Glenfiddich experiments with whisky finished in ice wine casks

Glenfiddich Winter Storm

Glenfiddich has released a new limited-edition whisky that has been finished in casks that previously held Canadian ice wine.

Glenfiddich Winter Storm was made by maturing various aged malts for up to six months in the French oak casks from Peller Estate winery in Niagara, which produces a crisp whisky imbued with a layer of sweetness and complexity.

It was devised by Glenfiddich’s malt master, Brian Kinsman, after a trip to Canada in January last year when he visited Peller Estate’s snow-covered vineyards in the depth of winter. He started experimenting with the barrels after his return to the distillery in Dufftown.

He said: “Only the rarer whiskies, those aged for 21 years, could cope with the extra ice wine intensity. Having more tannins, extracted from years in oak, these malts brought out a uniquely fresh lychee note instead of being swamped by sweetness.”

The heightened candied sweets and oakiness of Glenfiddich are complemented by tropical fruit notes and underlying wine notes. Carrying a 21-year-old age statement, it comes in a striking white ceramic bottle at 43% ABV.

Peller Estate’s vice president of winemaking, Craig McDonald, said: “We go to extreme lengths to produce our intensely sweet ice wine and are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of taste, so I was intrigued to see how it could be used to create a new unexpected whisky.

“The resulting liquid is a unique combination of the warming soul of whisky and the frozen cold of ice wine.”

Glenfiddich Winter Storm is the newest expression in the Glenfiddich Experimential Series line-up, joining Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Glenfiddich Project XX which both launched in 2016.

Designed to inspire unusual and unexpected variants, Glenfiddich Experimental Series aims to push the boundaries of scotch whisky through collaborations beyond the world of whisky.

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