were featured at the recent tasting dinner, which could make for a very unique tasting flight.
“With having the different products in house,” Edwards said, “doing samples of them next to each other would be a great time too.”
Getting the 40-year-old Scotch onto the menu at St. Elmo took more than a year, Edwards said.
“We talked about it a year and a half ago,” said Edwards. “After we tasted it, it was like, we have to do this.”
Glenfiddich brand ambassador Dave Allardice, who facilitated the tasting that convinced Edwards, was also at the recent dinner. He emphasized the rarity of the 40-year-old Scotch being available in Indianapolis.
“I probably get the pleasure of tasting this once or twice a year,” Allerdice said. “And you’re looking at the 600 bottles of this that are released every year, globally, we usually give about 80 to the United States. And as you can imagine, New York, California would typically get the brunt of those.”
He also said that in aging the 40-year Glenfiddich, the distillery uses a technique called remnant vatting, meaning that “some of the liquid dates back to 1925,” Allardice said. “Remnant vatting is when you keep a little bit of the previous batch and pass it on to the next, and to the next, and to the next. So minute as it may be, there’s some of that original liquid from 1925.” — Jolene Ketzenberger