I am not a huge whisky fan, more of a white spirits lover myself, but when I was asked to review the new Glenfiddich Experimental Series I had to be involved. Not wanting to be befuddled in reviewing whisky I brought in the whisky experts. My parents, both of whom have gone to whisky tasting classes and love a single malt, were more than happy to dive headfirst into new whiskies from the masters at Glenfiddich.
Glenfiddich IPA Experiment
Opening the new range is the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer casks. Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman created the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment in collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer. They worked together to pioneer a new single malt scotch whisky imbued with zesty citrus and tangy hops from the oak casks that had previously held a bold Speyside IPA.
To pioneer a brand new malt, the collaborators first had to design and create a new IPA craft beer that would go into whisky casks, which would later be used to finish the first experimental variant. The experimental process involved creating three separate brews of different strengths and levels of hops. Brian seasoned up to nine American oak casks at a time with the IPA brews, varying the time the IPA craft beer spent penetrating into the oak casks, before filling the casks back up with whisky to assess the flavour profiles.
The second edition to the series is Project XX (pronounced ‘twenty’), the result of one of the most ambitious malt experiments of its 130-year history. Glenfiddich Project XX is the result of a collaboration between whisky experts and Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, who developed one unexpected, extraordinary whisky by bringing together twenty very special single malts.
Going against normal whisky making conventions, Brian invited twenty whisky experts from sixteen countries around the world, to explore and each select a cask from a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. The experts, from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Taiwan, China, South East Asia, Ukraine, Brazil, England, Scotland, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Korea, Russia and South Africa, descended onto Dufftown to take part in the global experiment. Brian’s ambition was to create one remarkable single malt, by combining the curiosity and knowledge of these twenty experts.
Tasting Thoughts from the Step-Dad, Mike StClair:
Glenfiddich IPA Experiment
What an amazing discovery, whisky in beer barrels!!! This is a new zesty single malt. Tastes and leaves the palate fresh with an amazing after-taste savoured on the roof of the mouth. It is still signature Glenfiddich with a punch of difference. Lemony yes but with a lightly sweet taste. Still leaves your ears to pop on the first sip leading with strong aromas and making me want more. The IPA influence is quite strong yet subtle. It filters and blends will with this new creation.
This make will definitely make it into the best sellers range with great approval. Congratulation on a well rounded and unusual single malt. The whisky boundaries have definitely been tested.
This was my mother, Krysia StClair’s, favourite of the selection.
I have tasted and approved of a triple single malt whisky thinking how brave the malt master was. The Project XX is truly amazing, I can’t quite get my mind around it. After adding one teaspoon of water and giving it a slow swirl to unlock aromas it was with surprise I found a very faint indistinguishable nose. On second swirl the same effect. It was with trepidation that I took my first sip, yes, it was whisky. Mouth explosion – WOW! Second sip, another explosion with very strong and very satisfying flavours.
I thought this whisky was hidden from the nose to be surprised by the palate. I think Brian Kinsman is indeed a very brave and wondrous man to curate this selection for Project XX. The combinations have provided astonishing results. What a truly unusual, yet brilliant, whisky. Congratulations to Glenfiddich.
This was Mike’s favourite of the selection.
The Glenfiddich IPA has a $130 RRP and the Project XX has a $140 RRP is available now from all good liquor stores.
Huge thanks to the parental units for their sacrifice of drinking whisky.